31 March 2015 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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Africa Features
Young university’s rapid growth despite austerity
In three years the State University of Zanzibar has doubled its student intake, albeit from a low base – from 1,224 in 2011 to 2,489 in 2014. In so doing it has bust the myth that the small island of 1.3 million off the coast of Tanzania cannot support more than one university.
Open University of Tanzania spreads wings abroad
The Open University of Tanzania is reaching out to higher education institutions in neighbouring countries to establish collaborations that will encourage more international students to enrol for distance learning.
‘Major overhaul’ of higher education ideology needed
After two decades of teaching at the college of veterinary medicine, animal resources and biosafety at Makerere University in Uganda, Professor John David Kabasa has heard enough of the same request. After graduating, many of his students beg him for tips on job opportunities – not only in their field of study; they could do ‘anything’.
Developing sustainable African HE financing policies
In an effort to improve access and encourage needy students to enrol in higher education while at the same time containing government spending, the cost-sharing model has been introduced worldwide – including in East Africa – along with student scholarships and loans.
Higher education quality targeted in new German plan
The new academic collaboration strategy of the German Academic Exchange Service, or DAAD, aims to train more students to become university lecturers, build university capacity, and strengthen research and graduate training. Launched in Germany on 25 June, the strategy will run from 2015 to 2020.
USAID's transformative strategy for higher education
USAID recently launched a strategic framework for building the capacity of African higher education institutions and systems. Research has indicated that the social and private rates of return for tertiary investments in Sub-Saharan Africa are among the highest in the world.
Academics built university out of the ashes of war
The civil war that devastated Somalia also closed down Somali National University in the capital Mogadishu. But thanks to the determination of a group of academics a new institution arose out of the ashes, the private, non-profit Mogadishu University. From an initial student intake of 225 in 1997, the university has grown to 6,000 students.
Universities must share blame for skills crisis
A World Bank assessment of Sub-Saharan Africa's high-level skills has revealed critical shortages in both numbers and quality - and African universities must share the blame for not meeting the workforce needs of the continent.
University makes its mark through quality assurance
The University of Professional Studies, Accra, is determined to make its mark on the international scene through quality assurance, says Vice-chancellor Joshua Alabi. "We were the only African university to subject ourselves to two major programmes - the African Quality Rating Mechanism and Europe's Institutional Evaluation Programme."
First private university eyes foreign student growth
Botswana’s first private university, the Malaysian-owned Limkokwing University of Creative Technology – Limkokwing Botswana – has continued to flex its muscles in this diamond-rich Southern Africa nation, taking advantage of a fast growing tertiary education sector.
New universities struggle to accommodate students
The room has only three simple beds and a roughly hewn coffee table with an overflowing ashtray, some A4 notebooks and a lot of dust. It is one of 16 student rooms built in a block on a minute piece of land surrounded by a barbed wire fence at Chuka University, until a year ago a former constituent college of Kenya’s Egerton University.
Call for strong links between universities, companies
Should governments in East Africa create laws compelling the private sector to offer internships to students, to enable them to gain practical experience in their fields of study – or should a more cooperative approach guide relations between universities and industry?
Twelfth campus takes university closer to more people
Namibia’s President Hifikipunye Pohamba officiated at a groundbreaking ceremony for a long-awaited campus of the University of Namibia in Keetmanshoop. The new campus, 500 kilometres south of the capital Windhoek, will be the 12th set up under an ambitious initiative to take higher education closer to the people and achieve more equitable access.
Landmark historical society meeting held in Botswana
At the height of winter in Southern Africa, a major historical society meeting was held in Botswana following the theme “All for One, One for All? Leveraging national interests with regional visions in Southern Africa”. It was the first time in 48 years that the Southern African Historical Society had met outside South Africa.
Demand drives growth of open learning in East Africa
The increasing demand for access to higher education in East African countries has opened opportunities for universities to develop robust distance education programmes, according to University of Nairobi Vice-chancellor Professor George Magoha.
India back in East Africa to recruit students
After losing out to local universities in the battle to attract East African students, India’s robust higher education sector is back in the region and determined to reclaim its place as a leading destination for African students.
Scientific trend analysis can help inform investment
Analysis of scientific trends can help policy-makers identify areas where cutting-edge science and development priorities collide. These are likely to be crucial areas where, in scarce-resource contexts, investments might make the most difference.
Dakar university back in the eye of the storm
After a tumultuous academic year because of a teachers’ strike during eight of its 25 weeks, the University Cheikh Anta Diop of Dakar – Senegal’s biggest university – finds itself again in the eye of a storm.
Nelson Mandela institute to boost science and research
Five years ago, former Mozambican president Joachim Chissano paid a visit to Arusha in Tanzania. It was a step towards establishing an important postgraduate training and research institution – the Nelson Mandela African Institute of Science and Technology, which was officially opened this month.
African Virtual University makes an actual impact
The African Virtual University is a pan-African intergovernmental organisation operating in 27 countries. “We work with more than 50 universities across Africa,” says Rector Dr Bakary Diallo of the institution with a vision to be the continent’s leading open, distance and e-learning network.
African Development Bank’s human capital strategy
The African Development Bank has opened dialogue on its first human capital development strategy, which focuses on higher education among other sectors. A stakeholder consultation was held in Djibouti from 9-10 September, following a regional dialogue in Burkina Faso in July.
National university celebrates 20th anniversary
The University of Namibia, established two years after independence in 1990, marked its 20th anniversary this month. Speaking at the celebrations, Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba said the university had exceeded expectations in training human resources for socio-economic development.
Seven institutions form diseases research institute
Poverty-related diseases are a major concern worldwide and several initiatives have been put in place to help fight the scourge. The latest involves seven higher education institutions from six countries – including four West African nations – under the banner of the Institute for Infectious Diseases of Poverty.
Climate change masters and PhDs a first
A leading university in Kenya has embarked on an ambitious plan to offer postgraduate courses in climate change and adaptation. The emphasis will be on transdisciplinarity, with the research aiming to help those feeling the impact of climate change to develop survival and adaptation systems.
Scientists seek greener pastures abroad
At the beginning of this year, Denis Tumwesigye Kyetere moved from Uganda to Kenya to take over as executive director of the African Agricultural Technology Foundation. He is one of many Ugandan academics who have moved abroad in search of better remuneration.