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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
KENYA
New guidelines set high publishing bar for academics
Wachira Kigotho
Kenya’s Commission for University Education has issued stringent new guidelines for the appointment and promotion of academic staff in a system that gives heavy emphasis to publication in reputable, peer-reviewed journals and discourages publication in so-called predatory journals. While the move is intended to raise academic standards, it has also raised concerns about the hurdles to publication facing many Kenyan academics.
EAST AFRICA
Germany to fund new regional ICT centre of excellence
Maina Waruru
The government of Germany is set to deepen higher education cooperation with East Africa by funding the establishment of a centre of excellence in information and communication technology in the region to deliver a specialised masters programme in embedded and mobile systems.
SOUTH SUDAN
New Episcopal university to help meet growing HE demand
Wagdy Sawahel
The Episcopal Church of South Sudan and Sudan University Partnership is establishing a multi-campus university with a Christian ethos in a move aimed at meeting increasing demand for higher education in the country and improving quality.
MAURITANIA
New diaspora portal aims to turn brain drain into gain
Wagdy Sawahel
An academic diaspora portal has been launched in Mauritania in a bid to address the loss of local scholars and expertise in a country marked by serious brain drain.
ZAMBIA
University suspends 50 students for a year over protests
Kudzai Mashininga
The country’s Mulungushi University has suspended 50 students, including student union leaders, for a year following recent riots over fees that students say are unaffordable. At the same time the Zambian government has announced that all student union activities at the institution have also been suspended for a year.

AFRICA
Academy sends nine scholars to Nobel Laureate meetings
Sam Otieno
The African Academy of Sciences has nominated seven African scholars under the age of 35 to participate in this year’s prestigious Lindau Nobel Laureate meeting dedicated to chemistry, which takes place later this month. This will be followed in August by the sixth Lindau Meeting on Economic Sciences – at which Africa will be represented by two young economists.
Africa Features
AFRICA
‘US stands to lose as much as Africa if Fogarty closes’
Andrew Green
A proposal to cut funding for the John E Fogarty International Center from the upcoming United States federal government budget by President Donald Trump’s administration has prompted an outcry from academics and educators across Africa.
NIGERIA
Monarch joins furore over new specialised college bill
Tunde Fatunde
An influential king in Western Nigeria has intervened in the ongoing controversy around the scrapping of management science courses in 25 federal universities of agriculture in a move aimed to correct what is perceived by the education minister as mission drift.
EAST AFRICA
Governments must work with universities on climate change
Gilbert Nakweya
East African governments should work with universities to build knowledge on climate change with a view to building the capacity and resilience of local communities, who largely depend on rain-fed agriculture, to mitigate the consequences of climate change.
Africa Briefs
TOGO
Students plan protest – This time over police ‘barbarity’
Students were last week planning a silent march, after police violently broke up a previous demonstration against university authorities’ refusal to meet students' demands for increased grants and permission to study in lecture halls outside course times, curtailment of Wi-Fi and bad living conditions, among other grievances.
EGYPT
Burkinabè students raise problems with visiting president
Students from Burkina Faso studying in Egypt took the opportunity to complain about their conditions to their president who was on a goodwill trip.
MAURITIUS
Older students benefit from University of the Third Age
Université du Troisième Âge – the University of the Third Age – of Mauritius was opened four years ago and today has about 500 students, all over 55 years old, studying more than 25 courses.

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