27 February 2015 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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Africa News
KENYA
KENYA: Student unrest, claims of political meddling
Kenya's premier institution of higher education, the University of Nairobi, was last week shut indefinitely following unrest over disputed student elections. Educationists pointed fingers at the country's politicians for meddling in student affairs.
ZIMBABWE
ZIMBABWE: Brain drain graduates must repay state aid
Zimbabwean university students who receive state assistance are now required to surrender a third of their salaries if they choose to work in foreign countries on completing their studies. The cash-strapped government has set up a special cadet scheme whose stringent conditions it hopes will stem a crippling brain drain that has hit most of the country's economic sectors.
GLOBAL: TIA and MIT join diseases patent pool
South Africa's Technology Innovation Agency, TIA, this month became the first government body worldwide to join the Open Innovation Patent Pool on Neglected Tropical Diseases. It followed the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in signing up to the initiative that promises to stimulate local innovations in the fight against diseases.
NIGERIA
NIGERIA: New peace institute to help resolve conflicts
Nigerian officials and diplomats have become increasingly concerned that very few people involved in conflict resolution are trained to either prevent or settle disputes. The University of Ibadan recently signed a memorandum of understanding with two government agencies to establish an Institute of Peace that will train people in this crucial field.
SENEGAL
SENEGAL: From 'brick' to 'click' universities
Officials from the World Bank were in Dakar this month to set out their vision for Senegal's higher education sector and to prepare for the launch of a new development strategy. Meanwhile, current problems in the country's education system were aired during their visit, said press reports.
JAPAN
JAPAN-NORTH AFRICA: Boost for university cooperation
Japan and six North African states - Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia - are to boost cooperation between universities. This was agreed at a summit held on 14 May in Tunis and attended by leaders and representatives from several Japanese and African universities.
SENEGAL
SENEGAL: Minister's visit ends student strike
Students at the University of Thiès have resumed their studies after a month-long strike, following a visit from Amadou Tidiane Bâ, Minister for Higher Education, Universities and Regional University Centres, who said he was taking "effective measures" to meet the students' demands, according to press reports.
AFRICA
AFRICA: India to finance e-network
India is financing a US$50 million project to establish a pan-African online 'e-network' linking the 53 countries of the African Union, reported Le Potentiel of Kinshasa, DR Congo, where the programme was presented this month.
ZIMBABWE
ZIMBABWE: Students in court for fake receipts
Twelve University of Zimbabwe students have appeared in court after attempting to write examinations using fake receipts. Many students have been ejected from universities for failing to raise fees in United States dollars.
ZIMBABWE: Region commits to rebuilding universities
Universities in Southern Africa have rallied to support the rebuilding of higher education in Zimbabwe, in what could evolve into a model of regional collaboration. Following a meeting of vice-chancellors in Cape Town, convened by the Southern African Regional Universities Association, a special envoy to Zimbabwe will be appointed to identify priority needs and develop an action plan to assist a sector devastated by a decade of political turmoil.
AFRICA
AFRICA: Lateral thinking for research funding
Last month African exporters learned that it is bad business to put all your eggs in one basket. As the Icelandic volcanic ash cloud grounded flights to Europe, pineapples in Ghana and roses in Kenya rotted in warehouses and workers were told to stay at home. The lesson also applies to Africa's academics.
NIGERIA
NIGERIA: Private hostels rip off university students
The increasing number of students in tertiary institutions in several Nigerian cities has caused serious accommodation problems and campus hostels can no longer cope with demand.
MADAGASCAR
MADAGASCAR/SENEGAL: Protests over unpaid grants
Unpaid student grants and benefits have led to violent demonstrations in Antsiranana, Madagascar - in which one student was killed in a confrontation with security forces - and in Dakar, Senegal.
TUNISIA
TUNISIA: Tackling graduate unemployment
Tunisia has unveiled a new savings-and-loan programme to lower the unemployment rate of nearly 15% for new university graduates. The scheme will offer graduates a chance to generate enough capital to launch their own businesses.
GHANA
GHANA: Ninety-nine-year-old graduates
In February 99-year-old World War II veteran and former teacher, Akasease Kofi Boakye Yiadom, graduated from the Presbyterian University College Business School in Abetifi, Ghana.
SENEGAL
SENEGAL: Collaboration to fight parasite diseases
The University of Gaston Berger of Saint-Louis and the Senegalese non-governmental organisation Espoir pour la Santé have signed a higher education and research agreement for collaboration in the health sciences, with priority given to fighting malaria and schistosomia.
BURKINA FASO
BURKINA FASO: Scientific agreement with French
Social and health sciences are among priority areas in an agreement of cooperation between Burkina Faso's National Centre of Scientific Research and Technology and the French Institute of Research for Development.
ZIMBABWE
ZIMBABWE: Academics dominate new human rights body
Zimbabwe has sworn in its first human rights commission, led by and comprised mainly of academics - at a time when academic freedoms are being violated and students have protested against a visit to the country by hard-line Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
MAURITANIA
MAURITANIA: Students clash over language policy
Violence broke out on the campus of the University of Nouakchott, in the Mauritanian capital, among students divided over the use of Arabic and French as the country's common languages. University authorities called in security agents to subdue the violence, which left several students seriously wounded.
SENEGAL
SENEGAL: Professional university to open in 2012
Minister for Technical Education and Professional Training Moussa Sakho has launched a project to create a new university in the Saint-Louis region. The Université des Métiers et du Développement Durable (University of Professions and Sustainable Development), due to open in 2012, is a joint public-private venture.
MADAGASCAR
MADAGASCAR: Impecunious students protest
Students at the University Nord d'Antsiranana took to the streets to protest against non- payment of a 10% increase in grants and other benefits promised by the Minister for Higher Education three weeks before, reported l'Express de Madagascar of Antananarivo.
CONGO
DR CONGO: Striking lecturers return to work
Lecturers at Unikin, the University of Kinshasa, have returned to work after a strike lasting nearly two months, following an agreement between the government and Apukin, the union representing the university's teaching staff, reported Le Potentiel of Kinshasa.
ALGERIA
ALGERIA: Researcher urges revival of Arabic
Algeria's access to the knowledge society depended on developing the Arabic language so it could compete with other languages, according to university researcher Ammar Bouhouche, reported La Tribune of Algiers.
EGYPT
EGYPT: OECD urges sweeping higher education reform
Egypt's higher education system is not serving the country's current needs well, and without far-reaching reform this will hamper economic and social progress, according to a new report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the World Bank.
SOUTH AFRICA
SOUTH AFRICA: Academy defends academic freedom
The Academy of Sciences of South Africa has defended academic freedom it believes is under threat from intrusive government regulations, the "apparently excessive influence" of private sector sponsorships of universities and perceived limitations on free speech within universities. The academy represents the country's outstanding scientists.