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Doctoral Dissertation Announcement
Candidate: MANJERNGIE CECELIA NDEBE
Doctor of Philosophy
Department: Educational Leadership, Research, and Technology
Title: The Perceived Impacts of the 14-Year (1989-2003) Civil War on Higher Education in Liberia: An Analysis of the Case for the University of Liberia and Cuttington University
Dr. Van Cooley, Chair
Dr. Walter Burt
Dr. Marianne Di Pierro
Date: Tuesday, June 22, 2010 10:00 a.m. - Noon
3208 Sangren Hall
Civil wars affect the social systems of a nation including higher education. The purpose of this study was to conduct an in depth concurrent mixed method analysis of the perceived impacts of the 14-year (1989 – 2003) civil war on higher education institutions in Liberia during the civil years and from the end of the civil war in 2003 to point of data collection in 2007. The literature is replete with expert opinions on the impacts of the Liberian civil war but only limited evidence for quantitative and qualitative studies on war impacts in general exists.
No study on the context of higher education was found for Liberia or any other nation. The study is therefore the first of its kind. To achieve the study purpose, two oldest higher education institutions known as the University of Liberia and Cuttington University were analyzed through a quantitative survey with 316 randomly selected subjects and five specifically designed semi-structured multiple case study interview protocols with senior administrators and the deputy director of administration at the Liberian National Commission for Higher Education.
Through the quantitative survey, the perceptions of the students at both institutions about the impacts of the civil war on teaching quality, student enrollment, student persistence, student graduation rates, and resources for faculty and students during and after the civil war were analyzed through Paired Samples t-Tests. Differences between students at the public University of Liberia and private Cuttington University were analyzed using Independent Samples t-Tests. The perceptions of non-students including faculty, administrators, and staff on the same issues and on university governance were separately measured through Paired Samples t-Tests, and differences between non-students at the two institutions were analyzed using Independent Samples t-tests.
Documentary reviews and site observations along with responses obtained from the five interview protocols about the above poignant issues during and after the war were analyzed by identifying major themes supported by important quotes.