The University of Cape Town has launched an OpenContent Directory that allows academics to share teaching and learning materials and makes a body of knowledge accessible to all. It will contribute South African resources to the global Knowledge Commons, Vice-chancellor Dr Max Price said, and is the first step towards Open UCT - a broader initiative that will make a vast range of resources, including research and community work, available online.
The University of Zimbabwe is battling to recover nearly US$5 million in research funds looted from its foreign currency account by the central bank during the country's economic crisis. Meanwhile, the institution has frozen intakes in some departments as the country's brain drain takes its toll - and a nationwide lecturer strike at public universities continues.
CAMES, the 18-member African and Madagascan Council for Higher Education, has launched a database of recognised qualifications in francophone Africa. With a couple of clicks to locate country and institution, the database gives information about diplomas, their relevant department or faculty, any available options, and how many years of higher education they require.
The five members of the Arab Maghreb Union - Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Libya and Mauritania - have agreed to create a website for all universities and research centers in the region and to re-activate a union of Maghrebi universities.
Egypt plans to set up an academy of science for young researchers to support top up-and-coming scientists and encourage them to play a pivotal role in developing future strategies for socio-economic development.
Tunisian higher education must conform to international standards and adapt to the demands of the labour market and knowledge economy, under the Presidential plan 'Together let's meet the challenges' that covers the period 2009-14, reported La Presse of Tunis.
Five years since its establishment the Southern African Regional Universities' Association, Sarua, has made considerable headway in establishing itself as a credible platform for leadership 'conversations' and a model for collaboration in the region's tertiary sector.
Only 6% of Zambians access higher education after completing school in a country with a population of nearly 11 million, a higher education body has said.
Two professors at the University of Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo, who alerted the law about embezzlement of funds, are facing the sack on the orders of the Minister of Higher and University Education.
The Zimbabwean government last week cancelled the academic year as universities and schools found it impossible to continue operating with the collapse of the country's economy. At the University of Zimbabwe, the country leading tertiary institution, a notice on a faculty building told students lectures would begin "on a date to be advised". But university vice-chancellor Levy Nyagura was quoted as saying the university had no water, no electricity and no funds.
Nearly 1,160,000 students have started the new academic year in Algeria, including 260,000 freshers, according to the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research. But despite the assurances of the Minister, Rachid Haraouabia, La Tribune of Algiers questioned whether universities had the capacity to cater for so many students.
The governing council of Nigeria's National Postgraduate Medical College has rejected moves by the National Universities Commission to undermine its autonomy on the issue of academics needing doctoral qualifications. Many lecturers at the country's only postgraduate medical college possess post-degree fellowship qualifications from the institution rather than PhDs.
Science departments in Zimbabwe's universities have been hardest hit by a brain drain that has been blamed mostly on poor salaries. Last week low pay prompted lectures at all state-run higher education institutions go on strike as part of wider civil service industrial action.
Two things never disappear from the grievance lists of South African students - fees and accommodation. No sooner had the 2010 academic year begun than students at some universities clashed with administrations and the police over fee hikes and lousy residences. Students renewed their call for free higher education while universities reported that student debt now tops R2.8 billion (US$363 million).
The University of Zambia was rocked by violent protests last week over the government's failure to pay student allowances. Riot police were called in as students' barricaded roads and stoned vehicles, and had to seal the institution to restore order. The country's oldest university has been disrupted by unrest every year for the past decade.
The government of Malawi has bowed to pressure against its controversial quota system by allowing partial implementation of it. The University of Malawi said last week that resident students had been selected using district quotas but non-resident students had been admitted purely on merit - and that it had achieved gender parity among students.
The academic future of 73 students who registered for two newly-introduced degree programmes at the Polytechnic of Namibia last year are uncertain after the government refused to recognise the degrees or provide the students with loans. New applications for the same courses this year have also been thrown into confusion amidst conflicting reports from the polytechnic and the Ministry of Education.
This month has been action-packed for the American University in Cairo, Egypt's oldest independent higher education institution founded 90 years ago. At high profile ceremonies attended by Egyptian and foreign dignitaries, the university launched three new schools - of global affairs and public policy, business, and graduate education.
The European Union will offer EUR20 million (US$27.3 million) to Egypt to promote research and innovation initiatives as well as establish technology-based industries. This was announced by the Ambassador of the European Delegation in Egypt Marc Franco at the first Euro-Mediterranean Innovation Marketplace held in Heliopolis, Egypt, from 26-28 January.
Private universities began to be established in Nigeria about a decade ago. They have refused to permit trade unionism among students and staff, allowing only loose associations with very strict guidelines. But there is a growing call for unions to be able to operate in private higher education, to promote democratic governance. Opponents are preparing to resist such a move.
In a recent report, the Southern African Regional Universities' Association, Sarua, started on the complex subject of regional integration and what it means for higher education. The Challenges of Regional Integration and its Implications for Higher Education aims to "set the background for engagement" around regional integration rather than provide definitive answers or proposals.
Universities are set to cash in on the 2010 Fifa World Cup with some institutions expected to earn up to R20 million (US$2.6 million), primarily from renting accommodation to some of the participating teams, their fans and media contingents following the competition. Universities have ploughed substantial investments into student residences and sporting facilities to take advantage of the huge event, and ultimately students will benefit.
Professor Diane Hildebrandt was one of two South African winners of the inaugural African Union Scientific Awards for basic science, technology and innovation, announced during an African Union summit in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa. Hildebrandt said she represented "scientists and engineers in Africa - men and women - who are doing research in often very difficult conditions and always with too few resources".
Students in Douala are facing increasing housing problems as landlords prefer to rent to more lucrative tenants, as well as burglaries when they do find student accommodation, according to newspapers Douala's area of Bonamoussadi contained buildings composed of bedsits intended for housing students, said Quotidienmutations.info of Yaoundï¿½. But it was clear that many of these rooms were occupied by workers and their families. Baby clothes were hung out to dry and shrieking children ran along the corridors said the publication, which interviewed students living in the area.
The Arab Women Organization has announced five research grants for young researchers in women's studies, and a prize for higher academic and scientific research into questions related to women. Candidates must be nationals of one of the organisation's member states.