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Africa News
Pan-African University campus to open in September
Algeria is to open a campus of the Pan-African University (PAU) in September specialising in renewable energy sciences and climate change research. The campus will accommodate about 450 doctoral students from across Africa.
Bank boosts S&T learning in tertiary education
The African Development Bank has launched a project to assist in revamping science and technology learning at seven tertiary institutions in Malawi, focusing on increasing access, quality and relevance.
Mother dies in university stampede
The mother of a prospective student was trampled to death and 22 people were injured, two critically, in a stampede for limited slots at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) on Tuesday. The tragedy highlights flaws in the South African higher education admissions process and the desperation of school-leavers to secure access to a tertiary qualification.
Plan for 1.5 million students by 2030
South Africa's government plans to raise university enrolments from a current 900,000 to 1.5 million by 2030, to achieve a participation rate in higher education of 23%, according to a green paper published on Thursday. The target for colleges and other post-school institutions is a whopping four million students - a six-fold increase over current numbers.
Lecturers resume work, but tensions persist
Lecturers in Malawi have resolved to return to work to end nearly a year of academic freedom protests during a long-running impasse with the government. But with tensions and mistrust persisting, lecturers have been firm about setting out the conditions under which they will resume classes.
More students expelled from top university
Drama at the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania's oldest and most prestigious higher education institution, has continued with the expulsion of 13 more students last Tuesday and the suspension of 86 others for conducting an illegal strike.
Diamond sales to fund student grants
The Zimbabwean government has relaunched student grants, to be financed from diamond sales, in an effort to resuscitate the tertiary sector. Companies have also pulled resources together to come up with student loans. The country's 2012 national budget has been lauded by lawmakers for prioritising higher education.
Reinstated lecturers resume fight in court
Two years ago the supreme court ordered the council of the University of Ilorin in central Nigeria to immediately reinstate 49 lecturers who had been sacked during nationwide industrial action 10 years ago. Now the reinstated academics are back in the legal trenches asking the court to force the university to fully implement the ruling.
International agencies to help loans board
Kenya is planning to approach international financing agencies as it seeks to cope with ever-increasing numbers of university students, most requiring study loans. The country's higher education loans board, faced with a dwindling pool of funds, has been mulling a range of fundraising options to allow it to keep up with growing demand.
University unveils desert development project
With the Nile Delta bursting at the seams with the vast majority of Egypt's 81 million people, scientists at the provincial University of Mansoura believe it is high time to reclaim large stretches of the desert. The Delta-based public university has unveiled an ambitious plan to increase arable land in the country by more than 20%.
Gender equity in student enrolment improves
Zimbabwe's higher education affirmative action policy has resulted in a sharp increase in the number of female students at institutions of higher learning.
AFRICA: Pan-African University officially launched
The Pan African University was officially launched last Wednesday in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, headquarters of the African Union, which has been driving the initiative. The event transformed into reality the dream of creating centres of excellence across Africa to conduct research and train the high-level professionals desperately needed for development.
CÔTE D'IVOIRE: President closes universities for 2012
A decision by President Alassane Ouattara to close Côte d'Ivoire's two universities until at least September 2012 has caused consternation in the higher education community and provoked condemnation by human rights organisations, according to press reports.
KENYA: Universities in talks with private investors
Kenya is in talks with three South African investors to construct facilities in one of its public universities, as institutions seek private funding to expand facilities against a background of soaring student numbers. Another major university is also seeking private investment in academic and residential infrastructure.
TANZANIA: Protests at universities, students expelled
Protests at Tanzania's institutions of higher learning appear to be far from over. There have been demonstrations at three universities in the past two weeks over issues ranging from lack of practical training to the disbanding of a student group and non-payment of allowances.
MAURITIUS: State might cancel 'useless' courses
The Ministry of Tertiary Education announced last week that it might cancel some humanities and social sciences courses at the University of Mauritius. The news sparked an uproar among students and intellectuals on the Indian Ocean island.
TOGO: Protests against 'merit' grants shut universities
The government of Togo "temporarily" closed the universities of Lomé and Kara last week following student protests against a new system of grants that will be paid to students on merit, rather than to everyone as previously.
TUNISIA: Universities disrupted by niqab protests
Some universities in Tunisia have been disrupted by religiously motivated protesters, outsiders as well as students, demanding the right of women students to wear the niqab, the full-face veil, in class and during examinations, according to press reports.
TUNISIA: European innovation partnership set up
A four-year partnership funded by the European Union has been set up to promote the development of technological innovation in Tunisia, reported La Presse of Tunis.
ALGERIA: Aim to strengthen scientific research
A national forum on scientific research will take place in Algeria in 2012, aimed at finding solutions to problems such as the lack of highly qualified researchers and managers in the sector. The government has said 1,200 research places will open for recruitment next year.
NIGERIA: Striking academics close public universities
Striking academics have once again shut down Nigeria's public universities, and students have been sent home. Leaders of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, or ASUU, have accused the federal and regional governments of deliberately failing to execute a memorandum of understanding on funding, salaries and conditions signed two years ago.
EGYPT: Tough challenges for new universities minister
He is Egypt's fourth higher education minister in 10 months. His predecessor held the post for four months and was forced to quit along with the rest of the government after clashes between pro-democracy protesters and security forces left 45 people dead. When named universities minister this month, Dr Hussein Khaled said he would handle the job regardless of when he might leave it.
TUNISIA: Debate on higher education problems and future
The future of higher education in Tunisia following the revolution in January has been under debate in the media. In a series of articles, La Presse questioned whether the sector "truly responds to the commonly accepted demands on universities?" Are there links coordinating teaching with the job market, have higher education's problems been identified and what should reform priorities be?
AFRICA: Universities rethink internationalisation
The African Network for Internationalisation of Education, ANIE, held its third annual conference recently in Abuja, Nigeria. Among the trends identified were growing collaboration between African universities, which is driving far greater mobility of students and staff across the continent, and increased use of information and communication technologies.
KENYA: Paralysing lecturer strike suspended, for now
Lecturers in public universities in Kenya have suspended their paralysing nine-day strike for two weeks to pave the way for negotiations with the government. The tussle has triggered a debate over who should pick up the wage bill.