23 March 2017 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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Africa News
University services head denies corruption allegations
The director of the centre providing student support services to Senegal’s biggest university has denied allegations of financial irregularities made by the national anti-corruption office.
Skills deficit a barrier to economic growth – World Bank
Cameroon’s ambitions to become a middle-income economy by 2035 are more likely to be realised if the country invests heavily in specialised higher education in engineering, technology and computer-aided management, according to a World Bank report promoting a demand-led approach to skills development as a strategy for industrial take-off.
CAMES ministers agree to harmonise university curricula
Ministers from CAMES – the African and Malagasy Council for Higher Education, which represents 19 Francophone African states – have agreed on measures to develop higher education.
French connections boost HE for leaders and employment
The African Training and Research Centre in Administration for Development and France’s elite HEC business school have signed an agreement to train leaders and high-level officials. Meanwhile, the director of the new Conakry-based EFGM, the first France-Guinea institution specialising in professionally oriented degrees, describes its founding and French influence.
Row over university’s closure of nuclear centre
A decision by the state-run Cairo University to close a nuclear energy centre has sparked a controversy as Egypt is planning to build its first nuclear plant. The university board voted for the centre’s shutdown, citing its lack of economic and scientific feasibility.
China-built university connectivity platform launched
A US$50 million, Chinese-built connectivity platform for the Ethiopian Education and Research Network – EthERNet – has been inaugurated in the country’s capital Addis Ababa, connecting universities to high-speed internet and to each other. The ultimate aim is to enable Ethiopian universities to participate actively in the global education and research community.
President promises first private medical school support
More than half a century after the first public medical school launched in Ghana, President John Mahama has opened the first private medical school. He said the Family Health Medical School would boost the admission of qualified students and ease a national doctor shortage.
Construction of second public university kicks off
The Republic of the Congo, also called Congo-Brazzaville, has set aside more than FCFA242 billion (US$416 million) for the construction of a new university to be named after the country’s current president, Denis Sassou N'Guesso, who has ruled for a quarter of a century.
Students protest against illegal buildings on campus
Demonstrations by students at the University of Antananarivo in Madagascar – against illegal buildings on campus – have turned violent, with tyres set alight and stones thrown at police who responded with teargas. Meanwhile, there are problems of long-term maladministration of student accommodation, half of which is occupied by non-students.
President apologises for sacking of 13 vice-chancellors
Following a barrage of criticism laced with threats of lawsuits, President Muhammadu Buhari has apologised for the firing of 13 vice-chancellors of public universities. The apology is unprecedented in the annals of Nigerian higher education – as was February’s mass sacking.
Expansion of medical degrees starts to bear fruit
Mauritania has produced its first medical graduates trained within the country rather than abroad. Medical higher education has been expanded and new facilities built in the impoverished northwest African country that is largely desert.
Cape Town to change contested names of key buildings
The University of Cape Town has invited students, staff and the wider university community to contribute views on whether contested names of some key campus buildings and spaces should change – and to what – in order to tackle “the issue of whom and what we honour”.
Gender studies and equality on university agenda
The Moroccan government is encouraging university lecturers to promote gender studies, with the introduction of courses and policies aimed at encouraging the promotion, equality and independence of women.
Uganda and Sweden renew research cooperation
Bilateral research collaboration between Uganda and Sweden has been renewed for five years, ending in 2020. The new research cooperation agreement focuses on institutional capacity building and human resource development in public universities in Uganda.
New higher education and research facilities for south
Senegal has announced that a new human and social sciences education and research unit will open next year in Kolda in the south. A centre for research and experimentation has also just opened in the region – raising the number of such centres countrywide from eight in 2012 to 23 now.
Better school results pile pressure on university places
Kenyan universities face a heavy burden this year as they prepare to enrol the highest ever number of students to qualify for university, following improved performance in the 2015 school-leaving examinations. The proportion of candidates who attained the minimum university pass mark of C+ rose by 16,049 to 165,766 candidates, or 32.3% of those graded.
Prime minister cuts short speech after student protest
Morocco’s Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane had to abandon a speech at the HEM Business School in Oujda when students in the audience interrupted him with boos and protests against brutality by police who had beaten up demonstrating trainee teachers.
Centres of excellence in electricity network launched
The African Development Bank has provided a €9.7 million (US$10.8 million) grant for the new African Network of Centres of Excellence in Electricity. Centres have been selected in four African countries and will train some 9,700 power professionals.
Law to improve academic status, after months of protest
After months of union strikes and protests against the government of Senegal’s ‘lack of respect for signed agreements’, the national assembly adopted laws improving the status of university lecturers and living and working conditions for students. Higher Education Minister Mary Teuw Niane has also announced that a new university will open in October.
Continental university hub seeks academics across Africa
The Pan African University’s Institute of Basic Sciences, Technology and Innovation, based in Kenya, is seeking to boost its faculty by recruiting up to 32 short-term lecturers from across the continent to teach for periods ranging from four to 16 weeks.
Former academic freedom leader arrested for treason
Former academic and activist Dr Jessie Kabwila – who led academic freedom protests against Malawi’s President Peter Mutharika four years ago, when he was higher education minister – was arrested on treason charges last Monday.
Cairo University takes aim at unlawful ‘teaching centres’
Cairo University, Egypt’s biggest state-run academic institution, has initiated an action plan against thriving but unlawful ‘teaching centres’ in its vicinity, accusing them of “undermining the educational process”.
Second group of 29 young climate researchers selected
Twenty-nine early career scientists from 24 African universities and research institutes have been awarded fellowships to study the impacts of climate change on the continent, under the CIRCLE – Climate Impacts Research Capacity and Leadership Enhancement – initiative.
Minister aims to improve higher education standards
Théophile Mbemba, higher education and universities minister in the Democratic Republic of Congo, has given stern instructions to members of newly appointed university management committees on the need to improve standards in higher education.
Registration fees postponed after #FeesMustFall unrest
South Africa’s #FeesMustFall movement has found resonance in neighbouring Namibia, where student protests last week resulted in the government postponing registration fee payment at the Namibia University of Science and Technology.