Dr Sophie Etomes

Dr Sophie  Etomes


University of Buea

Educational Foundations and Administration

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Work and Research

My research focuses on the productivity of higher education within respect to policy formulation, implementation and leadership. More of interest is doctoral studies. This takes into consideration the demand and supply of PhDs, the labor market for PhDs and policies that underlie admission of PhDs. In addition, why students actually pursue postgraduate studies is of interest. In addition, leadership attributes are at the center of the effective implementation of the policies in higher education.

Fields Of Expertise

Educational management and administration
Economics of Education
Educational leadership


Most of the PhD graduates in Cameroon are unemployed, yet the demand for a PhD is on a constant rise. This is a waste of scarce national resources deployed in the production of education and a threat to our country’s development agenda – to become an emerging nation by 2035.

Dr Sophie Ekume Etomes of the University of Buea’s research focus on leadership and the economics of education and her particular interest is how resources invested in education can be made more productive for the individual, the government and society at large. Dr Etomes applies economic concepts in education to enable education policymakers to be better informed on the investments made in education – and the returns on this investment.


Given that education is a major instrument for the economic development of every country, there is a need to consider whether resources devoted to education yield expected returns. My research focuses on how policies are made and implemented – and we have learnt that the productivity of leaders is of the utmost relevance.


She observes that there is no formal leadership training available within higher education institutions in Cameroon. Leaders are appointed based on political recognition or experience as teachers, leading to a lack of quality assurance and productivity.


Dr Etomes sees her association with the FAR-LeaF program as an opportunity to view her country’s issues from a new perspective and create new lines of inquiry and streams of research into leadership opportunities and -training.


Collaborative research provides an opportunity to expand networks and opportunities, new insights and research quality: Two heads are better than one.


Individuals and society see education as a life transformer, a means to a higher income, a better life, and an engine of economic development. Innovations and changes in society which are done through higher education are major suppliers of the quality and quantity of human capital needed by societies. This justifies the household and government’s expenditure on education, especially at the tertiary level. But transformational leadership is necessary for the sustainable production of quality and quantity of output in higher education – unemployed graduates mean low productivity by tertiary institutions and a poor return on investment for all involved – from the graduate’s family to the government. Thus, the management of human resources is vital.


We do not just need leaders, we need leaders who can lead and transform: they should strengthen understanding, foster justice of staff and improve the quality of work life. In an ever-changing world of crises, conflicts and pandemics, the role of transformational leaders in organizational productivity cannot be overemphasized.


“When followers share the vision of the organization, take part in decision making and get support, productivity will rise above expectation and organizational sustainability increases,” she says.

Dr Etomes will investigate the extent to which transformational leaders can effectively manage change for sustainable productivity of higher education in Cameroon.