30 March 2015 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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Africa News
AFRICA
Continental platform to accelerate science excellence
The Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa, or AESA, has started operations and there are plans to run funding grants before the end of the year. AESA is a pan-African platform to source funding for science and health research, created by the African Academy of Sciences and the New Partnership for Africa's Development agency.
ZIMBABWE
Lecturers at four public universities strike over pay
Riled by non-payment of February salaries and bonuses from December, lecturers at some public universities in Zimbabwe have gone on strike over the last two weeks. At least four universities across the country saw anger spill into the streets – but the government quickly resolved the problem before it spiralled out of control by providing much-needed funds.
SENEGAL
Union protest over new law ends in deal with government
Senegal’s higher education union Syndicat Autonome de l’Enseignement Supérieur has signed an agreement with the government, bringing to an end a long-running dispute over new higher education legislation. The signing of the accord took place on 16 March, after ministers accepted a union amendment on the composition of governing boards in public universities.
AFRICA
East Africa credit transfer scheme enters new phase
The East African Credit Accumulation and Transfer project undertaken by higher education authorities in the region’s five countries has entered a fifth phase, with experts agreeing on minimum standards for psychology, counselling, community development, developmental studies and social work programmes.
GHANA
Steady rise in the number of professors and associates
A total of 424 professors and associate professors were employed in Ghana’s public universities in 2013-14, up from 317 the previous year, according to figures released by the National Council for Tertiary Education.
AFRICA
Newswire partnership to assist students and universities
The African Press Organisation – the continent’s only press release newswire – has joined forces with international information provider NewsBank to furnish Africa-related news releases to students, colleges and universities, schools, libraries, professionals and researchers around the world.
COTE D'IVOIRE
Protests against non-payments – and PhD unemployment
Higher education and research unions at the University Alassane Ouattara, or UAO, have suspended strike action started in mid-February to protest against non-payment of salaries, bonuses and overtime. Meanwhile unemployed doctoral graduates have been demonstrating in Abidjan, demanding public service jobs.
SENEGAL
Union continues protests against university reforms
Higher education in Senegal continues to face disruption, with union opposition to government reforms last week including a strike that threatened the already late start of the 2014-15 academic year at Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar, or UCAD, the country’s leading university.
ZIMBABWE
Public university academics strike over pay
Lecturers and non-teaching staff at public universities in Zimbabwe have gone on strike. The academics are protesting against poor working conditions, late salary payments and the government’s failure to pay them 2014 bonuses.
GHANA
Enrolment numbers grow, along with science students
Studies into Ghana’s tertiary education sector show that student numbers have been rising steadily. Also, two in five students in both universities and polytechnics are now enrolled in science and technical courses, and distance education numbers have grown by nearly 20%.
SOUTH AFRICA
IBM creates second major African research lab in Jo'burg
The University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg is to host technology giant IBM’s second major research, development and innovation laboratory in Africa. The US$62 million investment comes after IBM launched a research centre in the Kenyan capital Nairobi in late 2013 and is the global company’s 12th international research lab.
TUNISIA
Tunis to host first American university in the Maghreb
Tunisia is to host a US$100 million American university that will be completely operational by 2020 and will be the first of its kind in the Arab Maghreb region, which comprises the North African countries of Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia.
AFRICA
Somaliland appeal for help developing higher education
The president of Somaliland University of Technology in Hargeisa, capital city of the breakaway republic located on the gulf of Aden, has appealed to the international higher education community for help in strengthening universities.
AFRICA
African Union postgraduate scholarships for the disabled
The African Union is granting postgraduate scholarships to people with disabilities from across the continent – the first time that the continental body has tailored grants specifically for disadvantaged learners.
AFRICA
Universities set to reopen in two Ebola-hit countries
Higher education institutions in the three West African countries hit by Ebola have been closed for nearly a year. While the authorities in Guinea and Liberia are taking steps to open schools and institutions that were shut following the disease outbreak, officials in Sierra Leone are still monitoring the situation.
SENEGAL
Education unions reject new university law
Higher education unions have condemned the new framework law for universities passed on 26 December, which they say violates institutions’ freedom.
KENYA
University regulator drafts law to accredit professionals
Kenya’s higher education regulator, the Commission for University Education, wants professional bodies barred from accrediting graduates in key professions and wants to take over the role, to avoid frequent stand-offs between the associations and universities.
AFRICA
Student discontent in Burkina Faso and Côte d’Ivoire
The beginning of the year in West Africa's Burkina Faso and Côte d’Ivoire has been disrupted by student protests and strikes.
AFRICA
UK initiative to enhance Africa’s research capacity
Britain’s Institute of Development Studies will select nine African universities over two years to participate in a new programme to boost the research and teaching practices of academics working in agriculture, health and the environment. The British government is funding the scheme with a £2 million (US$3 million) grant.
RWANDA
HE embraces Kiswahili to boost regional integration
Rwandan universities have embarked on an ambitious programme to teach Kiswahili, East Africa’s lingua franca, to enable the country’s populace to tap into regional integration.
GHANA
High cost of upgrading polytechnics into universities
It will cost Ghana’s government US$180 million per annum for the next three years to fully turn the country’s 10 polytechnics into technical universities, a report by a committee set up to work on the institutional conversion programme has said. Meanwhile, a working group has developed a national quality assurance framework for higher education.
SENEGAL
Two new universities in 2016 to increase student capacity
Construction is about to start on two new universities in Senegal, each with capacity for 30,000 students, President Macky Sall has announced. One will be the second public university in the capital Dakar, and the other is the University of Sine-Saloum at Kaolack.
KENYA
New regulations planned to boost postgraduate numbers
Kenya’s Ministry of Education, Science and Technology is proposing new regulations that will compel universities to ensure that 25% of graduates each year are at the postgraduate level, in an effort to end a biting shortage of lecturers.
COTE D'IVOIRE
Government announces plan for a virtual university
In an effort to ease the burden of overcrowded universities and improve access to higher education, the government of Côte d’Ivoire has announced the creation of a digital university to boost distance education.
GHANA
Polytechnics to gain university status – Vice-president
The legislative instrument that will change Ghana’s polytechnics into technical universities is ready to be put before parliament to be debated, according to Vice-president Kwesi Amissah-Arthur.