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.
Senegal’s government is to introduce a five-year plan to balance the universities’ budget, which is currently showing a deficit of FCFA14 billion (US$27.5 million), reported media in the capital Dakar.
Zambia’s government has unveiled plans to construct seven new universities, to improve currently low levels of access to higher education.
African law deans have resolved to set up a forum for collaboration between law schools across the continent, at a meeting in South Africa where some of the problems facing the schools were highlighted.
The Kénitra court of appeal in Morocco ordered 11 students charged with public disorder offences dating from March to remain in prison, while two others were provisionally freed. The trial of the 13 was postponed at the end of August until 10 September.
A project to twin private sector lycées – upper secondary schools – and universities in Burkina Faso and Côte d’Ivoire is due for completion at the end of the month, with the aim of bringing together students from the two countries and strengthening regional integration.
Jobless graduates in Morocco gathered to break the Ramadan fast outside the prime ministerial residence in the capital Rabat, to protest against unemployment and to demand resumption of talks with the government for their recruitment in the public sector.
The Japan International Cooperation Agency has provided funding of CFA6 billion (US$11.4 million) to increase the provision of the Vocational and Technical Training Centre in Dakar, through the creation of two new courses.
José Graziano da Silva, director-general of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation, has called on universities worldwide to carry out research to tackle rural poverty.
The Francophone Digital Campus of the University of Ouagadougou claims to offer the greatest number of open and distance education courses in Sub-Saharan francophone Africa, and provides a wide range of services and resources for its students and lecturers.
Preparations are under way to introduce the European degree structure based on the Bologna process to some courses in Côte d’Ivoire with effect from the new academic year starting in September.
A sports university will be created as part of President Macky Sall’s plans to promote sport in Senegal during the coming decade.
Parliament in Mauritius has voted in stricter controls on agents who recruit students to study abroad, as a measure to protect students from abuse.
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO
Japan has made a US$23 million non-repayable grant to the Institut National de Préparation Professionnel in Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, under an agreement signed this month.
University of Namibia-based geneticist Dr Percy Chimwamurombe has been awarded the prestigious Georg Forster Fellowship for Experienced Researchers, placing him among the best scientists from developing and transition countries.
Closed since April 2011 because of a post-election crisis in Côte d’Ivoire, student residences in Port-Bouët in the economic capital Abidjan are in varying stages of neglect and dilapidation, reported http://FratMat.info, which presented an inventory of the five sites.
Students from the University of Omar Bongo in Gabon’s capital Libreville have been protesting for more than a month against the imposition of an age limit for student eligibility for scholarships. Nearly 2,000 over-age students have been disqualified from receiving funds.
Tunisia’s higher education ministry has set up a commission on higher education reform, aiming to make studies less theoretical and more geared to the labour market, reported La Presse of Tunis.
Students in the arts and communications department of the University of Ouagadougou have voted to continue strike action in spite of concessions made by the university authorities, reported Fasozine of Ouagadougou. The students have been in dispute with the university since November over improved facilities.
The Swiss Scientific Research Centre of Côte d’Ivoire is calling for local and other West African researchers to take part in a project to develop scientific cooperation, while Belgium’s University of Liège and the Kinshasa business school ISC Gombe have entered an agreement to develop postgraduate studies in company management and law.
About 200 unemployed graduates took over the Ministry of Education earlier this month, demanding that the government give them written guarantees of work in the public service, reported Libération of Rabat.
Researchers and lecturers at teaching hospitals in Algeria completed their first three-day strike last week, with a second stoppage due to start on Sunday following a general meeting at the Mustapha teaching hospital in Algiers, reported Tribune Online of Algiers. The strike involved an estimated 95% of staff.