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Africa News
AFRICA
AFRICA: New head for mathematical institute
The new director of the Africa Institute for Mathematical Sciences, distinguished mathematician Professor Barry Green, took office this month. He intends to ensure that the institute keeps promoting maths and science while building capacity for African initiatives in education, research and technology.
AFRICA
AFRICA: Science must tackle local language barriers
Africans have a rich cultural heritage and a wealth of traditional knowledge on topics ranging from agriculture and forestry to medicines and medical practices, all of which could make valuable contributions to modern science - but only if science can be translated into local languages.
GLOBAL: SA, Tunisia, Mauritius top Africa innovators
South Africa was ranked the first in Africa and 51st globally in the 2010 Global Innovation Index released last month by the international business school INSEAD and the Confederation of Indian Industry. The country finished 26th for investment in education and 29th for the quality of scientific research institutions.
AFRICA
AFRICA: ADEA launches research prize
The Association for the Development of Education in Africa will launch a new prize to promote excellence in educational research in African universities and research institutes and networks, and among the African diaspora working and studying throughout the world, reported Sudonline of Dakar, Senegal.
BURKINA FASO
BURKINA FASO: Local government centre opens
A new international centre for training local authority officials and elected councillors of 15 West and Central African countries has been inaugurated in Ouagadougou, reported Sidwaya of Ouagadougou.
GABON
GABON: Bullies sanctioned, not expelled
Students at the Université des Sciences et Technique of Massuku who bullied freshers have avoided dismissal from the university, reported Gabonews of Libreville.
ALGERIA
ALGERIA: Mauritania and Mozambique collaborate
Mauritania and Mozambique hope that Algeria will increase the number of grant quotas it makes each year for their students and widen its collaboration with them in higher education and research, reported La Tribune of Algiers.
KENYA
KENYA: University sued over missing cat
The University of Nairobi in Kenya has been sued after a male cat in its possession for treatment vanished. The cat's owner, Tawhida Yakub, filed a suit against the university seeking compensation. Yakubsaid she had taken Fifi to the College of Veterinary Science at the Kabete campus in Nairobi in December for treatment of wounds and castration - but he subsequently disappeared without trace.
GLOBAL: Detecting application fraud
Some of the most sophisticated mechanisms for tackling fraud in admissions applications have been developed by West African countries Nigeria and Ghana, the British Council conference was told.
BENIN
BENIN: Five-month strike - now a pay rise
Teachers in Benin's three state universities have suspended industrial action that lasted for five months.
KENYA
KENYA: Academics attack finance plans
The University Academic Staff Union has lashed out at a proposal to merge 'regular' and 'parallel' degree programmes offered at Kenya's public universities, and accused the World Bank of "sabotage".
UGANDA
UGANDA: Kenyan students shot dead
A security guard at Makerere University in the Ugandan capital Kampala allegedly shot and killed two Kenyan students this month, sparking riots on the campus. The two Kenyans, first year law student Brian Livasia Amuoga and third year commerce student Ignatius Nyongesa, were killed at a hostel while campaigning for student elections.
SOUTH AFRICA
SOUTH AFRICA: Minister charts new tertiary directions
Following two decades of tumultuous change, universities in South Africa were warned of much more to come when Minister of Higher Education and Training, Dr Blaze Nzimande, delivered his budget vote in parliament on Thursday. Universities will receive R17.5 billion (US$2.4 billion) this year - the lion's share of a R32 billion post-school budget.
SOUTH AFRICA
SOUTH AFRICA: New leader for higher education council
The newly-appointed chief executive of South Africa's Council on Higher Education, Ahmed Essop, will tackle organisational turmoil that has been undermining the work of the statutory policy advisory body when he takes up the post in May.
ZAMBIA
ZAMBIA: Higher Education levy, student loan law mulled
Zambia is considering introducing a higher education levy and a law compelling beneficiaries of state loans to pay back, as the costs of running universities is proving unsustainable for the state. The government has also slapped a ceiling on what universities can pay lecturers due to financial constraints in the poor Southern African country.
ZIMBABWE
ZIMBABWE: Four more universities planned
Zimbabwe has put in place plans to construct four more universities, one of them a private initiative of former Kutama High School students who include the country's long-time autocratic leader, President Robert Mugabe. Three other public universities are to be built in provinces that currently do not have one.
SOUTH AFRICA
SOUTH AFRICA: First step towards free tuition
It has been called a "monumental disappointment" by South Africa's official opposition. But student groups have predictably welcomed a review of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, which represents a "first step" towards realising the ruling African National Party's plan to progressively introduce free higher education for poor undergraduates.
SOUTH AFRICA
MOZAMBIQUE: $40 million for higher education project
Mozambique is to receive US$40 million to support implementation of a Higher Education Science and Technology (HEST) project, the World Bank announced. The project's aim is to support the government's policy goals of economic development and poverty alleviation by increasing the number and quality of graduates and improving national research capacity.
SOUTH AFRICA
SOUTH AFRICA: Free higher education - why not?
I support the ideal of free higher education. I also support the idea that health care should be available free of charge to all in need, just as I believe that South Africa's economic and social policies should prioritise full employment through which all can enjoy the dignity that is associated with leading economically and socially productive lives.
AFRICA
AFRICA: Science initiative rises to continental needs
Science and education development can only flourish in Africa through support for home grown institutions. The Regional Initiative in Science and Education, RISE, has been striving to achieve this for the past 18 months through university-based networks that train science and engineering academics for African universities.
MAGHREB: New regional and US science partnerships
North African countries are planning to boost higher education and scientific capacity by establishing a University of the Maghreb and an Academy of Sciences of the Maghreb as well as forging partnerships with the United States.
GHANA: University's student honour system under fire
At my workplace, Ashesi University, we aim to educate the future leaders for Africa. Part of that goal is worked on through discussing ethics with students and practising it on campus. After much debate, it was decided that students should themselves take responsibility for fair procedure and take exams without proctoring lecturers.
SOUTH AFRICA
SOUTH AFRICA: Free university for the poor proposed
Free higher education for poor South African students and the scrapping of race in favour of class as a mechanism to identify those in need of financial assistance could be on the cards if recent media reports based on a leaked version of a ministerial review of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, NSFAS, are to be believed.
ZIMBABWE
ZIMBABWE: Pay hike ends lecturer strike
Lecturers in Zimbabwe have been awarded salary hikes, prompting them to return to work more than a month after engaging in a wider civil servant strike that is still raging. Top-paid academics will now earn US$800 a month - up from $290. Only lecturers have been awarded a pay rise so far, out of a striking civil servant pool that includes health workers and teachers, who continue to take home less than $200 a month.
AFRICA
AFRICA: Egypt vows to propel African science agenda
Egypt has vowed to "maintain momentum" in building African science and technology capacity after it takes over as chair of the African Ministerial Council on Science and Technology, AMCOST, this month. The two-year role passed to Egypt from the current chair, Kenya, when AMCOST met in Cairo from 7-10 March.