The article focuses on how the Centre for the Study of International Cooperation in Education (CICE) of Hiroshima University made remarkable successes in inter-university collaboration with selected African universities through visiting researchers, short term training programmes of educational practitioners in conjunction with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), coordination of research in the JICA funded mathematics and science teaching in secondary schools as well as coordination of the Africa-Asia Dialogue for Basic Education and publication of a book on the challenges of quality education in Sub-Saharan Africa. The article also focuses on research on the subject of universal primary education (UPE) in the African context, coordinated by the Graduate School of International Cooperation Studies (GSICS) of Kobe University. The initiative culminated into publication of a book the as part of the Pittsburgh Studies in Comparative Education and International Education, University of Pittsburgh, School of Education.
Public secondary schools in Kenya are hierarchically structured. Thus, the country’s national, county and district schools (currently sub-county schools) are of high, middle and low status, respectively. This hierarchical structure is grounded in the historical background of the schools’ establishment. Following the introduction of the “Free Day Secondary Education Policy” by the Kenyan Government in 2008, the transition rate from primary to secondary schools improved. However, despite the window of opportunity provided for students from poor families to attain a secondary education, equitable access to good quality, high-status secondary schools is not guaranteed. Differential opportunities have resulted in inequitable access to higher education. This study aimed to assess the post-secondary educational aspirations of students in low-status district secondary schools compared with those of students in relatively higher status county schools. Descriptive survey analysis was performed to examine the characteristics of sampled fourth form students in their last year of secondary education. Ten schools (seven district schools and three county schools) were purposively selected from three counties (Embu, Meru and Kisii), where students’ transition rates from primary to secondary schools were relatively high. This study did not find any difference in the post-secondary educational aspirations of students from district and county schools. These were very high, even among low-status district school students (96.6 %), despite the limited possibilities to pursue higher education. It appears that there is a considerable discrepancy between students’ career goals and what they could actually do after completing secondary education. This study provides an opportunity for re-examining the underlying purpose of secondary education, as well as for assessing whether increased financial support is required for schools to provide a good education beneficial to students.