31 August 2015 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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Africa Briefs
MADAGASCAR
Unpaid grants hardship for students in China, Morocco
The predicament of Madagascan students studying in China is worsening because of their government’s continuing failure to pay grants. The students fear that they will be unable to renew visas and re-enrol if their debts remain unsettled. Students in Morocco are also having problems because of unpaid state grants.
SENEGAL
Chief suspect in student murder case released
Charges have been dropped against a policeman arrested as the principal suspect in connection with the death of student Bassirou Faye during violent confrontations at the University Cheikh Anta Diop in August 2014. Another officer is expected to stand trial in October.
TUNISIA
Tunisian private universities eye West African market
With 82,000 young Ivorians passing the school-leaving baccalauréat examination, giving them the right to higher education, but only 30,000 places available in the country’s universities, private Tunisian universities are hoping to attract them – and to extend their offerings to other countries in the region.
MAURITANIA
Agreement between Nouakchott and Ningxia universities
Mauritania’s University of Nouakchott and China’s Ningxia University have signed an agreement to cooperate in the areas of students, teaching staff, exchange visits between university managers, and language studies.
ALGERIA
Preparations under way for increased student numbers
Preparations for enrolling an increased number of first-year students into higher education in Algeria are well under way for the 2015-16 academic year, with an extra 76,000 places and 50,000 beds across the country, announced Tahar Hadjar, the higher education and scientific research minister.
AFRICA
UEMOA and UNESCO project to digitise universities
The West African Economic and Monetary Union and UNESCO are equipping six of the region’s eight major universities with computer facilities and networks at a total cost of FCFA6 billion (US$10 million).
SOUTH AFRICA
Decision to remove Hitler-loving student leader upheld
A University of the Witwatersrand independent appeal and review committee has upheld a decision made in May to remove Mcebo Dlamini, the former student representative council president, from office for misconduct. Dlamini sparked outrage in South Africa for professing deep admiration for Hitler.
BURKINA FASO
National Academy of Sciences to be created
Burkina Faso’s Transitional National Council has passed legislation to create a National Academy of Sciences of Burkina, with the aim of promoting socio-economic development through science, humanities, arts and culture.
CAMEROON
Evangelical Church to establish technology university
The first stone has been laid in Douala of UTEC, the Université de Technologies du Cinquantenaire, a new technology university being built at a cost of XAF25 billion (US$42.7 million) by the Cameroon Evangelical Church.
MOROCCO
Researchers meet to promote multidisciplinarity
Some 350 higher education lecturers and researchers attended Morocco’s First Forum of Scientific Research to discuss their experiences, present research findings and – especially – promote multidisciplinarity.
SENEGAL
Pleas for bird safety at ornithology masters launch
The head of the Wetlands division of Senegal’s Department of National Parks has proposed setting up a working agreement with the University Gaston Berger, which has just introduced the first masters course in ornithological conservation and development in Africa.
CONGO
Observatory to detect pollution to open in Pointe-Noire
An observatory to detect pollution and other health and environmental dangers is to be set up in Pointe-Noire on the Atlantic coast of the Republic of Congo, an initiative that will integrate a policy adopted by the Economic Community of Central African States.
MAURITIUS
Degree recognition crisis for some foreign universities
More than 120 students are waiting to find out if their qualifications will be recognised, following a ruling by the Tertiary Education Commission that some foreign higher education institutions based in Mauritius do not conform to its regulations.
ALGERIA
Minister sets out new framework research law
A new framework research and technological development law for Algeria includes a review of the National Evaluation Council and strengthening and widening the scope of activities of thematic research agencies, Higher Education and Scientific Research Minister Mohamed Mebarki has told members of parliament.
SENEGAL
Ambitious expansion works for Thiès University
Senegal’s University of Thiès is to benefit from a FCFA6.9 billion (US$11.8 million) renovation for the construction of quality facilities, Touty Diop, a representative of the regional education authority, has announced.
MADAGASCAR
Funding plea for HE and research development ‘motor’
Madagascar’s government is seeking contributions from international partners to promote and equip higher education and research to be the ‘motor’ of its national development plan. Among the proposals is a competitive fund for innovation to finance research in priority sectors.
SENEGAL
Call for reassessment of research and more funding
Researchers in Senegal have called for a reassessment of research, including the creation of a central research system, and for more state funding to enable them to achieve their objectives. These were among conclusions of a debate organised by higher education and research union Sudes-ESR on “Research and National Research Centres: What directions should Senegal take?”
SENEGAL
Dakar university named after former UNESCO head
Senegal’s President Macky Sall has chosen to name Unidak-2, the second public university in the capital Dakar, after Professor Amadou Mahtar M’bow, former director-general of UNESCO and government minister.
COTE D'IVOIRE
Digital university takes shape
A first assessment of Côte d’Ivoire’s national digital university, Université Numérique de Côte d’Ivoire, has taken place, with plans to launch a teacher-training programme for the production of open online courses in September.
CONGO
New science, technology strategy with UNESCO support
Bruno Jean Richard Itoua, minister of scientific research and technological innovation in the Republic of Congo, has set out key areas to promote scientific research in a strategy based on a partnership agreement with UNESCO.
TUNISIA
Engineering students strike in spite of negotiations
Unions representing students at public engineering institutions in Tunisia called an unlimited strike against “unjust, draconian selection processes” which they claimed discriminated against them, compared with students at private schools.
AFRICA
Universities urged to adapt to international demands
Universities in the Maghreb need to adapt to changing international demands, representatives of francophone higher education institutions from Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia were told at the second general assembly of the Conférence Maghrébine des Responsables des Établissements d’Enseignement Supérieur.
GHANA
University of Ghana launches $37.5 million ICT project
The University of Ghana has launched a US$37.5 million information and communication technology project to support its distance education programme. Deputy Minister of Education Samuel Okudzeto-Ablakwa said the initiative would help to ease pressure on university facilities, especially lecture halls.
AFRICA
Canada forges new HE links in Algeria and Morocco
Canada and Algeria have signed a memorandum of understanding to develop bilateral cooperation in higher education and research, while the Canadian Université de Moncton has opened a bureau in Casablanca, Morocco.
TUNISIA
Autonomy plans go ahead, but lecturers strike
Tunisia’s universities council met to put final touches to a project concerning general principles and major plans for the future – while the university lecturers’ union called a one-day strike in protest against the ministry’s refusal to implement agreements signed nearly a year ago.