Lecturers and researchers who have been on strike since February have met Prime Minister Raymond Ndong Sima to try to find a solution to the critical situation in higher education institutions in Gabon.
Angola needs nearly two-and-a-half million graduate managers by 2020 to respond to economic development priorities in the fast-growing Southern African country, according to economist Manuel Nunes Júnior.
More than half of 539 Tunisian candidates found cheating in the school-leaving baccalauréat examination were using mobile phones, and one was caught using a camera fitted into his spectacles, according to Abdelhafidh Abidi, director general of examinations in the Ministry of Education.
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO
Confrontations between students and police in three separate incidents at higher education institutions in Kasaï-Oriental province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo have resulted in the deaths of two students and a number of injuries.
An appeal to annul disciplinary action for campus violence against 16 students from the University of Koudougou in Burkina Faso – 14 of whom were excluded – has been postponed until 25 April. The events last year led to demonstrations and fighting between striking and non-striking students and staff.
Students at two higher education institutions in Gabon’s capital Libreville have barricaded access to their campuses in protest against non-payment of grants, and other grievances.
The government in Madagascar has ordered back-payment of grant money owed to students studying abroad – some of whom have not been paid for more than a year.
Pharmacy graduates who studied in Eastern Europe have protested against being ordered to take an examination before their qualifications were recognised as equivalent to the national diploma. The timing meant they missed the deadline to apply for public sector posts.
A frame of reference for quality self-assessment has been agreed for 10 universities in Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia under the Aqi-Umed project, part of the European Commission’s Tempus programme.
Standards of quality assurance adapted to the economic needs of states and recognised at an international level were the theme of a conference of REESAO, the Network for Excellence of Higher Education in West Africa, in Dakar in January.
Students in the science and technical faculty at the University Cheikh Anta Diop in Dakar went on strike in protest against new criteria for selection to masters courses. They were demanding the right of all bachelor degree graduates to have access.
As more and more young Madagascans learn English, the first students have graduated from the English Access Scholarship Program in Antsahavola, funded by the United States.
Scientists in Kenya whose work is published in internationally recognised journals are to be financially rewarded by the National Council for Science and Technology. The awards of up to US$200 are aimed at encouraging researchers to contribute to the global body of knowledge.
Students at INSAT, the National Institute of Applied Sciences and Technology in Tunis, went on strike this month in protest against what they described as ‘dysfunctional administration’ that had damaged their education and extracurricular activities.
Lecturers in Cameroon have embarked on industrial action following a strike call earlier this month by the higher education union Synes, reported Quotidien Mutations. The principal cause of the stoppage is non-payment of a special research allocation.
With the removal of refuse and illegal shops, newly asphalted and paved paths and well-maintained green spaces, the campus of the University Cheikh Anta Diop in Dakar has been transformed – thanks to the arrival of a new director at the student affairs centre.
The head of Senegal’s SAES union of higher education personnel has said CAMES, the francophone African higher education council, should put its house in order and harmonise its members’ higher education systems to fit the single structure based on Europe’s Bologna process.
Madagascan students studying in France and China have been facing financial difficulties because the government has not been paying their grants, according to local reports.
Two satellite antennae have been installed in Jacotet Bay in the south of Mauritius by Norwegian company Kongsberg Satellite Services, for use by scientists from all over the world.
Audits to improve university management and a national consultation on higher education were announced by Senegal’s new Minister for Higher Education and Research Professor Mary Teuw Niane at his first interministerial council meeting held for the new academic year.
Calm returned to the Ankatso campus of the University of Antsiranana earlier this month after negotiations between the Minister for Higher Education, Etienne Hilaire Razafindehibe, and protesting students. The talks took place after a resurgence of violence, during which a car belonging to the university was set on fire and five students were arrested.
There was a respite last week following violent clashes that broke out at the end of October between students and security forces on the Ankatso campus of the University of Antsiranana. Students had been protesting against non-payment of grants, but after negotiations some payments were released on 6 November.
An action plan costing nearly FCFA2 billion (US$3.8 million) to deal with Burkina Faso’s university crisis has been submitted to Prime Minister Luc Adolphe Tiao.
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO
Students in Democratic Republic of Congo blocked the gates of the University of Mbandaka for at least two weeks this month, demanding the resignation of the board of management. Meanwhile, student committees in institutions in Goma have been requiring freshers to pay charges for exemption from hazing.
With public universities in Madagascar able to cater for only 8,000 new students this year, many private institutions without accreditation or authorisation to operate are preparing to offer courses to a large number of school-leavers qualified to enter higher education.