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Thoughts and experiences of African university leaders
____This special Africa edition, “Thoughts and experiences of African university leaders”, is aimed at promoting good leadership in universities in Africa and elsewhere. It will comprise a series of interviews with vice-chancellors and others with deep knowledge of higher education in a variety of Sub-Saharan African countries. The articles will be published monthly from February 2012 to April 2013.
____There will also be responses from other leaders and scholars published in the parallel ‘debate’ column, to encourage discussion around university leadership and to expand the number and diversity of contributors. The special edition page will grow as new interviews and responses are added to it, and once completed it will remain a permanent page on the University World News website.
____It has been argued that one way to learn about leadership is to receive advice from successful leaders based on their experiences and wisdom, especially if they work in the same field. This is the rationale for the series and for an interview approach that captures the personalities and backgrounds and leadership styles of strong leaders, the challenges they have faced and the actions they taken to make their institutions and higher education systems more effective.
____The series has been made possible by a grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, whose strategic approach to supporting higher education in Africa includes university leadership development and strengthening the next generation of academics.
Karen McGregorGlobal Editor
Leading Ibadan, Africa’s prolific PhD producer
The University of Ibadan is Nigeria’s premier institution, producing 3,000 postgraduates a year. Vice-chancellor Isaac Folorunso Adewole told University World News he had moved from being a “strategic” to a consensual leader.
Tunde FatundeUniversity of Ibadan
Interviews
Top-ranked university goes 'Afropolitan'
Max Price
University of Cape Town
Karen MacGregor
Professor Max Price has led Africa's top-ranked university for four years. The University of Cape Town's vision is to be 'Afropolitan' and it is also highly international, with nearly 20% of students and 25% of academics from outside South Africa. Price told University World News what the institution is doing right.
Mahmood Mamdani – An intellectual leader in Africa
Josh Kron
The role of senior academics in leading higher education is more difficult to define than that of vice-chancellors. But some are arguably so prominent that they inspire change – and such is the case with Mahmood Mamdani, renowned commentator on African history, politics and society.
Women’s university v-c plans to expand across Africa
Hope Sadza
Women's University in Africa
Kudzai Mashininga
Founding a successful private women’s university within a patriarchal society in a failed state is difficult, to say the least. But Hope Sadza’s ambition is bigger than that – to open campuses of the Zimbabwe-based Women’s University in Africa across the continent.
Steady hand on flagship university’s tiller of change
Ernest Aryeetey
University of Ghana
Karen MacGregor
With a career enriched by international experience, first as a student in Germany and then in academic networks, Ernest Aryeetey has steered the flagship University of Ghana steadily into the wider world since becoming vice-chancellor two years ago. This, and the pursuit of excellence through change, define his leadership.
How Kenyatta’s leader shattered the glass ceiling
Olive Mugenda
Kenyatta University
Gilbert Nganga
Olive Mugenda is vice-chancellor of Kenyatta University, Kenya’s second largest institution by student numbers. For years she knocked on the doors of management, quietly but very persistently. When they opened, she entered enthusiastically – and made a major impact. She spoke to University World News for the latest in our article series on African university leaders.
Transforming an apartheid relic
Jonathan Jansen
University of the Free State
Karen MacGregor
Four years ago a racist video filmed by white male students at the University of the Free State shocked the world. The first black vice-chancellor of this once-conservative Afrikaner bastion in South Africa’s heartland, Jonathan Jansen, has brought about remarkable change since taking office.
Oncologist brings dynamic change to university
Dr Charles Olweny
Uganda Martyrs University
Andrew Green
Dr Charles Olweny, a globe-trotting oncologist who trained and worked on four continents, decided seven years ago to leave Canada and return home to lead Uganda Martyrs University, a private Catholic institution. His leadership strategy is guided by five core principles, he said in the latest of a series on African university leaders.
Leadership a balancing act
Cheryl de la Rey
University of Pretoria
Karen MacGregor
Cheryl de la Rey, a professor of psychology, notched up several firsts when she became vice-chancellor of South Africa’s large University of Pretoria in 2009 – the first woman, the first black person and the first English-speaker. It seems the university was ripe for change, as she faced no opposition on any of these fronts. De la Rey spoke to University World News for this first in a new series of articles on African university leaders.
Managing a university on the rise – Nairobi
George Magoha
University of Nairobi
Gilbert Nganga
When it comes to publicity, Professor George Magoha is shy. The vice-chancellor of the University of Nairobi rarely grants an interview or calls a press conference to announce a strategic shift. He believes being too public a leader could be a blunder for Kenya’s premier university.
Africa News
ZIMBABWE
Criticism over planned Robert Mugabe university
Kudzai Mashininga
In a widely criticised move, the Zimbabwean government has announced plans to build a US$1 billion science and technology university named after its long-time ruler, 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe.
AFRICA
Pioneer doctoral school launches in Burundi
Wagdy Sawahel
Burundi’s first doctoral school, to be located at the University of Burundi, was launched at a conference held at the university in July under the theme "The role of research and development in African universities in the achievement of the objectives of sustainable development."
ZIMBABWE
Government shuts hundreds of private colleges
Tonderayi Mukeredzi
The government says it has ordered the closure of nearly 300 private colleges across the country for a variety of reasons, ranging from illegal operations, to lack of proper registration, operating from unapproved premises and failing to meet acceptable standards.
SOUTH AFRICA
Universities enter partnership with police to curb crime
Sharon Dell
In a bid to deal with crime plaguing South African campuses, South Africa’s universities have entered into a long-term partnership with the national police service that will see closer collaboration to ensure the safety and security of university communities across the country.
KENYA
Parliament moves against student fee defaulters
Gilbert Nganga
Kenya’s university students who default on fees face a bleak future after parliament recommended that a public university list those students and past students in arrears with credit reference bureaus.
Africa Features
UGANDA
New Makerere vice-chancellor designate aims high
Christabel Ligami
Newly appointed Makerere University Vice-chancellor Professor Barnabas Nawangwe has vowed to position the Ugandan university as the leading institution for academic excellence and innovation in Africa.
SOUTH AFRICA
Mining the power of data to boost student success
Sungula Nkabinde
Data analytics is becoming increasingly important to improving the effectiveness of almost every profession and academia is no different, but knowing what data is important and how to use it is critical.
Africa Briefs
MALI
Government approves creation of quality assurance agency
The Ministry of Higher Education and Research has taken a step towards promoting educational quality, with approval this month by the Council of Ministers of the creation of the Malian Agency of Higher Education and Scientific Research Quality Assurance.
CAMEROON
Private HEIs to reopen, defying government order
Tired of waiting for the end of the so-called ‘anglophone crisis’ which has paralysed schools, universities and law courts in two English-speaking provinces, heads of private higher education institutions, or HEIs, are planning to reopen in October in spite of a government order postponing the start of the new academic year.

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