“From Student to Immigrant: African Students and Higher Education in the United States, 1962-1976”


Date             Feb 23, 2011
Time             12:00 pm
Location                 Rm 101, International Studies Bldg., 910 S. Fifth St., Champaign
Speaker          Olanipekun Laosebikan, Department of Educational Policy Studies
Sponsor          Center for African Studies

This study is centered on an exploration of the historical relationship between higher education in the United States and the African brain drain to the United States. It provides a much needed historical analysis of the brain drain as it has affected African studentship in the United States in the 1960s and 1970s. Utilizing both qualitative and interpretive research methods, in particular oral history interviews and an analysis of United States immigration and census data, I outline from the perspective of African students, the role of higher education in shaping the long term settlement of African students and in return the contributions of African studentship to higher education in the United States. It is often said that the foreigner notices things the host sees not at all and one clear conclusion from this study is the need to ask African students about their experiences in United States colleges and universities as a way of improving the kind of educational experiences provided to these students. This kind of questioning may improve the educational experiences for all, foreign and host alike.