02 April 2015 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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Africa News
SOUTH AFRICA: A progressive higher education agenda
The focus of higher education in South Africa has been on policies and reforms and their impacts. What is sorely needed, says Adam Habib, Deputy Vice-chancellor of the University of Johannesburg, is engaged executives who critically reflect on their managerial experiences "leading to lessons that can advance a socially progressive higher education agenda".
AFRICA: Continent-wide data centre by next year
South Africa is spearheading activities to collect and curate research data about the African continent in an effort to shrug off its data-poor image.
ZIMBABWE: Manhunt for 'wanted' student
Zimbabwean police have launched a manhunt for a University of Zimbabwe student who faces the death penalty for allegedly plotting a coup against long-time autocratic ruler President Robert Mugabe in 2007. The student was previously released from prison when not tried within the required six months, but a judge has now said he is still a wanted man.
ISLAMIC STATES: Boosting higher education cooperation
The 57 member states of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference, or OIC, have adopted resolutions for promoting a culture of knowledge, scientific research and innovation, according to a declaration made in Kuala Lumpur in October.
EGYPT: Universities in fix over police removal
As advocates of university independence celebrate a landmark court ruling ordering the removal of police guards from campuses in Egypt, leaders of government-run universities are considering the costs of recruiting civilian guards.
NIGERIA: Universities hit by accreditation crisis
The withdrawal by Nigeria's National Universities Commission of the accreditation status of some academic departments in several universities, effectively closing many courses with immediate effect, is set to affect hundreds of students. The move has prompted universities to contemplate measures that would save them from further sanctions from the government regulatory agency.
KENYA: Major dispute could lead to lecturer strike
Kenya's 5,000 lecturers in public universities are locked in a major dispute with the government over the sacking of a union boss by one of the institutions and growing tribalism in employment in state universities. The tussle threatens to erupt into a strike next week, which could paralyse learning in the country's seven public universities.
AFRICA: Universities get US$130 million for health
The US recently announced awards worth US$130 million to universities in a dozen African countries that seek to train at least 140,000 health workers over five years.
KENYA: $12.5 million PEPFAR grant for Nairobi
The US government has extended a US$12.5 million grant to the University of Nairobi to boost medical training, potentially plugging the country's biting shortage of qualified health sector personnel. The funding will help strengthen medical training and increase the number of trained health workers in East Africa's biggest economy.
NAMIBIA: Parliament seeks partnerships with academics
The chief whip of Namibia's governing SWAPO party in the national assembly, Professor Peter Katjavivi, has called on academics to work with parliamentarians in select committees as the country moves to confront a myriad of social problems. He called for a multidisciplinary approach, given scarce resources.
BURKINA FASO: 'Solidarity' distance MSc in finance
People who have missed out on education have a new opportunity to catch up through a free distance education course in finance, under the 'Projet transmission solidaire du savoir' initiated by the French Euromed Management school in collaboration with Ouagadougou University.
AUSTRALIA: Monash denies Mugabe invitation
Monash University Vice-chancellor Professor Ed Byrne was forced to deny a Melbourne newspaper report last week that one of his senior executives at the university's South African campus had extended an invitation to Zimbabwe's notorious president, Robert Mugabe, to give a lecture to students at Monash's Johannesburg campus.
GLOBAL: Mugabe - Man of many degrees
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe has been awarded a dozen or more honorary degrees from universities around the world, only to have at least three belatedly removed following widespread protests. Doubts have now surfaced whether he received an honorary doctorate last month from a university in Ecuador, or indeed whether it was bestowed by a 'bogus' bishop.
ZIMBABWE: Plans for two new private universities
Two new private universities are on the cards in Zimbabwe, and the projects have been lauded by the government in a country facing a critical shortage of human capital in various sectors of the economy.
SOUTH AFRICA: Initiative to strengthen liberal arts
The South African government has launched an initiative to revive and strengthen the social sciences and humanities in universities. A charter of recommendations, to be published in mid-2011, will put these oft-neglected areas back on the higher education agenda so that students who want a true liberal arts education can get a good one.
SOUTH AFRICA: University advances refugee rights
The rights of refugees in South Africa's Eastern Cape province are being safeguarded through a recently-launched refugee legal rights centre at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) in Port Elizabeth. The goal is to assist foreigners seeking asylum.
CAMEROON: Unpaid teachers, homeless students
Teachers in the arts and social sciences faculty at the University of Douala, who went on strike this month in support of pay claims, some dating back a decade, 'provisionally' suspended their action after receiving payment for 2009, reported Quotidien Mutations of Yaoundé.
SENEGAL: Freshers take up university places
About 30,000 freshers are starting their studies in Senegal's public and private higher education institutions, announced Amadou Tidiane Bâ, Minister for Higher Education and Scientific Research, at a ministerial meeting.
GLOBAL: The University World News story
Every newspaper has its own story and ours began in early 2007, when a few dozen higher education correspondents scattered around the world found themselves with knowledge and skills but no newspaper to write for. Mostly freelance journalists, we had been fired en masse by Times Higher Education as it contracted its global coverage, retaining correspondents only in the US.
EAST AFRICA: Moves to harmonise higher education
The East African Community's five member countries have inched closer to harmonising and standardising their university education systems, potentially boosting student access and mobility. But the improvements will require major changes to individual countries' education systems.
RWANDA: No more bursary loans for students - cabinet
Last week the Rwandan cabinet approved a decision to cancel bursary loans used to support government-assisted students through their academic life. There is also talk of terminating merit-based college scholarships.
MALAWI: Fee hike scrapped after widespread protest
Malawian President Bingu wa Mutharika has been forced to set aside a 220% university fee hike after protests from the general population, political parties and student organisations.
EGYPT: Universities reconsider borderline marks
Egyptian Minister of Higher Education Hani Hilal has announced the planned cancellation of a decades-old system that helps under-performing university students to pass year-end examinations. "The borderline mark system or what is known as 'mercy grades' is illegal and encourages students to be under-achievers," Hilal told academics at Beni Sueif University in southern Egypt earlier this month.
BOTSWANA: Tertiary entrance examination troubles
The tertiary entrance examinations or the Botswana General Certificate of Secondary Education (BGCSE), which started on 11 October and run to mid-November 2010, are under threat. Industrial action involving secondary school teachers commenced in September with a work-to-rule and go-slow.
SENEGAL-HAITI: Welcome for quake students
Some 160 young Haitians were due to arrive in Senegal last week to start higher education studies, under a scheme proposed by President Abdoulaye Wade following the earthquake that devastated the Caribbean state in January.