26 May 2017 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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EAST AFRICA
Heads of state declare common HE area
Heads of East African states declared the transformation of the East African Community into a Common Higher Education Area, which will facilitate the recognition of academic certificates and the transfer of credits from higher education institutions across the region, at their summit on 20 May in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
EGYPT-INDIA
India deepens higher education cooperation with Egypt
India and Egypt have unveiled a plan to strengthen academic, scientific and cultural cooperation between universities in India and Egypt, along with exchange of knowledge and best practices in teaching, research and administration. The plan includes setting up a joint institution, networking among universities in the two countries and enhancing student and academic mobility.
ZIMBABWE
Desperate students look to campus politics for solutions
Higher education students, tired of enduring high levels of economic stress and desperate for political change, are joining campus-based student unions in their numbers despite concerns around the strong alignment of such groups to national political parties.
MOROCCO
Student protest over ‘sex for marks’ scandal
Protesting students at the public Abdelmalek Essaâdi University have called for an investigation into allegations against a professor of mathematics accused of promising female students high marks in exchange for sexual relations, in a case that has rocked the institution and reignited concerns about sexual harassment in Moroccan universities.
ZIMBABWE
New bill seeks to turn universities into industrial hubs
Zimbabwe’s cabinet has approved a new Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Bill that will, among other impacts, turn universities into industrial hubs and criminalise the issuing or receiving of degrees from unaccredited institutions, according to the country’s higher education minister.
AFRICA
World Bank forum calls for private sector to build skills
The private sector should expand its support for skills-building in Africa, with both resources and technology, the World Bank said at its Partnership for Skills in Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology forum in Nairobi.
GLOBAL
Europe-North Africa HE cooperation plan unveiled
In efforts to promote cooperation in science, technology, innovation and higher education, five countries of the Arab Maghreb Union and five European countries have approved a two-year cooperation plan aimed at stimulating economic growth, job creation and social cohesion in the Western Mediterranean region.
ALGERIA
Ministry imposes tougher rules on PhD students
The Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research has announced strict new rules for doctoral students who fail to submit their theses in the requisite four years after ministry figures revealed that over 1,000 PhD projects were outstanding – some for up to nine years.
AFRICA-TURKEY
Turkey’s ‘soft power’ reaches North African universities
A recently published higher education cooperation plan with Tunisia represents the latest milestone in Turkey’s plan to set up joint universities with North African Arab states in what is seen as an expression of cultural diplomacy or 'soft power' aimed at building regional alliances and partnerships.
ZIMBABWE
Reinstated student vows to fight draconian powers
The University of Zimbabwe has readmitted two student leaders suspended two years ago on the basis of draconian regulations that students say they will continue to challenge.
AFRICA
Science policy foiled by institutional capacity – Report
Despite the fact that two-thirds of African countries have policies and strategies in place for science, technology and innovation, the capacity of the continent’s higher education institutions and associated research centres to implement them remains very low.
AFRICA
World Bank PhD skills programme seeks greater buy-in
Only five African countries have made their pledges and committed to the World Bank's Partnership for Skills in Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology programme since its launch three years ago.

KENYA
Ongoing lecturer strike keeps students in limbo
Teaching and learning is yet to resume at public universities across the country as the unions representing the teaching staff had not, by late last week, reached an agreement with the government over salaries, keeping the studies of thousands of students in 33 institutions on hold.
EGYPT
Medical schools add female genital mutilation to curricula
In a bid to curb the age-old practice, Egyptian medical students are to study female genital mutilation as part of their training in a country where more than 80% of mutilations are believed to be conducted by medical workers.
AFRICA
Intensified support for climate change researchers
The African Academy of Sciences and the Association of Commonwealth Universities have selected 37 African researchers from different African universities for the third cohort of a programme supporting early career researchers in the field of climate change adaptation and mitigation.
AFRICA
Universities held back by low research output – Report
The 2016 benchmarking report for the World Bank-initiated Partnership for Skills in Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology shows that research output remains low in Sub-Saharan African universities, causing African institutions to miss out on inclusion in important global university rankings.
AFRICA
eLearning partnership opens doors to 10 million students
A landmark agreement signed between the 380-member Association of African Universities, or AAU, and Africa’s largest online education platform eLearnAfrica will enable 10 million students to access higher education through online services provided to AAU member universities.
ZIMBABWE
Sanctions study tender – ‘No innocent research project’
The government has awarded the tender to carry out a scientific study of the economic impact of Western sanctions to a consortium of researchers at the University of Zimbabwe in a move that critics say is intended to boost the chances of the ruling party and its almost 93-year-old president in the 2018 general elections.
NIGERIA
Non-payment of lecturer salaries ‘a growing trend’
Chronic delays in the payment of lecturer salaries by the federal government are causing major disruptions in Nigerian universities and have already brought some to a standstill. Despite the recession, however, salaries and allowances of all political office holders continue to be paid on time.
SUDAN
Amnesty urges end to persecution of Darfuri students
International human rights group Amnesty International is calling on the government of Sudan to launch urgent investigations into allegations of arbitrary arrests, detention, torture and persecution of students from the country’s troubled Darfur region by Sudanese security forces.
TUNISIA-UNITED STATES
Harvard Middle East centre opens first overseas office
The Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University opened its first overseas office this month, in Tunisia, in what has been hailed by the university’s president as an opportunity to “bring the world to Harvard and Harvard to the world”. Among local higher education experts canvassed by University World News, hopes for the initiative seem equally high.
NIGERIA
State agency takes the lead in university corruption cases
A recent series of investigations by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission into allegations of corruption against high-level university staff is challenging the traditional autonomy of university governing councils.
EGYPT
Supreme Council pushes to secure university autonomy
Despite reports of thousands of students and scholars remaining in prison and a tightening of control of universities, the Supreme Council of Universities is pushing for autonomy and academic freedom to be established through governance reform.
ZIMBABWE
Government funds unlikely to meet campuses needs
A fiscally constrained Zimbabwe government has allocated a meagre US$23.2 million to both kick-start new and complete existing infrastructure projects at its burgeoning universities. The amount is far less than what is needed to effect real physical improvements on all of the country’s campuses.
KENYA
School of law to start year without foreign students
No foreign law graduate is to be admitted to the Kenya School of Law for the 2017-18 academic year following a decision last year by the Kenya Council of Legal Education to bar the admission of law graduates from other universities in the East African region.