How Has COVID-19 Affected Higher Education and Research in African Countries?

  • Ross Jansen-van Vuuren Queen’s University
  • Alhaji N'jai University of Sierra Leone
Keywords: LMIC; Africa; COVID-19; science; higher education; research, LMIC, Africa, COVID-19, science, higher education, research


COVID-19 has affected scientific research, teaching, and learning globally. In African low- and middle-income countries, this has been felt more acutely due to preexisting limitations such as poor internet access and dependence on international collaborators for equipment. The pandemic has also brought new challenges to African universities, including the diversion of substantial resources to COVID-19-related needs. Positive outcomes include recognition of the urgent need to address underlying challenges and innovative endeavors in some institutions.

Author Biographies

Ross Jansen-van Vuuren, Queen’s University

Ross Jansen-van Vuuren is editor of Scientific African and a postdoctoral research fellow at Queen’s University, Ontario, Canada. Email: and

Alhaji N'jai, University of Sierra Leone

Alhaji N’jai is associate professor at the University of Sierra Leone, and founder and chief strategist of Project 1808 Inc., Sierra Leone. Email:

How to Cite
Jansen-van Vuuren, R., & N’jai, A. (2021). How Has COVID-19 Affected Higher Education and Research in African Countries?. International Higher Education, (107), 22-24. Retrieved from