12 February 2016 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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Africa Briefs
CAMEROON
Mathematics teacher training programme launched
Cameroon’s ministries of secondary and higher education and the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences launched a Mathematics Teacher Training Programme in January. The pilot initiative will train some 3,000 maths teachers through three higher education institutions.
SENEGAL
Union strike threat if government promises not kept
Senegal’s main higher education union SAES – Syndicat Autonome de l’Enseignement Supérieur – has given notice of strike action, demanding that the government respect agreements signed last year. School teacher unions are also threatening industrial action.
ALGERIA
Minister negotiates after academic union calls strike
Tahar Hadjar, Algeria’s higher education and scientific research minister, has met representatives of the national higher education union CNES after it called a three-day strike to protest against deteriorating conditions, careers and salaries for lecturers, among other demands.
COTE D'IVOIRE
Student rivalry leads to death and arson at university
Rivalry between student union factions has led to unrest and violence at University Félix Houphouët-Boigny de Cocody in Abidjan, capital of Côte d’Ivoire, with incidents including the death of a student and a suspicious fire.
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO
Allegations of bribery, corruption and sex in universities
Allegations of corruption and immorality within the Congolese university community have been aired in a new book by Kutumisa Kyota, a former education minister and current professor of languages at the University of Kinshasa.
AFRICA
Second call for centre of excellence in oil and gas
The World Bank and Inter-University Council for East Africa have jointly issued a repeat, special call for proposals to establish an Africa Centre of Excellence in the field of oil and gas for the Eastern and Southern Africa regions. An initial call last July failed to elicit a response.
AFRICA
East African Science and Technology Commission launched
The East African Science and Technology Commission has been officially launched in the Rwandan capital Kigali with the aim of promoting and coordinating the development of science and technology in the region.
COMOROS
Students ponder strike action against enrolment chaos
Students at the Université des Comores fear a wasted academic year, and are considering strike action in protest against lack of access to their studies due to financial and logistical problems.
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO
174 ‘non-viable’ higher education institutions closed
Théophile Mbemba, higher education and universities minister in the Democratic Republic of Congo, has closed 174 higher education institutions that have been judged ‘non-viable’.
AFRICA
US universities explain MasterCard grants to students
Representatives of the American universities of Michigan State and California, Berkeley presented the MasterCard Foundation grants initiative to students at the University of Lomé in Togo. The programme’s aims are to enable bright but disadvantaged young people, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa, to study in leading universities abroad, and to help train future leaders to promote development when they return to their home countries.
MADAGASCAR
Race to finish university year as lecturer strike ends
A ‘mini-marathon’ was reportedly underway at the University of Antananarivo in Ankatso to complete the academic year on time, following a return to work in public universities by striking lecturers after Madagascar’s government gave in to their union’s demands.
AFRICA
Germany funds innovation centres to grow food production
Germany is funding an agricultural innovation project in 13 mostly African countries, with the aim of achieving self-sufficiency in food production.
CAMEROON
New rectors for Douala, Dschang, Yaoundé-2 universities
New rectors have been appointed at three public universities in Cameroon – Douala, Dschang and Yaoundé 2-Soa. They are professors François-Xavier Etoa, Roger Tsafack Nanfosso and Ibrahim Adamou respectively.
MOROCCO
Moroccan king finances new US$6 million Gaza faculty
The new Hassan II agronomic and environmental sciences faculty in Gaza, financed by the King of Morocco, Mohammed VI, was inaugurated on 24 August. The new institution – named after the king’s father – cost more than US$6 million to construct.
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.