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Africa News
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.
GHANA
Clampdown on associations awarding qualifications
Ghana’s National Accreditation Board has said it is worried that professional associations have – without any authority – started enrolling unsuspecting students and awarding them qualifications. It has directed associations running ‘chartered institutes’ to cease operations.
RWANDA
University of Rwanda expands to meet economic needs
The University of Rwanda is ramping up efforts to increase student enrolment, while planning to provide programmes for economic sectors that are growing within Rwanda, said Vice-chancellor James McWha.
GHANA
Accreditation board cracks down on dodgy universities
Foreign tertiary institutions and their representatives in Ghana who operate without accreditation, including online universities, have been warned by the National Accreditation Board to regularise their operations or close.
AFRICA
New president of CAMES outlines his plans
Professor Georges Moyen, the new president of CAMES – the francophone Council for African and Malagasy Higher Education – has spelt out his plans for the 19-member council.
BOTSWANA
First private university gains permanent licence
Botswana’s first private university, the Malaysian-owned Limkokwing University of Creative Technology, has become the country’s first fully licensed private tertiary institution, after seven years of operating under an interim licence.
MOROCCO
Union strikes against ‘threat’ to public universities
Morocco’s higher education union Syndicat National de l’Enseignement Supérieur called a three-day strike at the end of September in protest against proposed government reforms, which it claimed threatened public universities and infringed its members’ rights.
SENEGAL
UCAD returns to work after campus closure
The rector of the Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar said the university would reopen at the beginning of October, following closure of the campus in August due to violence in which a student died during a confrontation with police. Professor Ibrahima Thioub also said police were being withdrawn from the site to help calm the situation.