07 October 2015 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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Africa News
ALGERIA: Problems of corruption and Bologna process
As a national conference of university managers was starting last week, La Tribune of Algiers questioned the state of affairs in "a sector corrupted by scandal". The paper also reported continuing disruption, and opposition from students and lecturers, over introduction of the Bologna process to the country's universities.
AFRICA: Call for problem-solving research proposals
The African Union Commission is seeking proposals for research focusing on a number of areas, with the aim of solving the continent's problems using African scientists.
ETHIOPIA: Final steps to a funding formula
Ethiopia came a major step closer to implementing a fully functioning funding formula for teaching and learning in higher education, at a conference held in Addis Ababa last month. Participants overwhelmingly endorsed the principles of a funding formula and recommended that the Ethiopian government give it the go-ahead very soon.
AFRICA: Fruit farmers to use ants for pest control
Three universities will spearhead the training of African fruit and nut growers to use weaver ants to control pests. Farmers incur huge financial losses as their crops are attacked by insects and this form of pest control will reduce losses while opening doors to world organic food markets.
MADAGASCAR: University lecturers' strike ends
The long strike in Madagascar by university lecturers and researchers ended on Monday, following negotiations between their union, SECES, and the Minister of Higher Education, Athanase Tongavelo.
DR CONGO: Higher education and employers sign accord
The government in the Democratic Republic of Congo has brokered a partnership agreement between higher education and employer organisations, in a bid to strengthen cooperation and improve articulation between university outputs and the country's skills needs.
AFRICA: Pledge to create climate change think-tank
African countries have pledged to create a continental climate change think-tank composed of scientists and other experts, in addition to accelerating research in the field.
GLOBAL: Australians top world student debating champs
Some 1,200 tertiary students from more than 60 countries and 200 universities converged on the University of Botswana for the 31st World Universities Debating Championships. Students from Australia dominated the top positions.
AFRICA: Carnegie grant for next generation academics
The Carnegie Corporation of New York has awarded grants worth nearly US$10 million to strengthen postgraduate research and training in four universities in Ghana, South Africa and Uganda, it said in a statement earlier this month. The funding will support training for some 120 postgraduates and fellowships for a further 80 scholars.
ETHIOPIA: University expansion must be sustainable
Higher education in Ethiopia is 'massifying' rapidly. Student numbers quadrupled in the decade to 2007-08 and the plan is for the sector to more than double in size in the next five years, to 467,000 students. Urgent decisions need to be made on financial sustainability, or "all of a sudden, you are in big trouble," Jamil Salmi, Tertiary Education Coordinator for the World Bank, told a conference in Addis Ababa last month.
KENYA: Hundreds of unaccredited colleges to be closed
Kenya has published a list of all accredited colleges operating in the country, exposing hundreds of bogus tertiary institutions that will be closed down in the second week of January. While the move signals government's intention to clean up the higher education sector, it has caused uncertainty and panic among students in colleges denied accreditation.
ZIMBABWE: Government restores student grants
The government has restored higher education grants after they were scrapped about a decade ago due to Zimbabwe's political and economic crisis. The restoration of grants came after Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai pleaded with students to stop a planned class boycott against deteriorating standards and promised the government would address their concerns.
ZIMBABWE: University threatened by spurned party
President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF party has threatened the country's Methodist-run Africa University for declining to offer accommodation to party members during a conference later this month expected to endorse the ageing leader as its candidate in the next presidential polls.
US-AFRICA: Partnership to boost knowledge economies
The United States and the five members of the Arab Maghreb union - Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia - have launched the North African Partnership for Economic Opportunities, NAPEO, to promote cooperation between business, universities and scientific institutions in order to develop knowledge-based economies.
SOUTH AFRICA: Universities take lead in AIDS research
South Africa's universities have been at the forefront of HIV research in the past decade and the University of Witwatersrand (Wits) has the top spot nationally in producing scientific research on the pandemic, a recent study revealed. It placed South Africa eighth in the world in terms of HIV-Aids publication.
MALAWI: Nursing gains undermined by funds freeze
In defying a court order directing it to allow 100 nursing students affected by a state withdrawal of funding to attend lectures, Malawi's state-run Mzuzu University is threatening the country's recent success in halting the brain drain in the sector. The devastating effects of the scholarship withdrawal can already be seen in vastly reduced nursing student numbers.
AFRICA: Open resources - what works on the continent
It is important for African higher education institutions to be part of the Open Educational Resources movement as creators of knowledge, not just users of materials that originate elsewhere and are often irrelevant to their needs, says Catherine Ngugi, project director of OER Africa.
SOUTH AFRICA: New funds to boost PhD production
South Africa's production of PhD graduates is worryingly low, and has even shown a slight decline despite various initiatives to increase doctorate numbers. But the National Research Foundation has launched a sweeping new funding project to tackle the problem.
TUNISIA: Minister defends Bologna rationalisation
Cutting the number of university specialisations and the Bologna process were issues raised during the higher education and research budget debate in Tunisia's parliament this month.
AFRICA: New portal to publish and share knowledge
A portal offering African researchers and opinion leaders a platform for publishing their work and sharing knowledge has been established. The online resource will provide users with research and information on Africa's current policy issues.
SENEGAL: Automatic grants payments to be introduced
From next March students in Senegal should be able to collect their grants from automatic machines, putting an end - it is hoped - to late payments that in the past have led to strikes and disruption.
MADAGASCAR: Striking union asks MPs for help
Strike action by SECES, the university lecturers' and researchers' union, over unpaid remuneration was continuing this month, and union leaders approached parliamentarians for help in solving the conflict, reported L'Express de Madagascar.
SOUTH AFRICA: Reflections on a major merger
At the start of the new millennium South Africa began a radical restructuring of the higher education sector. The number of universities was cut from 36 to 23 through incorporations and mergers - some creating huge universities - aimed at breaking down apartheid's racial divides and transforming the sector. SIPHO SEEPE reviews the first book published on one of the major mergers, the creation of the 40,000-student University of KwaZulu-Natal.
EAST AFRICA: Publications available but not accessed
East African universities have more journals and scholarly research available to them than ever before, yet staff and students do not appear to be accessing these resources enough, according to a recent study.
AFRICA-INDIA: New ties to strengthen higher education
India's plans to support a string of higher education and training institutions in Africa will help to push student mobility, add to graduate numbers and nurture a development-centred approach, say African Union Commission officials.