University lecturers in Nigeria are increasingly concerned about the destruction of lives and property on campuses and the disruption of academic activities by the extremist Islamic sect Boko Haram, especially in the northeast. The university community has urged President-elect Muhammadu Buhari, a former general, to find urgent short- and long-term solutions to security challenges in the region.
South Africa’s Minister of Higher Education and Training Dr Blade Nzimande has announced that he is paying close attention to “accelerated transformation in universities, including setting concrete targets and transformation indicators”. The demographics of the professoriate needs to be radically changed, discrimination eliminated and student success and support improved.
The universities of Assane Seck de Ziguinchor and of Thiès have been hit by staff and student protests over inadequate facilities – with students at Assane Seck calling an indefinite strike, although the higher education minister has said their demands have been met.
The World Bank will provide US$33 million to improve governance in Mali’s higher education system and to support more than 20,000 students to acquire skills that enable them to get decent jobs.
Controversy has hit one of Kenya’s oldest and leading private institutions, the United States International University – Africa, over who exactly owns the university and whether it is a non-profit or business entity. Parliament has opened an inquiry into the university’s operations.
Britain’s Medical Research Foundation has launched a new £2.7 million (US$4.2 million) health research fund for Africa. The fund will support scientists to pursue projects at centres of excellence outside their current places of work. The Africa Research Excellence Fund will promote outstanding health research by Africans in Africa.
While the number of students graduating from African universities is increasing, the Sub-Saharan region has a lot of ground to cover in improving higher education stock to match the rest of the world. As an ‘Africa rising’ seeks ways to expand university enrolments, it must also provide more high-quality, technically oriented training to students.
Korea JoongAng Daily
Fox News Latino
SOUTH KOREA-UNITED KINGDOM
African and European cooperation has produced a growing number of African graduates who have studied abroad. But the continent is not benefitting as much as it should from their world-class talent because, although the graduates want to contribute to capacity building in their fields, local conditions are not conducive, a recent study found.
In Uganda as elsewhere, recent graduates are learning a tough lesson – a university education is no guarantee of a job. More than half of people under 30 are without full-time employment, and the problem is particularly acute among degree holders. Now new initiatives are teaching graduates and students the entrepreneurial skills they need to survive.
The head of the Wetlands division of Senegal’s Department of National Parks has proposed setting up a working agreement with the University Gaston Berger, which has just introduced the first masters course in ornithological conservation and development in Africa.
An observatory to detect pollution and other health and environmental dangers is to be set up in Pointe-Noire on the Atlantic coast of the Republic of Congo, an initiative that will integrate a policy adopted by the Economic Community of Central African States.
Much more needs to be done to harmonise Europe’s higher education system, according to a new report into the state of implementation of the Bologna Process across the European Higher Education Area. There has been progress on quality assurance and the credit transfer system, but in other spheres, including equity of access, the record of progress is patchy.
Ameen Amjad Khan
Mary Beth Marklein
Jan Petter Myklebust
Peter Schmidt, The Chronicle of Higher Education
Access and equity in higher education should be seen as an equally important grand challenge for the 21st century as increasing participation at the primary and secondary education levels. As higher education expands, a strategy is needed to propel equity up institutional, national and global policy agendas.
The Yerevan meeting of European Higher Education Area Ministers and the Bologna Policy Forum recently took the controversial decision to admit Belarus in a move to promote human rights.
Universities play a pivotal role in addressing climate change, through research and innovation and also through educating other members of society about behavioural and social change.
A new study shows that learning abroad programmes play a more important role in the career development of graduates than is currently recognised by many institutions.
When Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power in May 2014, many academics were hopeful about the future of India’s higher education system after years of seeing the quality of university education undermined by political and bureaucratic interference. One year on, there is disappointment over continued meddling and the lack of a clear higher education direction.
Higher education institutions which are regarded as “leading” in internationalisation have elaborated “separate strategic plans for internationalisation, as opposed to having internationalisation incorporated into the overall institutional strategy”, according to new research.
The Hong Kong Federation of Students shot to the limelight during pro-democracy protests last year, but the university student alliance is facing an uncertain future and a severely curbed political role after four of its eight constituent university unions recently voted to leave the Federation.