30 March 2017 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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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.
EGYPT
Medical professors in alleged organ trafficking racket
Egyptian authorities recently busted what they said was the biggest illegal organ trafficking ring in the country’s history. The suspects include medical professors at the universities of Cairo and Ain Shams, Egypt’s two main public academic institutions, the Health Ministry said.
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.