23 August 2017 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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Race ‘equity index’ for universities stirs controversy
A study by the head of a ministerial oversight committee on transformation in South African higher education, which found that it could take 43 years to achieve racial balance among staff in universities and proposes new admissions policies and funding penalties against untransformed institutions, has sparked controversy.
Deadlocked talks keep campuses closed for four months
Public universities in Nigeria have been shut since 2 July by crippling industrial action by members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities. The main grouse of academics is the government’s failure to fund various formal agreements aimed at revitalising the public university system.
Curriculum mechanics gear up to ‘Tune’ HE machinery
As the Africa-European Union Harmonisation and Tuning Pilot initiative draws to a close, the question arises whether the work has been a drop in the ocean or a meaningful contribution to the harmonisation of African higher education. Now that it has been 'tuned', will it actually run better?
New book probes funding of higher education in Africa
The financing of higher education in Africa is about much more than money, according to a new book. Deep issues include lack of capacity to use resources, mismanagement and red tape, huge expansion that sees more funding but spread more thinly across universities, and the generation of alternative income, says the book’s editor Damtew Teferra.
Postgraduates – Getting lost in a bureaucratic maze?
A study by South Africa’s University of KwaZulu-Natal has outlined the importance of providing postgraduate students and postdoctoral fellows with sufficient administrative support, as a way to boost the numbers willing to continue their education and research at the institution.
Webster University to open its first Africa campus
For West Africans, the reality of pursuing an American-style undergraduate or postgraduate degree close to home may be possible as early as January 2014. That is when Missouri-based Webster University plans to open the doors of its first African branch campus in Accra, the capital of Ghana.
Thriving private universities compete for students
Competition for students among private universities in Kenya is intensifying, with institutions taking to both the electronic and print media to advertise programmes and display achievements. The private higher education sector is thriving, and now enrols 20% of all students.
Public strike drives students to private universities
Nigeria has 100 public and 30 private universities. A strike by lecturers has paralysed public institutions for the past three months, while teaching at private universities has continued. As a result, there has been a rush by parents with financial muscle to register their children in private universities, whose proprietors are smiling all the way to the bank.
Students flood informal sector during lecturer strike
Lecturers in public universities in Nigeria have been on strike for the past eight weeks. But students have not been twiddling their thumbs at home. Not sure when studies will resume, many have been busy trying their hands at ‘odd jobs’ or receiving alternative training.
Somaliland university gains international recognition
British, Canadian and African universities have been partnering with the University of Hargeisa, in the breakaway state of Somaliland, to boost the institution’s international credibility and the recognition of its qualifications.
First forensic science degree to help combat crime
The University of the Free State is making history by offering a BSc degree in forensic science – the first of its kind in crime-plagued South Africa. According to the department of genetics, the degree will target, among others, people working on crime scenes and criminal cases in the South African Police Services and forensic laboratories.
University rankings – The Nigerian experience
The absence of nearly all African universities from global ranking systems has been of major concern to potential students, parents, employers and other stakeholders, who feel locked out of making informed choices on the quality of universities in Africa.
Mandela Rhodes scholarships landmark anniversary
There was good reason to celebrate the 10th birthday of the Mandela Rhodes Foundation on the weekend of 26-28 July. At a gala event held in Cape Town’s city hall, a massive R106 million (US$10.8 million) was pledged to the foundation’s scholarships. This will be added to the R350 million endowment already raised over the past decade.
Violent protests against holiday campus closures
About 50 students were due to appear in court last Tuesday following violent confrontations that erupted with police in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, as students protested against the closure of university accommodation and other services during the holidays.
India’s soft power moves in African higher education
The fruits of a conference held in Delhi in 2008, hosted by the Indian government and attended by African heads of state, are beginning to ripen – perhaps more in the field of higher education than in any other area of cooperation. The Asian country is setting up a string of institutes and collaborations across Africa.
International mobility of African students – Report
There are 380,000 mobile African students. Where do they go? What is the state of intra-regional mobility? What higher education projects are China and other non-African countries doing on the continent? Campus France answers these and many other questions in a new report.
Global rankings highlight African business schools
The recently released Financial Times Business School Rankings survey has placed the spotlight on African business executive and master of business administration qualifications, revealing how the continent is faring internationally.
Pan-African quality assurance and accreditation moves
Plans are under way at the African Union to establish a continental quality assurance and accreditation agency that will measure, compare and harmonise the performance of higher education institutions and facilitate professional mobility across the continent.
Low-skilled lawyers prompt calls for law degree reform
South Africa’s law degree faces a shake-up in a bid to more adequately equip the country's young lawyers for the demands of the working world. The profession’s weighty bodies are behind a push to reform the qualification countrywide.
Board of Investment leads island bid to become HE hub
Mauritius has been showcasing its assets in recent years and is aiming to become a hub for world-class education and a destination for international students and institutions. Board of Investment Chair Ken Poonoosamy spoke to University World News about the Indian Ocean island’s strategies for achieving these goals.
University demands that students and staff learn Zulu
The University of KwaZulu-Natal's decision that all new students register for a compulsory Zulu course from next year has thrown the proverbial cat among the pigeons. While details of the initiative – a first for South African higher education – are unclear, the university believes that students must demonstrate bilingualism to earn their degrees.
Mega-universities and more money for higher education
Nigeria’s National Economic Council recently made several far-reaching decisions on the future of tertiary education in the country, including the creation of ‘mega-universities’ in six geo-political zones, each with the capacity to admit up to 150,000 students.
Branch campus ordered to cease postgraduate courses
The Tanzania Commission for Universities has finally acted against a branch campus of Uganda’s Kampala International University, ordering the Dar es Salaam-based institution to stop offering masters and doctoral courses.
Dead woman’s skull leads to racism-in-science project
The discovery of a mysterious human skull in an obsolete department at the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa has exposed links to Nazi Germany and led to a groundbreaking new ‘racism in science’ research project by the faculty of arts and social sciences.
Survey shows failure to reach R&D target of 1% of GDP
South Africa needs to escalate its expenditure on research and development and increase its international competitiveness, said Science and Technology Minister Derek Hanekom. Disappointingly, the lofty goal of raising R&D spending to 1% of gross domestic product by 2010 has not been achieved.