28 November 2015 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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Africa News
SOUTH AFRICA: Black graduates quadruple in two decades
In a country still struggling to overcome the legacy of apartheid education, data reflecting a four-fold increase in the number of black African graduates from South African universities since 1991 has been hailed as an indication of a successfully transforming higher education sector.
KENYA: Government shuts down bogus colleges
Last week Kenya shut more than 100 unaccredited colleges, sending shock waves through the country's academic community as the government delivered on its promise of cleaning up the higher education sector.
ZAMBIA: Building and upgrading set to widen access
Zambia has started constructing a science university. This was revealed in the 2011 education policy, which also detailed the establishment of new universities and massive construction and upgrading at institutions across the country aimed at increasing access to higher education.
ZIMBABWE: Outcry over lecturer pay increases
A 130% salary hike for public university lecturers has sparked an outcry and a notice of strike action by other state employees as government prioritises academics against a background of crippling brain drain.
ZIMBABWE: Student grants scheme suspended
Zimbabwe has suspended the newly introduced student grants scheme due to political bickering, as parliamentarians push for the abolition of President Robert Mugabe's separate and controversial scholarship fund, which supports a privileged few to study at foreign universities.
MALAWI: Student discontent over strict new loan terms
Malawian students are up in arms with the government after it introduced a punitive loan scheme on the back of the treasury losing millions of dollars due to defaulting alumni who had previously been extended a helping hand.
SOUTH AFRICA: African Doctoral Academy launched
Promoting human development by helping to counter the effects of the graduate brain drain and the decline of scholarship in Africa are the cornerstones of the African Doctoral Academy, which was formally launched this week at Stellenbosch University in South Africa.
TUNISIA: Inequality, unemployment as Ben Ali leaves
Blighted by unemployment, inequalities and a higher education system ill-matched to the job market, Tunisia is examined by the French newspaper Le Monde. In a supplement devoted to the country following the departure of President Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali, the paper also interviews academic Khadija Mohsen-Finan on other problems faced by young Tunisians and talks to four students who intended to stay on in France, but are considering returning home now circumstances have changed.
ASIA-AFRICA: Joint research to improve food security
A £20 million research initiative, to exploit science to improve food security in the developing countries of Africa and Asia, has been launched by UK and US research funders working with the governments of the UK and India.
AFRICA: Technology transfer trends boost universities
The Ethiopia-based United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, ECA, has found evidence of rapid growth in the rate of Africa's industrial technology acquisition, which could support the current drive to promote investment in research and development and higher education through enhancing university-industry-government partnerships.
SOUTHERN AFRICA: Partnership model leaves legacy
The legacy of seven-year-old international agency Development Policy Review Network, DPRN - created by the Netherlands and Belgian governments to close the gap between science, policy, practice and the corporate sector - includes emphasis on partnerships that benefit all parties. The agency has used this same win-win model in its collaboration with research colleagues in Africa, Asia and South America.
MADAGASCAR: New ICT and business institutions
IT University, a new private institution specialising in information technologies, has opened in Andoharanofotsy, in the suburbs of the Madagascan capital Antananarivo. And a French businessman has promised to build a business school which will educate young Madagascans free of charge.
SENEGAL: USAID agricultural project launched
An agricultural education and research project was launched this month by the United States Agency for International Development, USAID, and the Senegalese government, reported the Agence de Presse Sénégalaise of Dakar.
SOUTH AFRICA: Massive growth in post-school places
In its push to expand participation in tertiary education, the government announced last week that opportunities for South Africans who passed school-leaving examinations in December would grow by 56% this year. And under political pressure to provide free higher education, President Jacob Zuma promised students on state loans a free final year if they graduate.
ISLAMIC WORLD: Nations continue focus on Africa
The 36 resolutions passed by the Organisation of Islamic Conference meeting in Islamabad last week stressed the critical and catalytic role of science, technology and higher education for development in OIC states in general and African member countries in particular.
MAGHREB: Student, jobless graduate protests spread
While the five states of the Arab Maghreb Union in North Africa approved a plan to enhance cooperation and academic integration among universities, violence, rioting and strikes by students and jobless graduates spread across the region from Tunisia to Algeria and Mauritania.
ZIMBABWE: Mugabe supporters grab university land
Three supporters of President Robert Mugabe have moved to grab huge chunks of land belonging to a state-run university in a matter that has since spilled into the courts. This comes a decade after the African dictator launched a ruinous agrarian reform exercise.
MALAWI: Development of new universities underway
Malawian president Bingu wa Mutharika has set up a 17-member university committee composed of experts to spearhead the country's plans to construct five news institutions of higher learning within a decade.
EGYPT: Ailing nursing colleges promised rescue
With Egypt's nursing education system in crisis, the country's education authorities recently revealed plans for upgrading. The myriad challenges to be addressed include poorly resourced colleges, outdated curricula, low levels of English language comprehension among students and lack of practical training opportunities.
ZIMBABWE: Science and maths teacher training threat
Zimbabwean lawmakers have warned of a science and mathematics crisis in the country due to a dire shortage of funds for teacher training institutions specialising in the two disciplines.
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.