24 April 2017 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
Advanced Search
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
New bill seeks to turn universities into industrial hubs
Kudzai Mashininga
Zimbabwe’s cabinet has approved a new Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Bill that will, among other impacts, turn universities into industrial hubs and criminalise the issuing or receiving of degrees from unaccredited institutions, according to the country’s higher education minister.
AFRICA
World Bank forum calls for private sector to build skills
Christabel Ligami
The private sector should expand its support for skills-building in Africa, with both resources and technology, the World Bank said at its Partnership for Skills in Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology forum in Nairobi.
KENYA
Universities face seachange over diplomas and doctorates
Gilbert Nganga
Kenyan universities will be allowed to offer both degrees and diplomas following a policy reversal that has thrown institutions a major lifeline in a tight regulatory environment. And in another dramatic policy reversal, the government has announced that the requirement that only academics with doctorates are eligible to be lecturers was counterproductive and hurting the sector.
GLOBAL
Europe-North Africa HE cooperation plan unveiled
Wagdy Sawahel
In efforts to promote cooperation in science, technology, innovation and higher education, five countries of the Arab Maghreb Union and five European countries have approved a two-year cooperation plan aimed at stimulating economic growth, job creation and social cohesion in the Western Mediterranean region.
KENYA
Universities forge new partnership with industry
Reuben Kyama
Kenyan universities, in conjunction with leading industry stakeholders, have launched a digital sustainability platform in an effort to curb the growing skills gap, according to top-ranking officials.
KENYA
Three African centres of excellence launched
Christabel Ligami
Kenya has launched three African Centres of Excellence in universities with support from the World Bank.
Africa Features
AFRICA-INDIA
Racist attacks – Will African students shun India?
Maina Waruru
Following what are widely regarded as racist attacks on Nigerian students in India in March, there are concerns that the violence could contribute to making the country a less attractive destination for African students seeking higher education outside the continent. Photo credit: BBC
BENIN
Academics, students help end constitutional change bid
Tunde Fatunde
The country’s academic community was an active part of the successful bid to stop the current president, Patrice Talon, from altering the nation’s constitution in order to arguably give more powers to the president and erode those of the judiciary and legislature.
AFRICA
Creating the ecosystems needed for science to thrive
Munyaradzi Makoni
The African Academy of Sciences, founded in 1985, aspires to shape the continent’s strategies and policies and implement key science, technology and innovation programmes. University World News spoke to its new interim executive director, Dr Thomas Kariuki, about how the organisation intends to drive scientific and technological development in Africa.
Africa Briefs
AFRICA-FRANCE
French research into African education is ‘invisible’
In spite of interest in the field, French research into education in African and other developing countries is badly structured and poorly supported, making its findings virtually invisible, a study reveals.
NIGER
Protesting student killed during police confrontation
The funeral took place last week of a student who died during student protests which had led to confrontations with police at Abdou Moumouni University in Niamey. The university was closed for five days, and more than 80 students were charged with taking part in an illegal demonstration and other offences, but were acquitted.
ANGOLA
Academy for marine sciences due to open
An academy of halieutic and marine sciences is due to open this year in Moçâmedes, initially with places for 540 students who will follow a variety of courses, the State Secretary for Fisheries, Antónia Nelumba, has announced.

| View Printable Version