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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
AFRICA
New university to produce experts on regional integration
Christabel Ligami
In a bid to hasten the slow pace of regional integration in Eastern and Southern Africa, the first cohort of students of a virtual university focused on the study of regional integration are to be admitted in September.
AFRICA-CHINA
Self-reliance a key to successful academic partnerships
Gilbert Nakweya
African universities should establish clear guidelines and timelines to ensure greater self-reliance when entering partnerships, especially with partners in the Global North, according to higher education and policy experts attending the inaugural Africa-China-World Bank Education Partnership Forum.
AFRICA
Land conflicts highlight a critical role for universities
Gilbert Nakweya
African universities have a key role to play in developing technical and human capacities to support land policy development and implementation, according to experts attending a two-day meeting to validate a study on ‘Land, Ethnicity and Conflict in Africa’, held last month in Addis Ababa.
ALGERIA
Country suffers loss of locally-trained graduates
Laeed Zaghlami
Concerns are high over the ‘haemorrhaging’ of Algerian academics and professionals to foreign countries following significant local investment in their training and education.
AFRICA
Pan-African food and biomass network launched
Michael Gardner
The first pan-African expert network on food and non-food biomass has been launched by Germany’s Center for Development Research and the Ghana-based Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa.
AFRICA
Farmers’ needs in danger of being neglected in research
Sam Otieno
An increase over the past decade in the overall number of higher education agencies involved in agricultural research in Sub-Saharan Africa has a downside: fragmentation of national research systems and a potential shift away from the applied needs of farmers, according to the authors of a new report on agricultural research on the continent.
ZIMBABWE
Government turns to past students for scholarship funds
Kudzai Mashininga
The Zimbabwe government is crafting a law that will ensure that all people who received student loans since independence in 1980 repay a flat fee of US$1,000.
Africa Features
NIGERIA
Senate rejects closure of campus over terror attacks
Tunde Fatunde
The University of Maiduguri in north east Nigeria is to remain open despite ongoing terror attacks by Islamic terror group Boko Haram after Nigeria’s Senate resolved to push for tighter campus security and to keep the university open as a symbol of triumph over the extremist group and its ideas.
AFRICA
Building capacity and quality through academic exchanges
Ochieng’ O Benny
Enhancing regional collaboration among universities through staff exchanges has the potential not only to improve academic mobility on the African continent but to enhance higher education quality and ensure rationalisation of existing capacity in Africa, according to Dr Moses Osiru, deputy executive secretary of the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture Secretariat.

KENYA
Student loans under the spotlight in upcoming elections
Christabel Ligami
Increased loan allocations to university and technical college students in Kenya are among key promises made by political parties in their manifestos, launched ahead of the elections scheduled for 8 August.
Africa Briefs
SENEGAL
Leaks lead to baccalauréat chaos and cancellations
Chaos due to widespread leaks has hit this year’s session of the baccalauréat, the end-of-school examination that gives those who pass it the right to higher education and is often regarded as the first university diploma.

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