Democracy in African countries could be assisted by developing debating skills among university students, according to three champion debating students from Monash University in Australia. They have created African Voice, a non-profit organisation that will run debating training workshops for young people across the continent.
Located in Tunisia and Cameroon, the two newest institutes established by the AUF – Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie – have just appointed governing boards to oversee strategy and development. There are now six AUF institutes, with the others in Bulgaria, Laos, Mauritius and Vietnam.
Université Internationale de Casablanca, a Laureate universities network institution, plans to open a new campus in Casablanca catering for 12,000 students.
Zambia’s government is set to build a university in its troubled Western province, where people have been demanding secession and claiming lack of development. Observers have interpreted the move as an attempt by President Michael Sata to pacify the restive area.
A new report has proposed the scaling up of e-initiatives in an effort to boost medical education across Africa, bridge the health workforce gap and tackle the brain drain in the world’s most health resource-limited communities.
The Centre of Excellence in Science for Sustainability in Africa, CESSAF, has launched a PhD scholarship initiative in a range of scientific fields, with training to be offered in Angola and the United Kingdom.
The Supreme Court of Nigeria has rejected a request for sabbatical leave pay from 49 lecturers of the University of Ilorin, who were reinstated by the same court in 2009 after being unjustly expelled for eight years.
The Chinese influence in Tanzania looks set to become further entrenched after the University of Dodoma announced that it would introduce a Chinese language course. The university said the move was aimed at reducing communication barriers between the Chinese and Tanzanians, who have enjoyed a cordial relationship for over 50 years.
An initiative to unify Islamic universities in Africa has been launched, in an effort to foster cooperation, enhance academic mobility and promote mutual recognition of degrees.
China opened two new research centres dedicated to Africa last month. The Communication University of China launched a centre devoted to China-Africa media relations while Zhejiang Agriculture and Forestry University started the Center for China-Africa Agriculture and Forestry Research.
Leading Malawian academics joined 17 January demonstrations against the government of President Joyce Banda as the relationship between the two sides showed signs of strain, threatening to return the country to the animosity that prevailed between the state and lecturers when the late president Bingu wa Mutharika ruled.
A performance contract worth more than US$18 million between the University Cheikh Anta Diop of Dakar and Senegal’s Ministry of Higher Education and Research has been officially launched, with five principal objectives and the aim of achieving excellence in five years
A regional coordination mechanism for quality assurance and an integrated partnership framework for capacity building on governance and quality are to be established for West and Central Africa, following a conference held in Dakar late last year.
Problems in Senegal relating to new students’ choices of courses, mass expansion of higher education, lack of teaching staff and university infrastructure, and high student failure rates are among challenges facing Minister of Higher Education Mary Teuw Niane, who discussed his plans and actions in a New Year interview.
The Chinese-funded Malawi University of Science and Technology has now been completed and will take in its first students next year, Malawi’s education minister has said.
The African Development Bank has approved US$47 million to support efforts to improve the quality and relevance of science, technology and innovation training in Kenya's higher education sector.
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.