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.
UNESCO is strongly committed to using its General History of Africa project in teaching in African Union countries to highlight the continent’s common heritage, said Angola’s Science and Technology Minister Maria Cândida Teixeira Pereira at the close of UNESCO’s fourth international scientific council meeting on the ninth volume of the publication.
Academic and non-teaching staff unions at the University of Mauritius, the country’s biggest higher education institution, have expressed their mutual distrust in interviews with L’Express of Port Louis, which reported that the university was in chaos.
Senegal’s biggest higher education union, SAES – Syndicat Autonome de l’Enseignement Supérieur – called a 48-hour strike last week in protest against the government’s failure to keep agreements.
Although unemployment nationally fell in Morocco between 2014 and 2015, the jobless rates for young people rose – with nearly a quarter of university graduates registered as unemployed – according to a report from the government’s planning institution the Haut Commissariat au Plan.
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’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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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
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’.
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.
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.
Germany is funding an agricultural innovation project in 13 mostly African countries, with the aim of achieving self-sufficiency in food production.
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.