01 May 2017 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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Africa Briefs
Universities switching to Bologna-style system
With Madagascan universities due to adopt the university degree system based on the Bologna process by 2015, the country’s biggest university – Antananarivo – is preparing to switch to the new structure of three, five and eight years of higher education.
Student unrest at Thiès and Lomé
Unrest broke out at the University of Thiès in Senegal, where students were demanding grants that had not been paid for four months. And in Togo’s capital Lomé, police dispersed a student meeting with teargas. Three students were arrested and several injured.
Students fear wasted year as lecturer strike continues
Students in Benin fear a wasted year as lecturers at public universities on an indefinite strike threaten to invalidate the 2013-14 academic year if the government does not accept their demands.
Nigeria joins African Virtual University
Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, has become the latest member of the African Virtual University, the pan-African intergovernmental organisation mandated to increase access to higher education through online and distance learning.
Mugabe appoints first female higher education minister
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has appointed the country’s first female higher education minister, Dr Olivia Muchena.
University funded to map livestock genes
The University of Nyala in Sudan received US$500,000 from the African Development Bank this month to conduct research on the genes of the country’s livestock.
Unemployed graduates demonstrate for jobs
Unemployed graduates have been demonstrating in the Senegalese capital Dakar against the government’s failure to provide them with jobs.
Arrested students freed, parents want campuses opened
Fifty students in Burkina Faso who were arrested during violent demonstrations against the closure of university services during the holidays have been granted provisional release by the Ouagadougou appeal court. Meanwhile students’ parents have called for the closed facilities to be reopened.
New regulatory head faces Indian university problem
Indian scientist Ashok Kumar Bakshi is to take over as the new director of the Tertiary Education Commission – and he reportedly faces an early problem concerning recognition of private Indian universities in Mauritius.
Controversy as university fires new vice-chancellor
University of Mauritius Vice-chancellor Ramesh Rughooputh – the fifth to have been appointed in just four years – has been dismissed with immediate effect. He was accused by the board of having “tarnished" the university’s reputation.
Too many law students hold up start of academic year
As some parts of UCAD, the Université Cheikh Anta Diop of Dakar, are finalising the 2012-13 academic year, for masters students in the faculty of law and politics the year has only just begun.
Protests over plan to sell campus land for golf course
Students, academics and administrative personnel at the University of Antananarivo turned out in strength to protest against the sale of most of the university’s campus to a private company for development as a golf course.
Institutions’ coffers empty, hunger strike by students
Côte d’Ivoire’s public treasury has failed to replenish the funds of at least two higher education institutions for the past six months, leading to a hunger strike by students at one and researchers being unable to carry out their work at the other.
Students to return from China after grants not paid
The Madagascan government will repatriate some of the students who have been studying in China but have not received their grants for 16 months or more, the Higher Education Ministry has announced.
Scientific staff call strike over pay differentials
Scientific staff employed by the Ministry of Higher and University Education have called an unlimited strike across the country, following lack of government response to demands over pay differentials and employment irregularities.
Sub-standard private medical schools to be closed
The bodies representing the medical professions in Cameroon have persuaded the government to close down sub-standard private medical institutes and have called for the introduction of a common entrance examination, to ensure quality training. Meanwhile, a lecturers’ union has called a strike to protest over police action against 10 of its members.
Expansion of medical studies and research announced
Tunisia is planning to expand its medical training and research facilities with the creation of a new pharmacy faculty, the opening of medical and dental faculties in the country’s interior, and three new research laboratories at the University of Monastir.
New university to fill higher education gap
Universities in Madagascar must announce individually when they will start their new academic year, following disruption caused by strikes that has resulted in the University of Antananarivo only now completing its 2011-12 year.
Violence erupts between students and gangs
Police used teargas to break up violent fighting between students of the University of Kinshasa and local ‘kuluna’ gang members, when the students retaliated for attacks the gang had made on some of them.
Research centres to develop local science skills
A new centre for research and development has opened in Louga, as part of a programme in Senegal to set up centres in all regions to develop local scientific knowledge and skills and technology transfer. In a separate initiative Fortica, a youth entrepreneurship project, will focus on teaching ICT skills to 2,000 young people.
Ford fellowship programme ends, lauded, in West Africa
As the Ford Foundation’s 10-year International Fellowships Program comes to an end, a closing ceremony at the West African Research Centre in Dakar, which hosted the initiative in the region, took stock of its operations, which included the awarding of 385 research grants in three West African countries.
USAID grants and Idyal partnership benefit students
The American agency USAID has awarded excellence grants to 125 Senegalese agriculture students and scientists to research food security, while a partnership has been struck between École Polytechnique de Thiès and the French Idyal Group to enable students of computer engineering to do theoretical and practical work-linked studies.
Bioethics teaching and research partnership
A two-year agreement to collaborate on higher education and research into bioethics has been signed by the Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie, the University of Montreal in Canada and the universities of Abomey-Calavi in Cotonou, Bénin, and Alassane Ouattara in Bouaké, Côte d’Ivoire.
Chevron forges links with universities
The faculty of sciences at Agostinho Neto University in Luanda and the Chevron-Cabinda Gulf Oil Company have signed a memorandum of understanding to expand the university’s studies in Earth sciences.
North Africans forge partnerships with France, Italy
Morocco and France have forged a series of higher education and research agreements, including the creation of a Euro-Mediterranean international technology institute, a lifelong learning institution and projects in the fields of health, engineering, management and architecture. Meanwhile, Tunisia and Italy are establishing a marine biotechnology partnership.