20 July 2017 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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Academic Freedom
NIGERIA
Senate rejects closure of campus over terror attacks
The University of Maiduguri in north east Nigeria is to remain open despite ongoing terror attacks by Islamic terror group Boko Haram after Nigeria’s Senate resolved to push for tighter campus security and to keep the university open as a symbol of triumph over the extremist group and its ideas.
AFRICA
Continent-wide space sciences initiative gathers support
A group of researchers is proposing a 20-year continent-wide push to strengthen teaching, research and innovation in the field of planetary and space sciences in Africa, where research in the field remains scattered and underfunded.
EAST AFRICA
Governments must work with universities on climate change
East African governments should work with universities to build knowledge on climate change with a view to building the capacity and resilience of local communities, who largely depend on rain-fed agriculture, to mitigate the consequences of climate change.
AFRICA
‘US stands to lose as much as Africa if Fogarty closes’
A proposal to cut funding for the John E Fogarty International Center from the upcoming United States federal government budget by President Donald Trump’s administration has prompted an outcry from academics and educators across Africa.
KENYA
Don-turned-presidential hopeful vows to redeem HE
A Kenyan professor aspiring to become president in the country’s upcoming general election says, if elected, he will give priority to higher education and redeem the image of the Kenyan system.
CAMEROON
Anglophone crisis – Academics, students stand firm
Schools, universities and law courts remain shuttered in two provinces of Anglophone Cameroon as students, academics, school teachers and lawyers continue to paralyse activities in protest against what they perceive as linguistic, cultural and educational injustices and other forms of marginalisation by the Cameroonian government.
SOUTH AFRICA
Predatory journals – A threat to academic credibility
Predatory journals and their publishers, driven solely by profit motives, are posing an increasing threat to academic credibility and to individual reputations.
AFRICA
Super-rich Africans – A source of university funding?
The latest Africa Wealth Report highlights the fact that Africa is home to a growing number of super-rich individuals who have the potential to make their mark as African philanthropists. But how close are we to an African equivalent of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation focused on higher education, scientific research and innovation?
ZIMBABWE
Policy gaps fuel sexual harassment in tertiary education
The death of a female student … the loss of an ear during a fight with her boyfriend … These are some of the more horrific manifestations of sexual harassment at tertiary education institutions in Zimbabwe where sexual harassment ranks as one of the biggest challenges for women students – over and above unequal representation in decision-making processes, shortages of accommodation and exorbitant tuition fees.
NIGERIA
University admission reform – Pushing private education?
Two civil society organisations have said they will jointly mount a legal challenge to recent changes to university admissions criteria that require all candidates to list at least one private university in their applications for admission.
SOUTH AFRICA
Private higher education – Competitive or complementary?
The instability of the South Africa tertiary education sector, due largely to the student-led #FeesMustFall protest movement as well as quality issues, has seen the role of private universities thrown into stark relief, dubbed either, as one commentator put it, “an escape hatch for the very rich” or competition out to steal students from public institutions.
EGYPT
Ministry sees value in international students
While international students studying in Egypt currently generate US$186 million for the Egyptian economy, this figure is low by international standards. An ambitious government plan aims to double the number of international students by 2020-21 and increase their contribution to the country by as much as US$700 million.
AFRICA
Making it possible for young scientists to stay in Africa
Returning to the department of chemistry at Multimedia University of Kenya after completing his PhD studies at the State University of New York in the United States, Dickson Andala was frustrated by the lack of local laboratories that could analyse his samples he needed for his research.
SOUTH AFRICA
Addressing language barriers is key to student success
By focusing on the quality of their note-taking in and out of class, researchers from the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa, have established that poor English language competence is hindering the academic performance of a significant number of undergraduate students for whom the language is not their mother tongue.
NIGERIA
Academics reject local language plan for sciences
In a rare show of solidarity, university teachers on almost all campuses of both public and private universities throughout the country have rejected a ministerial proposal that science be taught in three indigenous languages commencing at primary school level.
CANADA-ETHIOPIA
Partnership offers a lifeline to students with disabilities
In Ethiopia it is difficult for young people living with disabilities to succeed at university. Even if they gain access to institutions they face enormous challenges once there. A new inclusive higher education initiative is aiming to change that.
SOUTH AFRICA
Universities hope for more stable academic year
While it is unlikely that South Africa will escape student unrest at the start of the 2017 academic year, authorities are hoping such action will be moderated by the progress made in addressing some of the key challenges that sparked and sustained last year’s violent and highly disruptive protests over fee-free higher education.
AFRICA
North Africa women researcher share among world highest
The overall share of women researchers at universities and science centres in North Africa is above world, European and developed country averages, a study has revealed.
AFRICA
Research and education internet networks on rise in Africa
Nine African countries have successfully established a sustainable National Research and Education Network promoting internet access to global educational resources and facilitating interaction at national and regional levels among universities and research institutions – boosting research productivity over the last decade.
AFRICA-JAPAN
South Africa, Japan universities unite for development
Collaboration between South African and Japanese universities should become a catalyst for sustainable development in South Africa and across the African continent. It would also play an enormous role in the realisation of the African Union’s Agenda 2063 – a programme aspiring to create prosperity through inclusive growth and sustainable development.
SOUTH AFRICA
Higher education struggles in an emerging democracy
The evolutionary growth of the university in the 21st century is affected by enormous challenges and the possibility of problems being addressed is constrained by national politics, bureaucracy and resource limitations that threaten the equality of the global academy, says Professor Adam Habib, vice-chancellor of South Africa’s University of the Witwatersrand.
SOMALIA
Proliferation of universities brings mixed fortunes
As guns continue to fall silent in Somalia’s waning civil conflict, exponential growth has been witnessed in the higher education sector. But there are mixed reviews of the quality of education offered by the country’s new independent universities.
SOUTH AFRICA
Data-intensive research capacity boosted ahead of SKA
A consortium of institutions in South Africa has been formed to establish a Western Cape Data Intensive Research Facility as part of the country’s National Integrated Cyberinfrastructure System. The aim is to dramatically increase data-intensive research capacity ahead of the global astronomy research initiative, the Square Kilometre Array or SKA.
GLOBAL
Meeting mulls future of ‘prestigious’ scholarship plan
A consultative meeting at the recent Association of Commonwealth Universities conference in Ghana gave university representatives from across the Commonwealth an opportunity to air their views on the present operation and visibility of the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan, and offer ideas for its future development.
GHANA
New kinds of councils needed for evolving universities
About a decade ago, Clifford Tagoe was just weeks into his new position as vice-chancellor of the University of Ghana when he made a radical proposal. The university’s academic programming had deteriorated. Its governance was in disarray and there was institution-wide examination malpractice. Ghana’s oldest and most prestigious university was in a shambles.