30 March 2015 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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Africa News
CÔTE D'IVOIRE: Human rights institute to open soon
The Université Atlantique in Abidjan is opening an institute of human rights in September, and last month it held a conference to prepare its operations.
SOUTH AFRICA: Incentive system bad for scholarship
Research has become, over the last decade or so, a commodity in South Africa. Of course, this has always partially been the case with applied research. Studies have always been commissioned or funded by industries and government departments, with the aim of improving upon the products or services provided, innovating new ways of doing things and increasing efficiency and effectiveness.
EGYPT-JAPAN: Joint science and technology university
Senior Egyptian and Japanese officials attended the inauguration of the Egypt-Japan University of Science and Technology, known as E-JUST, in Cairo last Wednesday.
BURKINA FASO-FRANCE: Rising urban obesity alert
The number of town-dwellers in developing countries is expected to double between 2000 and 2025. With rapid urbanisation comes a change of eating habits - and not for the better, as more meat, fat, salt and sugar enter the diet and snacks replace meals.
SENEGAL: Academic urges African research upgrade
African countries must upgrade their research activities if they are to succeed in developing themselves, said Professor Libasse Diop of the University Cheikh Anta Diop of Dakar recently.
DR CONGO: Accord to boost women's higher studies
The United Nations Development Programme last month signed an agreement with Congolese universities to promote the higher education of women, as part of a wider action plan, reported Le Potentiel of Kinshasa.
AFRICA: Research concentrated in three countries
Africa has extremely uneven distribution of research and innovative capacity, according to a recent report. Research is concentrated in Egypt in the north, Nigeria in the middle and South Africa in the south. Africa produces only some 27,000 papers a year - about the same volume of published output as The Netherlands - but the continent has relatively high representation, as a share of world publications, in fields related to natural resources.
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: 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: 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: 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-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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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/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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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.