Academics at Nigerian universities have once again condemned the use of public funds for Nigerian lawmakers to attend university seminars in the US. This comes after a seminar offered by Kansas University to Nigerian legislators became embroiled in charges of financial irregularity involving the university, a Nigerian-born staff member and top Nigerian presidential officials.
In recent updates to parliament, lawmakers heard of plans to strengthen mathematics and science education, that construction work on Zambia's most prestigious university had remained unfinished for 45 years, and that government was funding collaborative research with a South African institute on testing traditional HIV-Aids medicines.
The University of Namibia has pulled together a multi-disciplinary team of scientists to conduct research into malaria, amid concerns over the growing global problem of drug-resistant malaria. The Malaria Research Project aims to make more malaria treatments available in the country and monitor emerging resistance to drugs.
Ethiopia is radically expanding its higher education sector: from two federal universities to 22 in just over a decade and another 10 to open soon. Even so, the percentage of the available cohort that attends higher education is still low at about 3%, compared with a Sub-Saharan average in 2007 of 6%, according to Unesco. The huge expansion of student numbers is mainly in new regional universities and a vibrant private system.
North-South partnerships between educational institutions are viewed as an important way in which the human and institutional capacity of African universities can be improved. But building and maintaining successful partnerships that can work within and challenge the tenacious asymmetries of global power, resources and capabilities often require sensitive planning and attention to detail.
The Consortium for Advanced Research Training in Africa, CARTA, aims to foster multidisciplinary research capacity in population and public health by teaming African universities, African research institutes and northern partners. One of the latest universities to join the consortium is the National University of Rwanda, where CARTA was officially launched on 31 March this year.
New students from areas of Algeria's interior have been enrolling for German and other subjects they have never learnt at school because they want to attend university in Algiers, according to La Tribune .
The commission in Cameroon responsible for assessing higher education qualifications issued abroad has exposed more than 300 cases of fraudulent diplomas, reported QuotidienMutations.info of Yaoundé.
A recent decision by Egypt's Ministry of Higher Education has landed Fathi Mokhtar, a 45-year-old employee at a telecommunications company in Cairo, in a dilemma. Over the past two years, Mokhtar has been studying commerce at Cairo University, a prestigious public institution. He was registered under a 'non-regular' system, which allows students to pursue studies without having to attend classes regularly.
Kenya's higher education authorities have cautioned students against enrolling in five international universities purporting to offer degrees and diplomas without government approval. There is growing concern over declining quality in higher education and the mushrooming of institutions offering un-vetted courses.
An initiative to fight the brain drain from Zimbabwe is beginning to pay off, with 31 university lecturers having returned to the African country ravaged by a skills flight to teach in health faculties at higher education institutions and in hospitals on a short-term basis.
Tunisia has launched a plan to help university graduates face the challenges of finding a job in their own field. This is in a context of widespread unemployment and intense competition in a job market ravaged by the global economic crisis. Students also have few academic choices and university autonomy is limited.
A recent study that measures the scientific performance of Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries over the past 15 years throws doubt on the capacity of the region to meet its own development goals.
Several universities in South Africa, worried that continuing high failure rates among students will erode their global competitiveness, have raised admission requirements for 2011. Not surprisingly, students are unhappy.
Kenya's universities are expanding their facilities and seeking collaborations to tap into a rapidly growing Masters in Business Administration market. The MBA has increasing currency among the working class of East Africa's biggest economy.
A debate in Nigeria over student dress codes rages on - running the gamut from student academic achievement, discipline, professionalism, conformity with social mores and clothes-as-political-statement to consumerism. While some university authorities argue that mode of dress is an important factor in determining student success or failure and should thus be subject to rules, others - especially in the humanities and social sciences - remain unconvinced.
The official installation of Unesco's first francophone Africa chair of bioethics has taken place at the University of Bouaké, based in Abidjan.
As a doorstop for one of the minor entrances to Valhalla, Financing Higher Education in Africa could serve nicely. This weighty tome is published by the World Bank and, with 60,000 words in five chapters spread over 200 pages - plus 25 figures, 26 tables and 29 boxes of summaries - the report is a mine of information. But its conclusion is gloomy.
PhD students at the Humanities and Social Sciences faculty of UCAD, the Université Cheikh Anta Diop of Dakar, are under pressure from the authorities because they are refusing to pay "ridiculous" increases in fees introduced last year, reported Wal Fadjri of Dakar.
The Seventh Day Adventist Church is to build a US$10 million university campus for 3,000 students in Huambo, reported Angola Press of Luanda.
Development aid from donor countries to Africa is usually directed to issues identified as priorities in the home country's development agenda - issues such as HIV and Aids, poverty reduction, primary health care and food security, among others - according to Peter Maassen, professor of higher education at the University of Oslo. This kind of focus is often at the expense of high-level knowledge development such as that produced within the research culture of universities.
Historians are working with Unesco and educationalists to try to develop a common African history syllabus, including the teaching approach and pedagogical materials. The ambitious project will initially focus on helping primary and secondary schools across the continent and, this coming year, an assessment will consider how universities in Africa could benefit from such work.
Kenya is to spend US$56 million in donor funding to strengthen vocational and technical training countrywide, and help boost the country's skills base. The plan includes building new technical institutions and elevating some to national polytechnic status.
Tunisia has adopted the 12th development plan for 2010-14 with a focus on higher education. The aim is to transform the national economy into a model driven by innovation and knowledge, in a country ranked the most improved in technology-readiness in Africa.
Zimbabwe's government has closed 106 'illegal' private colleges countrywide, throwing thousands of students onto the streets. Higher and Tertiary Education Ministry Permanent Secretary Dr Washington Mbizvo said the colleges did not meet acceptable standards. At the same time, a United Nations agency rated the country as the most literate in Africa.