Tunisian Prime Minister Mehdi Jomâa has called for the construction of a new campus for Zitouna University to be speeded up, to allow for the education of an elite in Islamic civilisation.
As more than 1.6 million students prepared to start the new academic year in Algeria, Higher Education and Scientific Research Minister Tahar Hadjar announced a development plan to open universities to their surroundings.
Lecturer-researchers from Niger’s public universities were last week due to carry out a seven-day strike – the second this month – over salary and research allowance payments that they claim are in arrears.
The higher education and scientific research minister was not impressed by the quality of research presented by candidates for the government’s annual Research Prize of 2015.
Four major plans have been launched for the development of research to respond to the nation’s socio-economic needs in the sectors of renewable energy; agriculture and food and nutrition security; human health in relation to biodiversity; and environment and climate change.
The Higher Education and Research Minister has warned new students to make sure they enrol in higher education institutions that are authorised and accredited by the state.
Algeria’s Higher Education and Scientific Research Minister Tahar Hadjar said his ministry had brought together “all necessary human and material resources” to ensure the enrolment process for new students would run smoothly. Meanwhile, the University of Ouargla has announced 156 new doctoral positions across a range of fields in the new academic year.
A partnership agreement to strengthen research and education has been signed between the regional council of Rabat-Salé-Kénitra, Morocco’s higher education and research ministry and three Rabat universities.
Two new university institutes in Algeria, one specialising in social sciences and the other in sports activities, will be completed in Ghardaïa before the end of October. They will improve higher education conditions and relieve pressure on lecture halls.
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO
A fight over a tree between students from two higher education institutions that share premises resulted in 13 serious casualties in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Ethiopia’s government has blocked access to social networks throughout the country, an unprecedented measure it has justified by the need to prevent fraud during the period of university exams. But internet users have suggested the government is experimenting with new software filters to cut off political protesters.
A police officer has been found guilty of the murder of student Bassirou Faye, who was shot during clashes between police and students at the Université Cheikh Anta Diop, the country’s leading university, in August 2014.
An agreement with France to finance the construction and equipping of two higher institutes of professional education and a university specialising in agriculture is going ahead under a programme to expand higher education in Senegal.
The student federation FESCI at the Université Félix Houphouët-Boigny in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, have demanded the removal of riot police from the campus, saying they feared for their safety after the accidental death of a disabled student who was hit by a police vehicle. But FESCI students themselves reportedly nearly lynched the higher education minister.
Cooperation in fields of scientific research between Côte d’Ivoire and the French Institut de Recherche pour le Développement has shown positive results, said Professor Bakayoko Ly Ramata, the Ivorian minister for higher education and scientific research.
Universities in Algeria must become ‘social partners’ in local and regional development, said Tahar Hadjar, minister of higher education and scientific research, during a visit to the Saharan province of El Oued to inspect new university projects.
The heads of the seven public higher education institutions in Côte d’Ivoire have drafted proposals for a strategic higher education modernisation plan, in the wake of years of national crises and university closures.
Some students at Burundi University believe the rector has a ‘hidden agenda’ after he appointed student representatives to university committees following failed student elections.
e-Learning offers a great opportunity for universities to adapt their courses efficiently to the requirements of different categories of students, participants were told at a national conference on digital distance education held in Algeria.
Researchers from across the continent and beyond have called for governments and universities to introduce policies to guarantee open access to scientific knowledge in Africa.
Higher Education Minister Adão do Nascimento has announced the introduction of a training and retraining initiative to increase the number of higher education lecturers in Angola. He also said his ministry would continue to control university fees, to avoid increased charges.
The Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World is offering postgraduate training fellowships for women scientists from Sub-Saharan Africa and least developed countries, to pursue postgraduate research in the natural sciences.
The governments of Kenya and South Africa have invited applications for joint research from scholars in the two countries. There will be R4 million (US$272,000) in funding available under a joint scientific and technological collaboration founded in 2004.
The government of President Alassane Ouattara has adopted measures to improve working conditions for university lecturers and researchers in Côte d’Ivoire, and to raise the quality of education.
Creating a masters degree in African integration and a doctoral school of the United States of Africa, and introducing courses delivered by direct video ‘streaming’, were among proposals at a conference at University Cheikh Anta Diop, Senegal’s top university.