New regional universities, increased priority for research, and 800 extra student housing units for Senegal’s five public universities were among measures announced by Mary Teuw Niane, minister of higher education and research, in spite of a cut in next year’s budget.
The crisis at Burkina Faso’s University of Koudougou over the exclusion of students and campus disorder continues, with students denouncing an ‘anti-student campaign’ by the lecturers’ union Synadec, which went on strike to protest against denigration of the teaching profession and violence on campuses.
Kenya’s Higher Education Loans Board in partnership with government has commenced an ambitious higher education financing programme targeting over 250,000 civil servants, which will see all those willing to acquire a university education get funding.
South Africa’s Minister of Higher Education and Training Blade Nzimande has called for a debate to inform the use of African languages for teaching and research in higher education.
A new university is to be set up in Morocco to boost research on the environment and development and to serve as an ‘engine of development’ for Mohammed VI Green City in Benguerir, north of Marrakesh.
Burkina Faso has been undergoing a “remarkable expansion” of private higher education, to the detriment of women and the socially disadvantaged and leading to geographical inequalities, according to an editorial in Sidwaya of Ouagadougou. It also reported that graduate unemployment, unknown 30 years ago, is now a serious problem.
Direct funding of research in universities by the private sector could help accelerate much-talked-about but rarely achieved linkages between higher education and industry, the East African High Education Forum heard last month.
Mary Teuw Niane is leaving his post as rector of Senegal's University Gaston Berger of Saint-Louis to become the country's new minister for higher education and research. He takes up the job after seven months of discontent and strikes among teachers at all levels of education, with further disruption threatened as institutions await the delayed start of the new academic year.
The University of Malawi has come up with a five-year strategic plan that it hopes will strengthen governance and funding, double student numbers and boost research.
Zimbabwe’s public universities are reeling under a US$100 million government debt after the authorities failed to pay student support funds following the looting of diamond revenues.
A row over disciplinary measures taken against 16 students – 14 of whom have been expelled – has been mounting at the University of Koudougou in Burkina Faso. Government intervention has failed to restore order, and last week saw more strikes and demonstrations by supporters of the students demanding that the severe punishments be cancelled.
The decision to demolish accommodation blocks at the University of Cheikh Anta Diop (UCAD) of Dakar, Senegal’s leading university, has caused violent protests by students who demanded to be rehoused before they were moved out, saying they had nowhere to go and were not consulted about the move.
Global partnerships between higher education institutions and the information and communication technologies industry could reduce the distance between collaborators and help tap experts in the diaspora, a UNESCO official told the Innovation Africa summit held from 5-7 October in Cape Town.
Mauritius’ higher education space is set to expand with the establishment of the island’s first open university, which will start enrolling students in January next year, a senior official has confirmed.
Nigeria’s National Universities Commission has taken an unprecedented step by withdrawing the licences of seven private universities accused of non-compliance with the statutory provisions establishing them. But politicians have intervened to reverse the decision.
African nations are working to boost the use of space technology by setting up a continental space agency, to be called AfriSpace.
Turmoil threatens to return to Malawi’s higher education sector as the country’s President Joyce Banda has been confronted by a new challenge: the first strike by lecturers since she assumed power in April.
Tanzania’s government has earmarked about TSh326 billion (US$208 million) to finance higher education student loans in the 2012-13 academic year, Minister for Education and Vocational Training Dr Shukuru Kawambwa told parliament, with 98,772 students set to benefit.
Engagement in North-South research partnerships can benefit the career prospects of a developing country scientist, according to a survey of the alumni of a major Swiss-funded research programme.
A new annual award to promote and recognise quality African research in education aims to strengthen links between researchers and policy-makers.
The Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa, CODESRIA, is calling for proposals for a new research programme supporting university-based academics in six African countries to undertake studies into higher education leadership and governance.
The American Political Science Association held its fourth African Workshop at the University of Botswana during the last two weeks of July, on the theme “Local Communities and the State in Africa”, with a focus on field research methods and delivery.
Lack of student accommodation, and severe financial difficulties leading to threatened strikes by supply teachers and withdrawal of medical treatment for staff, are among problems at Senegal’s leading University Cheikh Anta Diop, according to local newspaper reports.
Research remains the poor relation of universities south of the Sahara, in particular those in West and Central Africa. This finding was repeatedly and bitterly stated at a forum held in Dakar, Senegal, from 2-4 July.
Zimbabwe has failed to reintroduce grants and loans due to the looting of diamond funds that the treasury had earmarked to go towards funding student support.