Benchmarking as a tool for improving quality in African universities was the focus of the first regional benchmarking and capacity building workshop organised by the Partnership for Skills in Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology – PASET – and held in Abuja, Nigeria last week.
Poor investment, weak capacity and security, as well as political instability and onerous bureaucracy in war-torn Libya have produced a higher education system characterised by inadequate infrastructure and graduates poorly prepared for jobs, according to a new report.
The World Bank Group’s board of executive directors has approved a US$140 million credit for eight Eastern and Southern African countries to set up 24 centres of excellence in universities to strengthen postgraduate training and research in priority sectors.
Egypt plans to designate 2017 as a year of African cooperation in higher education, research and innovation with a view to enhancing the capacity of universities, increasing academic staff and student exchange, and promoting joint research and projects.
Scores of officials have been arrested in Algeria and Morocco, and charged with fraud for alleged involvement in leaking of school-leaving baccalauréat examination papers.
Germany and the Netherlands are stepping up their game to capture a bigger slice of the transnational education or TNE market, a conference launching a new international TNE-Hub heard on 10 June.
Arielle Martinez, The Chronicle of Higher Education
Jan Petter Myklebust
An international team of researchers has detected a second burst of gravitational waves – ripples in the fabric of spacetime – just four months after the report of the first detection was acclaimed as a historic breakthrough by scientists around the world.
Hurriyet Daily News
The Sydney Morning Herald
The Globe and Mail
Times Higher Education
HONG KONG-UNITED KINGDOM
South China Morning Post
South African universities of technology are positioning themselves as critical partners in what is considered a fairly new but highly relevant area of research, innovation and job creation: waste recycling and management, an industry conservatively estimated by the government to be worth R25 billion (US$1.6 billion) per annum.
Robtel Neajai Pailey
Nigerian scholar Oyekan Owomoyela suggested that “getting ‘Africa’ back into African Studies is to get African Studies back to Africa”. This can be achieved, among other ways, by creating a canon of scholarly literature by Africans, more citations of African scholars, and more African scholars influencing the research agendas of top-rated African Studies journals.
Oladapo Afolabi, professor of applied chemistry and former head of service for the Nigerian government, presented a futuristic and thought-provoking paper on transforming universities for this century and beyond, at the Annual Conference of the Association of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities held from 29 May to 2 June at the University of Jos.
Renu Modi and Rhea D’Silva
The brutal murder of a young Congolese man has blown the lid off a simmering pot of resentment against the treatment of African migrants in India, especially the large student community. Clearly something is amiss in the meta-narratives of ascendant India-Africa economic, strategic and diplomatic relations.
Henry Fram Akplu
Before 2000 there were fewer than 15 private higher education institutions in Ghana. By 2015 their number had grown to 106, compared to 83 public institutions. The private sector mainly absorbs excess demand from the tuition-free public system – but elite private institutions are emerging that target applicants from wealthy families locally and globally.
Cooperation in fields of scientific research between Côte d’Ivoire and the French Institut de Recherche pour le Développement has shown positive results, said Professor Bakayoko Ly Ramata, the Ivorian minister for higher education and scientific research.
Transformative Leadership for gender empowerment
Women from the South need to be more than a superficial reflection of a university’s diversity. They need to address historical inequities in the global education system.
Gerard Postiglione and Xiaoyu Chen
Reforms in China are driving innovation in everything from curriculum design to academic promotion and Peking University is leading that change.
Anand Kulkarni and Angel Calderon
India’s new ranking scheme aims to capture data that is relevant to the country’s higher education institutions, but there are areas where value could be added.
William G Tierney
The Indian government is misinterpreting why United States universities are in the top positions for global rankings. If it wishes to have a handful of world-class universities created within the next decade, public funding and philanthropic support must increase – but so, too, must institutional autonomy and academic freedom.
Elspeth Jones and Hans de Wit
The United Kingdom’s referendum to decide if it will stay in or leave the European Union will take place on Thursday 23 June. What could the impact of a UK vote to leave the EU be on international students? Would it deter EU students from studying in the UK and could these numbers be made up from elsewhere?
With many universities now depending on European Union funding for a significant portion of their research budgets, can people be confident the United Kingdom government will make up the shortfall?
Chris Bickerton and Lee Jones
The United Kingdom’s referendum on membership of the European Union is not about funding for individual laboratories; it is about democracy. Those defending the status quo should ensure that they do not disguise political and cultural preferences for economic and scientific necessity.
The “leave” vote is just another way of saying “they are not the same as us”, not equal, not to be trusted. It will be perceived as insular and unwelcoming. As a result, mobility will falter, classrooms and laboratories will become less diverse, co-operation will become a little rarer, and exchange and reciprocity will be replaced by sales and barter.