Development aid from donor countries to Africa is usually directed to issues identified as priorities in the home country's development agenda - issues such as HIV and Aids, poverty reduction, primary health care and food security, among others - according to Peter Maassen, professor of higher education at the University of Oslo. This kind of focus is often at the expense of high-level knowledge development such as that produced within the research culture of universities.
Historians are working with Unesco and educationalists to try to develop a common African history syllabus, including the teaching approach and pedagogical materials. The ambitious project will initially focus on helping primary and secondary schools across the continent and, this coming year, an assessment will consider how universities in Africa could benefit from such work.
Kenya is to spend US$56 million in donor funding to strengthen vocational and technical training countrywide, and help boost the country's skills base. The plan includes building new technical institutions and elevating some to national polytechnic status.
Tunisia has adopted the 12th development plan for 2010-14 with a focus on higher education. The aim is to transform the national economy into a model driven by innovation and knowledge, in a country ranked the most improved in technology-readiness in Africa.
Zimbabwe's government has closed 106 'illegal' private colleges countrywide, throwing thousands of students onto the streets. Higher and Tertiary Education Ministry Permanent Secretary Dr Washington Mbizvo said the colleges did not meet acceptable standards. At the same time, a United Nations agency rated the country as the most literate in Africa.
Nigeria's government has started disbursing funds to selected public tertiary institutions to help them fast-track the development of teaching, research and infrastructure including student hostels. The extra-budgetary funding for six universities, three polytechnics and three colleges of education has been described as a step in the right direction.
The Canadian government has awarded C$20 million (US$19.4 million) over the next four years to five centres of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences. The centres are spread across the continent and run through the AIMS-Next Einstein Initiative. They will train talented young African postgraduate researchers in mathematical sciences.
Hossam Safwat has just passed secondary school certificate examinations with flying colours, scoring 92%. But he is not sure if he will be allowed to attend his dream college - a medical school - after Egypt's minister of higher education announced that minimum admission grades for the new academic year would be based on the average of those of the past five years.
A regional centre to help develop renewable energy and promote workforce development in the 15 countries of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS , has opened in Praia, the capital of Cape Verde.
The French-speaking University Agency, AUF, and the Economic Community of the Great Lakes Countries have signed a partnership agreement to support higher education and research in the community's three member countries - Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda.
The Democratic Republic of Congo's Minister of Higher Education and Universities Professor Léonard Mashako Mamba has met funding agencies and other partners to present policies and reforms for which the government is seeking support, reported La Prospérité of Kinshasa.
In the latest of a number of violent demonstrations students at the Université Cheikh Anta Diop of Dakar went on the rampage this month, setting fire and causing other damage to university offices, and attacking the rector and a faculty dean with poison gas, said newspaper reports.
The focus is on rationalising higher education courses and on qualifications to respond to the needs of the labour market in the 2010 guide to university courses published by Tunisia's Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, reported the Agence Tunis Afrique Presse of Tunis.
A career guidance campaign named after Nelson Mandela - and launched today on his 92nd birthday - aims to mobilise South Africans in the higher education and training sectors and in the professions to assist school pupils with information on universities and colleges. The idea is for better guidance to help students make appropriate study choices, optimise their job opportunities and reduce high drop-out rates.
Africa's drive towards improving its governance has received a shot in the arm with the launch of a continental leadership training centre in Kenya's capital Nairobi. The African Leadership Centre will teach and mentor the next generation of leaders.
Almost seven years after the idea was floated at an Arab-Japanese forum in Tokyo, Japan and Egypt last month celebrated the launch of the first Japanese university in Africa and the Middle East. The Egypt-Japan University for Science and Technology, E-JUST, is an Egyptian public university, in partnership with Japan, based near the coastal city of Alexandria.
A new institute to strengthen the governance and management of African universities has been officially inaugurated in Yaoundé, Cameroon. The Pan-African Institute of University Governance aims to improve and modernise practices for the competent running of higher education institutions throughout Sub-Saharan Africa.
Kenya has been selected as the East African host of the planned Pan-African University, a specialised institution comprising a network of universities that is being created to help supply the continent's high-level human capital. This ends a five-month stalemate between countries in the region that had been squabbling over who the host would be.
The Malaysian government has deported two Nigerian postgraduate students who were among 10 people from various countries detained in January for alleged links with the terrorist organisation Al-Qaeda. The Nigerians had been studying at the International Islamic University near the capital Kuala Lumpur.
Egypt plans to promote higher education cooperation with seven upstream Nile Basin states in a diplomatic move to strengthen strategic, economic and cultural relations. The aim is to ease tension sparked by a new pact calling for equitable water use, which Egypt perceives as being against its interests.
A number of international initiatives have been launched in Africa recently to develop research and innovation across the continent, and to transform new ideas generated by higher education and research into improved products, processes and businesses. The projects include a technology development and transfer network, a continental research framework programme and a science-to-business challenge.
An Online Observatory for African Inventions and Discoveries has been launched, aimed at encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship to help meet the continent's development challenges.
Kenya's universities are rolling out foreign language programmes as nations and investors, especially from Asia, increasingly turn to the East African country for resources to boost their industrial growth. In the past month Kenya's biggest universities - Nairobi and Kenyatta - have announced new courses in Korean and Chinese respectively. They both host branches of China's Confucius Institute.
Perhaps it is a fear that aid from the financially tumultuous North might be squeezed. Perhaps it is a growing frustration at rich countries' failure to keep their promises to the world's poor. Whatever the cause, a wave of idealism is sweeping through the innovation policy debate, accompanied by that idealist writ - the manifesto.
Students at Zimbabwe's National University of Science Technology went on the rampage recently and set a lecture theatre on fire, destroying property worth more than US$10,000 in protest against stringent conditions for accessing government loans. Nationwide around 41,000 students, unable to pay fees, have applied for loans so far this year.