31 October 2014 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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Africa News
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 Professor Ibrahima Thioub also said police were being withdrawn from the site to help calm the situation.
AFRICA
UNESCO leads effort to improve geology teaching
A pilot initiative led by UNESCO’s regional office in Dakar, Senegal, will provide online courses to expand and improve geology materials to West African universities.
AFRICA
Experts, EU and DAAD awarded for quality assurance work
On 16 September Goolam Mohammedbhai, Juma Shabani and Peter Okebukola were awarded by GUNi and AfriQAN for their tireless work on quality assurance in higher education in Africa. The European Union and the German Academic Exchange Service, DAAD, were awarded for their support to quality assurance processes on the continent.
SENEGAL
Decline of French among university students
The proficiency of many Senegalese students in French, the colonial language, is declining and the use of local languages – especially Wolof – is becoming more common on campus and in lectures. But there is disagreement over whether the decline is due to poor teaching, the fault of students, government reforms, or overcrowding and poor facilities.
KENYA
Universities find innovative ways to finance hostels
With Kenyan public universities experiencing a severe shortage of accommodation brought about by rapid expansion of student numbers and elevation of middle-level colleges into universities, one institution has come up with an innovative public-private partnership to build 3,000 hostel units.
YEMEN
Funding boost for higher education quality project
The World Bank will provide Yemen with a grant of US$3 million to improve higher education programmes in order to boost the employability of university graduates.
ZIMBABWE
Universities face bankruptcy as state fails to pay
Zimbabwean universities are faced with bankruptcy as the government has failed to settle a US$64 million debt, only managing to pay US$20,000 a month. The unpaid money emanates from a cadetship programme in which government is supposed to pay institutions for the studies of children from underprivileged backgrounds.
AFRICA
Call for international slave trade research network
Experts from Central African countries have called for the establishment of an international network of researchers and academics who are working on the slave trade and routes from the region, and for a relaunch of UNESCO’s Slave Route Project.
AFRICA
Wellcome’s huge health research, leadership initiative
The United Kingdom’s Wellcome Trust has announced a five-year, £40 million (US$65.8 million) fund to strengthen scientific research training and build the careers of talented young health researchers in Sub-Saharan Africa.
AFRICA
East Africa initiative to boost women leaders in HE
An East African chapter of HERS – Higher Education Resource Services – has been launched. Based at Makerere University in Uganda, HERS-EA will among other things provide training to prepare more women leaders to steer universities in the region.
ZIMBABWE
Angry Ndebele people demand more teacher training
Lack of teacher training colleges in Zimbabwe’s southern regions has raised tribal and political tensions as the minority Ndebele group resists the deployment of teachers from President Robert Mugabe’s Shona tribe.
MADAGASCAR
Stalemate after sacking of Mahajanga vice-chancellor
Madagascar’s government has conceded to student demands and sacked the president of the University of Mahajanga, in the northeast of the country, seven months after police clashes with demonstrating students during which a student died.
AFRICA
Higher education strategy for renewable energy sector
A new strategy to promote higher education training in the field of renewable energy across Africa has been unveiled. The roadmap was the outcome of a workshop in Rwanda from 10-11 July, organised by the European Union Energy Initiative and attended by participants from more than 20 African countries.
KENYA
Expanded role for higher education loans board
Kenya’s Higher Education Loans Board is to transform into a major ‘development financing institution for human capital’, with an expanded mandate to lend money to all students wishing to pursue post-secondary education in local or foreign institutions.
AFRICA
Low pass rates, fraud in exams leading to universities
With publication of results of the baccalauréat school-leaving examinations in francophone Africa, newspapers in some countries have reported problems of low pass rates and instances of fraud.
GLOBAL
Regional support centre for French language studies
In an effort to boost quality at French language centres in universities, HERACLES – the World Forum of Language Centres in Higher Education – plans to open a regional office in the Middle East to provide support services for countries including Egypt, Sudan, Djibouti, Lebanon and Jordan.
MAURITIUS
Branch campus engineering students gain recognition
The professional body representing engineers has conceded to demands by protesting students of the JSS Academy, an Indian offshoot located in Mauritius whose qualifications were deemed invalid after the Indian government withdrew its recognition of diplomas awarded by Indian institutions abroad.
DJIBOUTI
New e-campus platform launched for Francophone Africa
In an effort to provide quality higher education for students in countries on the horn of Africa, the University of Djibouti has launched an e-campus – placing it at the forefront of online learning in the region.
TANZANIA
Fewer Zanzibar students get loans as cash dries up
The Zanzibar Higher Education Loans Board will only sponsor 1,000 new students in the next academic year – down from 1,400 this year – because of lack of funds.
SENEGAL
Jjiguene Tech first to support women into ICT
In Senegal, as in other African countries, men have taken the lion’s share of jobs in information and communication technologies. The independent Jjiguene Tech hub is the first institution in Senegal aiming to counter this male dominance by encouraging and training women to take up careers in the sector, according to a report from All Africa.
GLOBAL
UN’s zero draft of SDGs 'is vague on boosting science'
The recent ‘zero draft’ of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals document directly references the need to improve science and technology skills and capacity in developing countries, with developing country delegates to the UN hoping that those will not be sidelined or weakened in subsequent negotiations.
GHANA
Graduates must be less fussy to resolve joblessness
As joblessness rises across Africa, Ghana’s President John Dramani Mahama has identified the refusal of graduates to accept jobs they consider below their status as one problem that has to be solved if the dream of getting more graduates into employment is to materialise.
TUNISIA
Progress for higher education, but less so for women
Tawfik Jelassi, Tunisia’s minister with responsibility for higher education and scientific research, gave an assessment of the sector for the previous 100 days, setting out progress and priorities including university elections, high graduate unemployment, and planned new institutions and research departments. Meanwhile, a report has found that women are under-represented in Tunisia’s highest university posts.