A middle-level private college is set to make history in Kenya later this year when it transforms into a university – a first for a private college in the East African country.
The University of the Witwatersrand will from this year host five new chairs in the areas of migration, diversity and health under the prestigious South African Research Chairs Initiative.
This year James Ngugi, a primary school teacher, should have begun enjoying the fruits of his ‘labour’ and recouping some of the money spent studying for a diploma in early childhood development, a popular course for teachers keen on improving their lot.
Tanzania’s government has spent Sh61.2 billion (US$38 million) on rehabilitating agricultural research institutions and on the Nelson Mandela African Institute of Science and Technology. The aim is to increase higher education and research capacity so that the country can become self-sufficient in scientific expertise.
Kenya is set to begin construction of the facility that will house the East Africa satellite campus of the Pan African University – the higher education flagship project of the African Union – at the host Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology.
Zambia is to start constructing a military university by the end of this year, as the country prioritises defence and security studies. The decision follows the establishment of a military university in September last year by neighbouring Zimbabwe.
The Regional Initiative in Science and Education, RISE – a major project aimed at boosting higher education in Africa in sciences and engineering through postgraduate training in university-based networks – has been granted US$5 million for three years from its major donor.
The Dar es Salaam campus of Tanzania’s Mzumbe University, in collaboration with Stellenbosch University in South Africa, is preparing masters degrees in managing huge projects in mining, gas and oil. Tanzania is exploring gas deposits found recently, and has sent students to Brazil for oil- and gas-related studies.
Malawi has crafted a Higher Education Students' Loan Bill that will benefit students attending both public and accredited private universities. Previously, only students at state-run universities could access loans.
Medical students at the Catholic University of Health and Allied Sciences in Mwanza, Tanzania, have protested against the low funding they receive from the government, saying it is far less than the charges the university imposes. This is a widespread problem for students at private institutions.
A United Kingdom-funded £4.85 million (US$7.9 billion) programme on researching impacts of climate change in Sub-Saharan Africa was launched recently, aimed at boosting African research capacity and the number of climate change papers published by Africans in international journals.
Algeria and South Africa have agreed to set up a regional research centre for biotechnology, in an effort to boost research and skills training in this field in their and other African countries.
Zimbabwean lecturers are to initiate a test case in the Constitutional Court, established six months ago to protect academic, labour and other rights. Their decision to act came after the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology defied court orders to reverse its decision to suspend, fine or transfer 31 lecturers following a strike.
Egypt has launched a development plan, Egypt 2022, which stresses the importance of higher education in sustainable, knowledge-based economic development.
The government of Tanzania has bowed to pressure from a group of prospective university students who called on the Higher Education Students’ Loan Board to provide them with funding for the new academic year after many qualifying students missed receiving loans.
The University of Namibia’s Professor Benjamin Mapani has been appointed the first African to chair the influential Commission on Geoscience for Environmental Management of the International Union of Geological Sciences.
A new university that aims to add depth to the abilities, professionalism and intellectual capacity of the South African Police Service will open next year in Paarl near Cape Town.
School-leavers in Tanzania will be able to enrol in higher education before attending mandatory National Youth Service training – but only after writing to the military for permission to postpone – the government has said.
The African Institute for Mathematical Sciences officially opened a new centre of excellence in the town of Limbe, Cameroon, this month. AIMS-Cameroon became the fourth institute of the growing pan-African network that seeks to drive development on the continent through capacity building in the mathematical sciences.
Higher education in Tanzania is to be boosted by a campus of the South African-based African Institute for Mathematical Sciences. There are already top-notch AIMS centres training talented African mathematicians in Cape Town, Senegal and Ghana.
Zimbabwe is to set up a gender commission that aims to ensure equity in all spheres of society – including higher education.
The African Development Bank has approved a US$45 million grant to support the nascent Pan-African University to develop an academic network of postgraduate programmes in science, technology, engineering and mathematics across Africa.
The Conference of Heads of Private Universities in Ghana has kicked against moves by the Ministry of Finance to deny the institutions exemption from tax payment, saying the proposal was detrimental to the interests of university education in the country.
Eight years after it was first mooted, Malawi's long-delayed specialist science and technology university is expected to open its doors in January 2014.
Hundreds of unauthorised private medical schools that had been threatened with closure will after all be allowed to stay open, but will only be authorised to train and award qualifications for health professions other than medicine, dentistry and pharmacology. For these three specialist fields the ministry will set up a single competitive examination for entry to six accredited institutions – four public and two private.