22 June 2017 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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Africa News
Minister orders loan funds to be released to students
After months of confusion following the discovery of more than 2,000 ‘ghost students’, and a ministerial order issued last week, Tanzania’s Higher Education Students' Loans Board has started disbursing funds to universities, and students have begun settling into studies that had been delayed by the loans saga.
Ministry launches higher education and research strategy
Egypt has launched a higher education and scientific research strategy for 2016 to 2030 that aims to promote science, technology and innovation within higher education institutions and research centres, and to produce industry and market-ready graduates.
Islamic seminary’s violence-hit dorms reopen amid curbs
Al Azhar University – Egypt’s Islamic seminary and the Muslim world’s most prestigious seat of learning – has reopened its main student dormitories, closed for around two years due to violence blamed on Islamist students.
Another graduation milestone for Pan African University
The graduation last month of 26 inaugural masters students from the Pan African University’s Institute of Water and Energy Sciences in Algeria marked another milestone in the actualisation of the African Union-backed institution – and built on successful graduations at the university’s institutes in Kenya, Cameroon and Nigeria.
Regulator audit finds universities in funding crisis
Kenyan universities are sinking into a fresh financial crisis, with revelations in an audit that they are operating at huge deficits, hurting the quality of learning. A report from sector regulator the Commission for University Education shows that institutions face a US$100 million budget gap. 
Graduates geared for low-skill public service jobs – Study
Universities in Ghana have failed to grow the skills required for high productivity jobs in the private sector and have continued in the traditional mode of producing graduates tailored for public service, according to a World Bank study on employment opportunities in the country.
Academic brain drain threatens university education
Harsh economic conditions during 2016 led to a significant brain drain among university staff in Sudan – including professors and lecturers – that is directly threatening higher education development, according to a new government report.
Mental health a worry for student affairs worldwide
Mental health has in recent years emerged as an issue of concern for university students globally, obstructing the completion of studies, according to delegates attending the 2016 Global Summit on Student Affairs and Services.
Universities oppose scrapping of diploma courses
The new executive secretary of Nigeria’s National Universities Commission, a regulatory agency mandated by law to promote quality assurance in higher education, has unilaterally ordered vice-chancellors to scrap all non-degree courses forthwith.
New agency to monitor quality of university education
The northwest African nation of Mauritania is to set up a national quality assurance authority to strengthen the competitiveness of its universities and develop a higher education system of international quality.
Calls for minister's axing over student fund abuse claims
Zimbabwe’s Higher Education, Science and Technology Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo is facing a probe over the alleged abuse of approximately US$450,000 meant for students in a development that has seen students calling for him to pay back the money and resign.
Forum commits to producing more agriculture PhDs
Sixty vice-chancellors who constitute the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture have committed to train 325 PhD students over the next five years through intra-African academic mobility.

Observatory to monitor higher education progress
Tunisia has inaugurated an observatory for monitoring progress in higher education, science, technology and innovation, as part of wider efforts to promote the development of a knowledge-based economy through higher education and research reform.
Placard-waving students face disciplinary action
The University of Zimbabwe has summoned three students to a disciplinary hearing after they held aloft protest placards during the university’s graduation ceremony last month at which Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe was officiating. The students have reportedly also been denied access to their degree certificates.
Innovative funding models can sustain higher education
Declining funding from governments in the last decade and economic recession are among the factors driving the need for African universities to find creative mobilisation models for funding, according to an African expert.
New initiative to promote continental quality assurance
The African Union Commission and the European Union have launched a new joint initiative to promote the improvement and harmonisation of African higher education quality assurance and accreditation. The initiative, abbreviated as HAQAA, will be implemented by a consortium including all key continental organisations involved in quality assurance in Africa and Europe.
Campus unrest brews despite student rustications
Campus and national politics have combined to ignite a tense atmosphere at the federal University of Lagos – Nigeria’s nerve centre for radical students. Concerned about planned protests against government policies, the senate rusticated student leaders for various offences. Students have also been suspended at other universities.
Academic network launches new research training programme
A new five-year training and skills development programme aimed at building research capacity within the humanities, arts and social sciences across eight African universities was launched at Makerere University, Uganda, last month.
Grant scheme targets partners in bid to boost universities
A new competitive grant scheme established by the United Kingdom Department for International Development designed to catalyse innovative partnerships in low-income countries for the benefit of higher education will launch an open call for partnerships later this month.
Higher education hit by plagiarism scandals
Plagiarism has been taboo for some and an open secret for others in Algeria, but is today a scandal that no one can deny – even though Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research officials are trying to minimise the problem. Some flagrant examples of plagiarism have emerged into the public sphere, and they appear to be the tip of the iceberg.
Bertrand Mbatchi takes 2016 quality assurance award
The 2016 GUNi Africa-AfriQAN award for distinguished service to quality assurance in higher education in Africa has been awarded to Professor Bertrand Mbatchi, secretary-general of CAMES, the African and Malagasy Council for Higher Education.
Student loans board demands repayments from 1985
Malawi is implementing a law on student loans passed last year that will see more students in need of financial help at both public and private institutions receiving aid, while those who were assisted as far back as 1985 have been told to repay the money.
Controversy over university entrance tests cancellation
Recently-appointed Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board Executive Registrar Professor Is-Haq Oloyede faces a tough job as controversy continues around the cancellation of the Post Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, a quality assurance examination conducted by individual universities to screen prospective students.
Ukraine and Russia dropped from medical studies list
A decision by the Medical Council of Mauritius to exclude Ukraine and Russia from its list of education centres approved to teach medicine has been condemned by the president of the Medical and Health Officers' Association, Dr Wassim Ballam, and the Ukrainian honorary consul, Dr Abdool Mohaboob Kureemun.
Robert Mugabe’s wife to build a university in his name
Zimbabwe’s first lady Grace Mugabe is planning to build Robert Mugabe University in honour of her husband, who is one of the world’s most educated presidents.