23 March 2017 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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KENYA
New vessel to boost marine research
Kenya has upped the ante on marine research with the launch of a vessel in the Indian Ocean. The Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute will deploy the 56-metre RV Zeeleeuw to undertake research in a bid to stem the loss of at least US$117 million a year in illegal and unregulated fishing.
GLOBAL
International HE associations call for global equity
Twenty-four international education organisations from across the world – including the giants in America and Europe and groups from Mexico and Japan, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America – gathered in South Africa last week for a first inclusive Global Dialogue. They forged a declaration that stressed mutual benefit and development and a more equitable and ethical global higher education agenda.
EGYPT
Sharp rise in student protests – Report
Universities in Egypt have witnessed a remarkable upsurge in student protests since the start of the academic year in September, in response to education issues and in support of the country’s first elected civilian president – former professor Mohamed Morsi – who was ousted by the military last July.
NIGERIA
Relief as academics suspend five-month strike
Students and parents across Nigeria have welcomed the news that the Academic Staff Union of Universities has called off its five-month strike. Pressures on President Goodluck Jonathan persuaded him to meet some of the lecturer demands – and academics had also come under immense public pressure to reopen campuses.
KENYA
Two students killed in protests, universities close
Two Kenyan universities will not hold end-of-semester examinations ahead of the Christmas break after they were shut down following protests that left two students dead. The student riots were both linked to the examinations.
NIGERIA
UK scraps visa bond for ‘high risk’ Nigerian students
The university community in Nigeria has welcomed the scrapping by the British government of a controversial proposed £3,000 (US$4,900) security visa bond for ‘high risk’ foreign visitors, including international students from Nigeria.
KENYA
Civil service reforms delay higher education projects
Kenya’s higher education sector is feeling the pinch of a new government policy to temporarily freeze employment and appointments in state bodies.
AFRICA
Kuwait to help boost higher education in Africa
Kuwait has launched a US$1 million annual award for research in Africa, announced at the third African Arab Summit held under the theme "Partners in Development and Investment" in Kuwait from 19-20 November. And a Kuwaiti charity plans to establish a university in Malawi.
NIGERIA
President leads talks to end four-month academic strike
The four-month strike in Nigeria’s public universities may end soon, following the intervention of President Goodluck Jonathan. He decided to lead the government team in negotiations with academics, in an effort to find practical solutions to the industrial action.
KENYA
Research boosted by multi-million dollar projects
Kenya’s profile as a research hub has received a major boost with two mega research centres that are expected to generate hundreds of innovations. And the government is planning to double its research funding within two years.
GLOBAL
BRICS think tanks council meets to shape strategy
The BRICS Think Tanks Council, comprising representatives from the emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, met near Stellenbosch in South Africa last week to review plans for the body’s operation.
CAMEROON
Medical school bans spark anger
A decision to ban 15 medical schools in Cameroon from training doctors has sparked anger – although it has been welcomed by the country’s medical profession.
EGYPT
Islamist seminary in turmoil as students protest
Thousands of students at Al-Azhar University, Egypt's huge Islamic seminary, have held rallies in support of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi for the second consecutive week amid accusations from the institution’s administrators that the students have been engaged in acts of violence and vandalism. Dozens of students have been arrested.
AFRICA
World Bank centres of excellence to be named soon
Phase one of the Africa Higher Education Centers of Excellence initiative, being sponsored by the World Bank to the tune of US$158 million, is expected to kick off in the third week of November when the identities of universities that have been selected to host the centres will be made public.
GLOBAL
US-Libya higher education task force on the cards
The United States and Libya have agreed to set up a higher education task force that will work to strengthen Libya’s educational capacity, provide information about study abroad to Libyan students, and expand scholarships and exchange opportunities.
KENYA
Policy protects courses, mandates of upgraded colleges
Kenya has formally allowed universities to take over tertiary colleges in a new policy framework. But the upgraded institutions must retain their original courses, programmes and mandates, says the policy announced last Thursday by cabinet.
GHANA
University facilities insufficient to meet high demand
Ghana’s public universities are facing a boom in applications, but do not have sufficient facilities to meet growing demand that has been exacerbated by an influx of students from neighbouring countries and a double cohort leaving school this year.
GLOBAL
Oldest university network turns 100, launches campaign
The Association of Commonwealth Universities celebrated its 100th anniversary with a three-day conference at the University of London last week – and looked to the future with a campaign called “The World Beyond 2015: Is higher education ready?”
GLOBAL
World Bank, Coursera to take MOOCs to developing world
Developing countries worldwide are to benefit from an agreement signed last Tuesday by the World Bank Group and Coursera, a leading provider of MOOCs – massive open online courses. The collaboration aims to help meet the demand for solutions-oriented learning on pressing issues in targeted countries.
NIGERIA
Foreign lecturers recruited despite security concerns
The executive governor of Yobe state in north-east Nigeria, who is also a visitor at Bukar Abba Ibrahim University, has approved the employment of 35 professors from India and the Philippines. They were recruited ostensibly to teach and research desert encroachment, which is threatening the environment in parts of the state.
EGYPT
Universities in the doldrums after cuts in dorm fees
A recent decision by Egypt’s military-installed government to scrap monthly fees for students staying in university dormitories has added to the financial woes of the country’s public higher education institutions.
KENYA
University seeks solutions to massive e-waste problem
The rising tide of mobile telephony in Kenya, which currently stands at about 30 million subscribers, is becoming a significant source of e-waste. Obsolete computers, televisions and electronic equipment are exacerbating the problem. Now a university has stepped in to help clean it all up.
TANZANIA
China inaugurates Confucius Institute, builds library
The Chinese influence in Tanzania seems to be growing by the day. The University of Dar es Salaam is to start offering courses in the Chinese language through a new Confucius Institute, and China is building a state-of-the-art library and a secondary school.
MALAWI
Students threaten protest over university closures
Three constituent colleges of the University of Malawi have been closed indefinitely due to a strike by lecturers, which began late last month. Students have threatened protest action if classes do not resume soon.
ALGERIA
New initiative links universities with economy
Algeria plans to set up innovation centres consisting of mixed research groups from higher education institutions, science and technology centres and the industrial, economic and social sectors, in an effort to boost the role of research in developing a knowledge-based economy.