02 August 2015 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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Africa News
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.
NIGERIA: Six new universities to meet student demand
The Nigerian government has announced the creation of six new federal universities, aimed at improving access to higher education for the hundreds of thousands of qualified school-leavers who miss out on opportunities each year because of the limited number of places in existing institutions.
KENYA: Acute shortage of professors
Kenya's 30 universities are being crippled by an acute shortage of professors, according to the Commission for Higher Education. Universities are increasingly turning to part-time lecturers, but many have only attained masters degrees.
EGYPT: Study sounds alarm over science future
A growing trend among Egyptian students to shun science in favour of the humanities is placing the scientific future of the country of 80 million people in peril, according to a recent study. Research and development specialist numbers and journal publication outputs are dropping.
TANZANIA: Students warn of protests over loans
Trouble has been brewing once again at the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, after the student loans board announced this month that some 810 students had not met the requirements for funding. Students threatened protests and boycotts if all students who were admitted to universities and had applied for loans, did not receive them.
MALAWI: Chinese loan to fund new science university
Malawian President Bingu wa Mutharika has signed legislation authorising the government to borrow US$80 million from China to build a new science university in Thyolo, in the country's southern region.
ALGERIA: Universities expanding but problems remain
As the new academic year started, La Tribune of Algiers reported on the state of affairs at universities around the country, finding considerable expansion but also instances of overcrowded or sub-standard student housing, inadequate or corrupt management, unsatisfactory transport - and some disruption during the introduction of the Bologna higher education structure.
DR CONGO: Nearly 100 'non-viable' universities shut
A total of 98 higher education institutions have been closed in five provinces following an audit and an inquiry into their 'viability', reported Infos Plus of Libreville, Gabon.
TUNISIA: Extra language and ICT courses for graduates
New study programmes aiming to offer graduates complementary qualifications in languages and computer studies have attracted 11,000 young people, reported La Presse of Tunis.
CÔTE D'IVOIRE: Violence in run-up to election
Just days before this weekend's second round of the presidential election, students in Cocody were attacked by young activists from the RHDP political grouping because they did not support the right candidate, according to press reports. Meanwhile, the US Ambassador warned there would be no future scholarships under its Hubert H Humphrey programme "without a democratic election".
MADAGASCAR: University lecturers' strike continues
The university lecturers' and researchers' union SECES maintained its strike action this month, keeping up demands for payment of research allowances and other remuneration.
AFRICA: Continental student mobility scheme expanded
The major expansion of a pan-African student mobility scheme was announced in Cape Town last week. The European Union has committed EUR35 million (US$46.5 million) to the Mwalimu Nyerere African Scholarship Scheme, which is aimed at promoting student exchange and stemming the African brain drain. It will provide scholarships for 250 postgraduate students to study in another African country.
BOTSWANA: New science university languishes in limbo
The new Botswana International University of Science and Technology, BIUST, at Palapye 260 kilometres nort-east of the capital Gaborone, faces further delays and a reduction in its vision to be a world-class university. New decisions by the government could alter its scope and direction, and it looks very unlikely that BIUST will be able to open before August 2011.
AFRICA: Lessons from US foundation collaboration
A "highly unusual" 10-year higher education partnership between seven US foundations, each with its distinct brand of organisational culture, leadership style and mission, is guaranteed to generate interesting lessons and valuable advice for future collaborations.
SOUTH AFRICA: Academics, executives embrace dialogue
There is a dearth of critical voices on what direction higher education should take. More often than not academics and executives do not share views although they are fighting for the same purpose. When the two 'sides' met at Rhodes University in South Africa for a second round-table last month, the debate was wide-ranging - and included how to continue talking.
NIGERIA: Teachers oppose salary differentials
Strikes are sweeping across Nigerian universities in a dispute over salary differentials. Teaching in most of the state universities has been disrupted although federal universities continue to run lectures.