As life returns to normal in Sierra Leone following the World Health Organization’s decision to declare the country free of Ebola, it is emerging that one of its universities – which produces the bulk of the country’s health workers – has been badly hit by the loss of key staff.
The European Union and the African Union have adopted a plan to improve higher education cooperation, mobility and mutual recognition of qualifications in an effort to encourage legal migration free of the ‘suffering, abuse and exploitation’ experienced during the current sharp influx of refugees and migrants.
The BRICS countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – last Wednesday signed a far-reaching agreement on cooperation in education that includes joint research and more collaboration in postgraduate training and co-publishing.
Controversy stalked the appointment last December of Professor Peter Mbithi as vice-chancellor of the University of Nairobi, and has followed him ever since. Mbithi has fought bare-knuckled duels with colleagues, including his deputy over control of finances, exposing a cash crunch – the university is allegedly running on a US$25 million deficit and millions of dollars in bank overdrafts.
The Nigerian government is finalising plans to compel universities to provide student hostels on all campuses. Julius Okojie, executive secretary of the National Universities Commission, said the move was “aimed at ensuring better living conditions for students with a view to producing better graduates”.
Drastic changes in higher education are needed to improve quality and graduate employability in the Middle East and North Africa. A report from the African Development Bank says a new approach is needed that could be referred to as ‘education for (self-)employment’.
Malawian students have petitioned the government to increase allocations to the Higher Education Students Loans and Grants agency after some students failed to access loans due to inadequate funding.
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO
The Democratic Republic of Congo government has banned the Université Pédagogique Nationale from providing doctorate-level courses because of a lack of qualified teaching staff. Meanwhile, students from the Institut National du Bâtiment et des Travaux Publics held a violent protest against forced evictions from accommodation and fee increases.
Mary Beth Marklein
Enrolments of international students in United States colleges and universities climbed 10% last year to 974,936, the largest one-year rate of growth in 35 years, a report says. While China sent the largest number of students, the real story is about rising numbers of students coming from India.
Jan Petter Myklebust
Jan Petter Myklebust
Sydney Morning Herald
Los Angeles Times
Times Higher Education
Al Jazeera and Associated Press
South China Morning Post
The Globe and Mail
In a week of ongoing drama in South African higher education, a group of 226 academics from the University of Stellenbosch has backed a management proposal to adopt English as the primary language, with Afrikaans and isiXhosa as ‘additional’ languages. This followed demonstrations at Stellenbosch and violent protests at some other universities, with multiple arrests.
The late Tanzanian president Julius Nyerere’s view of the university as a place where people’s minds are trained for independent thinking and problem solving at the highest level remained unchallenged for half a century in East Africa. But according to new studies, Kenya and Uganda are now shifting to the marketisation of higher education.
Arguments against developmental universities range from the language of instruction and learning to the value placed on knowledge in Africa, but higher education institutions have a duty to embrace the communities they find themselves in and promote development.
The World Bank and Inter-University Council for East Africa have jointly issued a repeat, special call for proposals to establish an Africa Centre of Excellence in the field of oil and gas for the Eastern and Southern Africa regions. An initial call last July failed to elicit a response.
The East African Science and Technology Commission has been officially launched in the Rwandan capital Kigali with the aim of promoting and coordinating the development of science and technology in the region.
Jeremy Rappleye and Edward Vickers
Can Japan be simultaneously more global and more nationalistic in its education policy? If it wants a greater voice internationally, it needs to present a more confident, outward-looking face on the global stage.
With their recent horrific attacks, it may seem that there is little understanding of ISIS. But universities are working with intelligence agencies to share their research on radicalisation and violent extremist groups, which is helping to inform the fight against ISIS.
Plans to integrate history in secondary schools into a course on Citizenship and the Motherland ignore the basic issue of how we get students to believe that history matters. The reforms must start at university level, to ensure teachers are trained to build critical thinking skills.
France’s Ministry of Education, Higher Education and Research has launched a new free Internet portal for everyone who wants to teach or learn about higher education online.
Higher education outstripped other causes as the recipient for multi-million-dollar donations globally in 2014, garnering US$7.58 billion in gifts or 30.9% of the US$24.5 billion global total, according to the Coutts Million Dollar Donors Report 2015
Karin Fischer, The Chronicle of Higher Education
The most recent study on foreign student trends was just released last week, showing robust growth, but the real question for American higher education is what the next report, one year from now, will show. There are already signs that the future outlook could be gloomy.
William Patrick Leonard
Mission statements need to be more focused to encourage higher education institutions to keep within budget. Mission creep with accompanying cost and debt burdens is often the product of open-ended mission statements.