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Africa News
1.4 million sit university entrance exam online
The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, the sole agency mandated to conduct entrance examinations for universities in Nigeria, has held its first computer-based test for more than 1.4 million candidates at some 400 ICT centres countrywide.
Bloc creates virtual ‘regional integration’ university
The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa – COMESA – is set to establish within six months a virtual university aimed at supporting regional integration. COMESA Virtual University will work with a network of institutions in a collaborative initiative aimed at enhancing the generation and dissemination of research related to regional integration.
Ministry sets out higher education, research priorities
Tunisia’s ministry of higher education has announced five priorities for higher education and research – reform of the sector, university autonomy, employability of graduates, improving education provided by private institutions and increasing efficiency in the use of research facilities.
Turkey and Morocco – New higher education cooperation
Turkey and Morocco are implementing a higher education cooperation plan that includes setting up a joint higher education institution, networking among universities and mutual recognition of degrees aimed at enhancing student and academic mobility.
AfDB scholarship scheme to train lecturers in sciences
A new scholarship scheme funded by the African Development Bank is under way, aimed at training more lecturers and boosting teaching in the fields of science, engineering and technology in Kenya’s new universities.
Continental platform to accelerate science excellence
The Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa, or AESA, has started operations and there are plans to run funding grants before the end of the year. AESA is a pan-African platform to source funding for science and health research, created by the African Academy of Sciences and the New Partnership for Africa's Development agency.
Lecturers at four public universities strike over pay
Riled by non-payment of February salaries and bonuses from December, lecturers at some public universities in Zimbabwe have gone on strike over the last two weeks. At least four universities across the country saw anger spill into the streets – but the government quickly resolved the problem before it spiralled out of control by providing much-needed funds.
Union protest over new law ends in deal with government
Senegal’s higher education union Syndicat Autonome de l’Enseignement Supérieur has signed an agreement with the government, bringing to an end a long-running dispute over new higher education legislation. The signing of the accord took place on 16 March, after ministers accepted a union amendment on the composition of governing boards in public universities.
East Africa credit transfer scheme enters new phase
The East African Credit Accumulation and Transfer project undertaken by higher education authorities in the region’s five countries has entered a fifth phase, with experts agreeing on minimum standards for psychology, counselling, community development, developmental studies and social work programmes.
Steady rise in the number of professors and associates
A total of 424 professors and associate professors were employed in Ghana’s public universities in 2013-14, up from 317 the previous year, according to figures released by the National Council for Tertiary Education.
Newswire partnership to assist students and universities
The African Press Organisation – the continent’s only press release newswire – has joined forces with international information provider NewsBank to furnish Africa-related news releases to students, colleges and universities, schools, libraries, professionals and researchers around the world.
Protests against non-payments – and PhD unemployment
Higher education and research unions at the University Alassane Ouattara, or UAO, have suspended strike action started in mid-February to protest against non-payment of salaries, bonuses and overtime. Meanwhile unemployed doctoral graduates have been demonstrating in Abidjan, demanding public service jobs.
Union continues protests against university reforms
Higher education in Senegal continues to face disruption, with union opposition to government reforms last week including a strike that threatened the already late start of the 2014-15 academic year at Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar, or UCAD, the country’s leading university.
Public university academics strike over pay
Lecturers and non-teaching staff at public universities in Zimbabwe have gone on strike. The academics are protesting against poor working conditions, late salary payments and the government’s failure to pay them 2014 bonuses.
Enrolment numbers grow, along with science students
Studies into Ghana’s tertiary education sector show that student numbers have been rising steadily. Also, two in five students in both universities and polytechnics are now enrolled in science and technical courses, and distance education numbers have grown by nearly 20%.
IBM creates second major African research lab in Jo'burg
The University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg is to host technology giant IBM’s second major research, development and innovation laboratory in Africa. The US$62 million investment comes after IBM launched a research centre in the Kenyan capital Nairobi in late 2013 and is the global company’s 12th international research lab.
Tunis to host first American university in the Maghreb
Tunisia is to host a US$100 million American university that will be completely operational by 2020 and will be the first of its kind in the Arab Maghreb region, which comprises the North African countries of Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia.
Somaliland appeal for help developing higher education
The president of Somaliland University of Technology in Hargeisa, capital city of the breakaway republic located on the gulf of Aden, has appealed to the international higher education community for help in strengthening universities.
African Union postgraduate scholarships for the disabled
The African Union is granting postgraduate scholarships to people with disabilities from across the continent – the first time that the continental body has tailored grants specifically for disadvantaged learners.
Universities set to reopen in two Ebola-hit countries
Higher education institutions in the three West African countries hit by Ebola have been closed for nearly a year. While the authorities in Guinea and Liberia are taking steps to open schools and institutions that were shut following the disease outbreak, officials in Sierra Leone are still monitoring the situation.
Education unions reject new university law
Higher education unions have condemned the new framework law for universities passed on 26 December, which they say violates institutions’ freedom.
University regulator drafts law to accredit professionals
Kenya’s higher education regulator, the Commission for University Education, wants professional bodies barred from accrediting graduates in key professions and wants to take over the role, to avoid frequent stand-offs between the associations and universities.
Student discontent in Burkina Faso and Côte d’Ivoire
The beginning of the year in West Africa's Burkina Faso and Côte d’Ivoire has been disrupted by student protests and strikes.
UK initiative to enhance Africa’s research capacity
Britain’s Institute of Development Studies will select nine African universities over two years to participate in a new programme to boost the research and teaching practices of academics working in agriculture, health and the environment. The British government is funding the scheme with a £2 million (US$3 million) grant.
HE embraces Kiswahili to boost regional integration
Rwandan universities have embarked on an ambitious programme to teach Kiswahili, East Africa’s lingua franca, to enable the country’s populace to tap into regional integration.