11 December 2016 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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AFRICA
Gathering of ministers calls for more African PhDs
African science and education ministers have called for bold and urgent steps to increase the number of PhD holders produced on the continent every year, as well as the establishment of an African research chair initiative, and the development of mechanisms to harness research mobility on the continent.
GHANA
Graduate unemployment plays key role in elections
Benbella Akuffo Asare, a 24-year-old university graduate, has been looking for work as a teacher for over a year. He says he has applied for more than 500 jobs since graduating from the University of Education, Winneba in Ghana and finishing his mandatory one year of national service in 2015. Unemployment has become a cause for growing concern for many Ghanaians as they prepare to vote in presidential and parliamentary elections on 7 December.

ALGERIA
Ministry launches e-masters degree project
The Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research has launched an e-masters degree on an experimental basis in five universities as part of an attempt to address the challenge of high graduate unemployment.
GLOBAL
Mobility of African students – Europe losing ground
Students from Africa account for more than one in 10 students worldwide studying abroad – a mobility rate twice as high as the global average – with about a fifth from North Africa, and more than a half from countries where French is spoken.
GLOBAL
International African students in France – A profile
France retains the top position globally for African students studying degree programmes abroad, although numbers have declined sharply with 92,205 enrolled in 2013 compared with 113,936 in 2012 – a drop of 19% – according to UNESCO figures reported in a new study from Campus France, the agency that promotes French higher education globally.
GLOBAL
World Academy of Sciences grows, launches new network
The World Academy of Sciences, the science network for the developing world, has elected 40 new fellows – more than half from China and India – bringing the number of academy members to more than 1,200 from some 95 countries. At last week’s 27th General Meeting held in Rwanda, the academy also launched a new wing for young scientists.
GLOBAL
Violent attacks shrink the space for higher education
Attacks on higher education communities are occurring at an alarming rate around the world, threatening the safety and well-being of scholars, students and staff, and closing down the space in which people are free to think, question and share ideas, according to a new report by Scholars at Risk.
EGYPT
State killings, arrests and travel bans on scholars
Thousands of students and hundreds of scholars remain in prison in Egypt, many for peacefully exercising their right to free expression, according to a new report on violent attacks on higher education communities from Scholars at Risk.
ZIMBABWE
Higher education minister and deputy accused of fraud
Zimbabwean police arrested Higher Education, Science and Technology Minister Jonathan Moyo and his deputy, Godfrey Gandawa, on Wednesday for allegedly misappropriating around US$450,000 from a manpower development fund that finances students, among other activities. The politicians were questioned and released.
UGANDA
President orders indefinite shutdown of top university
Makerere University, Uganda’s oldest and most prestigious higher education institution and one of the best in Africa, has been closed until further notice following a directive by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.
AFRICA
Second African centres of excellence project launched
A second regional centres of excellence project, co-funded by the World Bank and aimed at providing sustainable solutions through science and technology in higher education across East and Southern Africa, was officially unveiled in Kenya’s capital Nairobi on 26 October.
ISLAMIC STATES
Academic exchange pilot to boost science and innovation
The Morocco-based Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation launched the pilot phase of the 'TAFAHUM' project to enhance quality by promoting collaboration between a number of Maghreb universities and the France-based Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie.
KENYA
Universities open doors to business opportunities
In what seems to be a growing trend in Kenya, public universities are actively seeking investments in a range of sectors including manufacturing, real estate and agriculture. The latest is Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, which has announced plans to open an instant noodle-making factory in partnership with a Japanese firm.
AFRICA
African Virtual University to open more centres
The African Virtual University, in partnership with the African Development Bank, has launched phase two of its multinational project aimed at expanding its network of centres of open, distance and e-learning and which will see 27 facilities opened in 21 countries.
ALGERIA
Ministry unveils new roadmap for university education
Algeria has unveiled a new roadmap for higher education and research in efforts to build a knowledge-based economy by raising educational standards, improving the employability of graduates and revitalising research.
SOUTH AFRICA
Government stakeholder forum fails to end student unrest
A multi-stakeholder forum at which the piloting of a fee-free funding model for students from poor and working-class families was announced has failed to bring an end to ongoing student unrest across the country’s campuses.
Photo Credit: Alon Skuy
AFRICA
Report calls for emphasis on inequalities research
A scarcity of funds for research and lack of academic freedom in universities across Sub-Saharan Africa are key drivers to low academic scholarship, including inequalities research, according to a joint report by UNESCO, the International Social Science Council and the University of Sussex.
EGYPT
Outrage as lawmaker calls for university virginity tests
A call by a member of the Egyptian parliament to subject female university applicants to virginity tests has outraged academics and women’s advocates in this conservative Middle East country.
SOUTH AFRICA
Students protest over 8% tuition fees hike decision
Several universities in South Africa shut down or faced disruptions as student protests erupted in the wake of last Monday’s long-awaited recommendation by Higher Education and Training Minister Dr Blade Nzimande to allow universities to raise fees for 2017 by up to 8%.
GLOBAL
Global clearinghouse for refugee student scholarships
A new global clearinghouse to identify scholarships and opportunities and connect refugee students with resources they can use anywhere in the world was announced at the Institute of International Education in New York on Thursday.
AFRICA
Virtual Institute for Higher Education in Africa reopens
In January 2017, the Virtual Institute for Higher Education in Africa will reopen its digital doors with a new set of free courses to help African university lecturers face the challenges they meet in their everyday work.
TANZANIA
Universities respond to ‘ghost’ student ultimatum
Following the suspension of student loans and a week-long ultimatum, 15 universities in Tanzania have responded to a ministerial directive to pay back loans issued to them for thousands of ‘ghost’ students.
Photo: Abdul-Razaq Badru, head of the student loans board
KENYA
Funding crisis puts university quality at risk – Report
Kenyan universities are facing a fresh financial crisis following revelations contained in a recent national audit that they are operating at a deficit of over US$100 million, with serious consequences for education quality.
KENYA
Report highlights dire shortage of professors and PhDs
A crisis is looming in Kenyan universities over the shortage of professors, low numbers of qualified lecturers and low numbers of PhD students in both public and private universities, according to a recent report.
SOUTH AFRICA
Law library torched, students arrested in fees protests
Academic activities at all five campuses of the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa have been suspended after two weeks of violent protest which saw the torching of one of the country’s finest law libraries on the Howard College campus in Durban.