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Africa News
ZAMBIA: New Japanese technology links universities
Zambia's two major public universities will soon have access to more research and learning materials, via a link between them using Japan's XVD video conference technology. The e-learning programme, launched in the capital Lusaka recently, is the first step in a government initiative that aims to provide higher quality, more affordable education to all citizens.
SWAZILAND: Science and technology park planned
Plans to set up a science and technology park are taking shape in Swaziland in a drive to increase the country's scientific competitiveness and create links between researchers and industry. The park, to be built outside the main industrial centre Manzini, will have research and development facilities for biotechnology and information and communication technologies.
WEST AFRICA: Bank to fund higher education
The African Development Bank is joining forces with the countries of the West African Economic and Monetary Union to invest in higher education for the first time. Mohamed H'Midouche, the bank's regional representative, told a meeting in Dakar that the bank's funding would total FCFA30 billion (US$55.8 million).
FRANCOPHONE AFRICA: E-training for primary teachers
The first evaluation of an experimental distance training project for primary school French teachers in three African countries and Haiti has taken place. Ifadem, the francophone initiative for distance training of teachers, is a joint collaboration between the French-speaking University Agency, AUF, and the International Organisation for Francophonie, OIF.
AFRICA- SENEGAL: Virtual University successes
Set up to bridge the digital North-South divide, the African Virtual University has also proved a success in the education of women and of students living in areas of conflict, said university Rector Dr Bakary Diallo.
TOGO: Protesting students reject Bologna system
Police intervened this month at the University of Lomé's faculty of arts and economic sciences where students were demonstrating against the new higher education system based on Europe's Bologna process.
MALAWI: China to fund new science university
The Chinese government will fund the construction of a new science university in Malawi as part of the country's ambitious initiative to open five new institutions of higher learning in the next decade, President Bingu wa Mutharika has said.
CANADA-AFRICA: New project links universities to industry
Canada is partnering its universities with members of the Association of African Universities in a programme that aims to forge links between higher education and the private sector. The Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada has launched an initiative that will create 27 new university-industry partnerships, with Canadian and African researchers conducting projects aimed at integrating the chosen African university into a local or regional industry.
SOUTH AFRICA: Aid disbursement fails many students
Eligible but financially needy students continue to be excluded from South Africa's higher education institutions. More than 16,000 students failed to access government funds last year alone - a 45% increase over the previous year - according to government figures.
KENYA: Funding crunch deepens admissions crisis
The biting admissions crisis in Kenyan universities could soon worsen, should a proposal to barely increase state funding for public universities from July be accepted. The Ministry of Finance said in estimates for the 2010-11 financial year it could only raise university subsidies by 4% yet student enrolment has leapt by 40%.
ZIMBABWE: New higher education reforms
Zimbabwe's Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has drafted a programme to reform higher education and re-engage with the international community in a move likely to benefit universities after a decade of isolation. But rising anger against exorbitant fees saw students last week assault a polytechnic principal.
NIGERIA: University for the police sparks controversy
The Nigerian government has approved the establishment of a university for police. The aim is to improve the working tools, skills and operation of the police, along the lines of a similar academy that serves the armed forces.
TUNISIA: Universities to act against high-tech cheating
Tunisia's Ministry of Education plans to counter student cheating with measures including cell-phone jamming and campaigns that warn of dishonesty's consequences. The battle will begin by preventing wireless cheating during baccalaureate examinations, which are the passport to higher education.
EGYPT: Fish college to cut reliance on red meat
A recent hike in prices of beef products in Egypt has angered many in this country of 80 million people, 40% of whom are believed to live below the poverty line. Pro-consumer groups are pushing for a boycott of beef, traditionally a key dish on the menu. The creators of a new college, majoring in fish sciences, have promised a drastic change in food patterns.
EGYPT-FRANCE: Boost to higher education cooperation
Egypt and France have agreed to boost collaboration between higher education institutions in the fields of science and technology. An agreement was signed by Egyptian Higher Education Minister Hani Helal and his French counterpart, Valérie Pécresse, at the 25th Africa-France summit held in the south-eastern French city of Nice from 31 May to 1 June.
SOUTH AFRICA: Call for research grant applications
A developmental initiative that includes universities in South Africa, India and Brazil and seeks to promote South-South cooperation, is calling for applications from South African researchers. Designed to support development of cooperation activities in science, technology and innovation, it aims to sustainably contribute to technological development.
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.