18 August 2017 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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AFRICA
eLearning partnership opens doors to 10 million students
A landmark agreement signed between the 380-member Association of African Universities, or AAU, and Africa’s largest online education platform eLearnAfrica will enable 10 million students to access higher education through online services provided to AAU member universities.
ZIMBABWE
Sanctions study tender – ‘No innocent research project’
The government has awarded the tender to carry out a scientific study of the economic impact of Western sanctions to a consortium of researchers at the University of Zimbabwe in a move that critics say is intended to boost the chances of the ruling party and its almost 93-year-old president in the 2018 general elections.
NIGERIA
Non-payment of lecturer salaries ‘a growing trend’
Chronic delays in the payment of lecturer salaries by the federal government are causing major disruptions in Nigerian universities and have already brought some to a standstill. Despite the recession, however, salaries and allowances of all political office holders continue to be paid on time.
SUDAN
Amnesty urges end to persecution of Darfuri students
International human rights group Amnesty International is calling on the government of Sudan to launch urgent investigations into allegations of arbitrary arrests, detention, torture and persecution of students from the country’s troubled Darfur region by Sudanese security forces.
TUNISIA-UNITED STATES
Harvard Middle East centre opens first overseas office
The Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University opened its first overseas office this month, in Tunisia, in what has been hailed by the university’s president as an opportunity to “bring the world to Harvard and Harvard to the world”. Among local higher education experts canvassed by University World News, hopes for the initiative seem equally high.
NIGERIA
State agency takes the lead in university corruption cases
A recent series of investigations by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission into allegations of corruption against high-level university staff is challenging the traditional autonomy of university governing councils.
EGYPT
Supreme Council pushes to secure university autonomy
Despite reports of thousands of students and scholars remaining in prison and a tightening of control of universities, the Supreme Council of Universities is pushing for autonomy and academic freedom to be established through governance reform.
ZIMBABWE
Government funds unlikely to meet campuses needs
A fiscally constrained Zimbabwe government has allocated a meagre US$23.2 million to both kick-start new and complete existing infrastructure projects at its burgeoning universities. The amount is far less than what is needed to effect real physical improvements on all of the country’s campuses.
KENYA
School of law to start year without foreign students
No foreign law graduate is to be admitted to the Kenya School of Law for the 2017-18 academic year following a decision last year by the Kenya Council of Legal Education to bar the admission of law graduates from other universities in the East African region.
EGYPT
Medical professors in alleged organ trafficking racket
Egyptian authorities recently busted what they said was the biggest illegal organ trafficking ring in the country’s history. The suspects include medical professors at the universities of Cairo and Ain Shams, Egypt’s two main public academic institutions, the Health Ministry said.
AFRICA
Gathering of ministers calls for more African PhDs
African science and education ministers have called for bold and urgent steps to increase the number of PhD holders produced on the continent every year, as well as the establishment of an African research chair initiative, and the development of mechanisms to harness research mobility on the continent.
GHANA
Graduate unemployment plays key role in elections
Benbella Akuffo Asare, a 24-year-old university graduate, has been looking for work as a teacher for over a year. He says he has applied for more than 500 jobs since graduating from the University of Education, Winneba in Ghana and finishing his mandatory one year of national service in 2015. Unemployment has become a cause for growing concern for many Ghanaians as they prepare to vote in presidential and parliamentary elections on 7 December.

ALGERIA
Ministry launches e-masters degree project
The Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research has launched an e-masters degree on an experimental basis in five universities as part of an attempt to address the challenge of high graduate unemployment.
GLOBAL
Mobility of African students – Europe losing ground
Students from Africa account for more than one in 10 students worldwide studying abroad – a mobility rate twice as high as the global average – with about a fifth from North Africa, and more than a half from countries where French is spoken.
GLOBAL
International African students in France – A profile
France retains the top position globally for African students studying degree programmes abroad, although numbers have declined sharply with 92,205 enrolled in 2013 compared with 113,936 in 2012 – a drop of 19% – according to UNESCO figures reported in a new study from Campus France, the agency that promotes French higher education globally.
GLOBAL
World Academy of Sciences grows, launches new network
The World Academy of Sciences, the science network for the developing world, has elected 40 new fellows – more than half from China and India – bringing the number of academy members to more than 1,200 from some 95 countries. At last week’s 27th General Meeting held in Rwanda, the academy also launched a new wing for young scientists.
GLOBAL
Violent attacks shrink the space for higher education
Attacks on higher education communities are occurring at an alarming rate around the world, threatening the safety and well-being of scholars, students and staff, and closing down the space in which people are free to think, question and share ideas, according to a new report by Scholars at Risk.
EGYPT
State killings, arrests and travel bans on scholars
Thousands of students and hundreds of scholars remain in prison in Egypt, many for peacefully exercising their right to free expression, according to a new report on violent attacks on higher education communities from Scholars at Risk.
ZIMBABWE
Higher education minister and deputy accused of fraud
Zimbabwean police arrested Higher Education, Science and Technology Minister Jonathan Moyo and his deputy, Godfrey Gandawa, on Wednesday for allegedly misappropriating around US$450,000 from a manpower development fund that finances students, among other activities. The politicians were questioned and released.
UGANDA
President orders indefinite shutdown of top university
Makerere University, Uganda’s oldest and most prestigious higher education institution and one of the best in Africa, has been closed until further notice following a directive by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.
AFRICA
Second African centres of excellence project launched
A second regional centres of excellence project, co-funded by the World Bank and aimed at providing sustainable solutions through science and technology in higher education across East and Southern Africa, was officially unveiled in Kenya’s capital Nairobi on 26 October.
ISLAMIC STATES
Academic exchange pilot to boost science and innovation
The Morocco-based Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation launched the pilot phase of the 'TAFAHUM' project to enhance quality by promoting collaboration between a number of Maghreb universities and the France-based Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie.
KENYA
Universities open doors to business opportunities
In what seems to be a growing trend in Kenya, public universities are actively seeking investments in a range of sectors including manufacturing, real estate and agriculture. The latest is Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, which has announced plans to open an instant noodle-making factory in partnership with a Japanese firm.
AFRICA
African Virtual University to open more centres
The African Virtual University, in partnership with the African Development Bank, has launched phase two of its multinational project aimed at expanding its network of centres of open, distance and e-learning and which will see 27 facilities opened in 21 countries.
ALGERIA
Ministry unveils new roadmap for university education
Algeria has unveiled a new roadmap for higher education and research in efforts to build a knowledge-based economy by raising educational standards, improving the employability of graduates and revitalising research.