26 April 2017 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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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.
BURKINA FASO
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.
AFRICA
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.
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.
AFRICA
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.
AFRICA
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.
SOUTH AFRICA
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.
MAURITIUS
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.
SOUTH AFRICA
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.
NIGERIA
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.
TANZANIA
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.
SOUTH AFRICA
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.
SOUTH AFRICA
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.
GLOBAL
Cambridge v-c on universities and the poorest billion
Do the world’s leading universities have a role to play in alleviating the plight of the 1.3 billion people living with extreme poverty and hunger on incomes of less than US$1.25 a day while a further five billion people live on less than $9 per day? The question was raised last Thursday by Cambridge University Vice-chancellor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz.
GLOBAL
The L’Oréal-UNESCO Awards – Science needs women
When Nigerian Francisca Nneka Okeke was a child, she would wonder about the changing colour of the sky and the ability of aeroplanes to fly in the atmosphere without plummeting back to Earth. Today she is a laureate of the L’Oréal-UNESCO Award For Women in Science.
SOUTH AFRICA
Scandal highlights sexual abuse at universities
It is rare for students to speak out about sexual harassment at South African universities and so the problem often goes unrecognised. But investigation into a sex scandal that has rocked the University of the Witwatersrand has brought the subject under the spotlight.
AFRICA
Social entrepreneurship – The new community engagement
Social entrepreneurship should be the new engagement for individuals and the public and private sectors, with implications for university training – especially in Africa – according to Goos Minderman, public governance professor at Vrije Universiteit in The Netherlands.
GHANA
Polytechnics prepare for growth but face prejudice
With the University of Ghana preparing to stop offering diplomas, one would have expected polytechnics to be jubilant over less competition and more courses. But they are sceptical about benefiting because there is widespread public belief that universities offer the only tertiary education worth having.
AFRICA
Building academic freedom amid political instability
Academics have proposed strategies to protect and promote academic freedom and autonomy amid the waves of socio-political transformation that have followed Arab Spring revolutions in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia.
KENYA
Spending boost of 30% to finance new universities
Kenya has increased funding for higher education by 30% for the financial year beginning in July, as it seeks to bankroll 15 new public universities. But institutions say even this boost is way below financial needs – and election promises made by Kenya’s new president could disrupt the sector’s plans.
NAMIBIA
Red tape threatens to strangle science
Draconian new regulations for all academic research in Namibia represent a first-class invitation to several possible constitutional lawsuits.
GLOBAL
UNESCO must lead on HE, says Africa’s candidate for DG
UNESCO should promote higher education in the developing world in particular, to provide hope for unemployed young people, according to Rachad Farah, Djibouti’s ambassador to the UN agency, who is a candidate for the top UNESCO job.
KENYA
Presidential candidates pledge higher education reform
Politicians seeking the presidency in Kenya’s 4 March elections have proposed far-reaching changes to higher education. In manifestos launched in recent weeks, the top candidates have among other things proposed restructuring higher education and making it free, building more technical colleges, new student bursaries and higher salaries for lecturers.
GLOBAL
IFC investment to support private HE push into Africa
A US$150 million equity investment by the International Finance Corporation into the US company Laureate Education will help spearhead its private post-secondary education push into Africa.
AFRICA
Southern African universities association – What next?
The Southern African Regional Universities Association has completed its first phase, with funding ended and most of its staff gone. But there remains a need to drive regional higher education collaboration, according to Dr John Butler-Adam: “What happens next will require new approaches, nuanced strategising and strong implementation skills.”