24 January 2017 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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Africa News
New committee to probe higher education problems
Malawi’s President Joyce Banda has constituted a special committee to investigate problems affecting the higher education sector and propose corrective measures.
North African higher education initiatives launched
Two new initiatives are under way in North Africa to promote regional and international higher education and research cooperation. The United Nations University is establishing a sustainable development institute in Algeria, and a Regional Environmental Education Group will be set up in Tunisia and Morocco.
China-Africa joint medical research to deepen
China is to deepen joint medical research with Africa, particularly in training African medical scientists.
Untranslatable heritage can be communicated
Nothing is untranslatable, and formal education systems have a huge role to play in preserving cultural heritage. These were the overarching conclusions at the third in a series of all-African workshops on the preservation and transmission of linguistic heritage.
Former minister in court, new-universities dream dashed
Malawi’s former education minister Peter Mutharika has appeared in court on treason charges. With this the dream of his brother, the late president Bingu wa Mutharika, to establish six new universities appears to be shattered. The developments coincided with a demonstration by tertiary students this month over low allowances.
Innovation council to boost university-industry links
The 19 member countries of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, which has a total population of around 400 million people, have formed an innovation council to boost university-industry linkages.
Striking lecturers disrupt public university studies
Students at Ghana’s public universities have had their studies interrupted by strikes over a pay dispute by the University Teachers’ Association of Ghana.
Government wants more women students
Zimbabwe’s government will launch a commission to probe why fewer women than men reach university, with the hope of reversing the trend.
Higher education council finally gets going
Malawi’s government has finally operationalised the National Council for Higher Education, two years after parliament approved it. Lack of action on the council has been stalling the accreditation and regulation of universities.
Universities to go ‘virtual’ with new video facilities
Kenyan public universities and colleges are to go virtual in teaching and communication, with all of them set to get video conferencing facilities in a more than US$10 million project supported by the government and African Development Bank.
Hope for continent’s research and development future
Africa has the potential to make up for its current backwardness in research and development by adopting a ‘continental vision’, which would enable it to participate in international projects, said leading African physicist Cheikh Mbacké Diop at a conference.
Lesotho and Namibia to jointly promote HE quality
The national higher education councils of Lesotho and Namibia have signed an agreement to share expertise in regulating and promoting quality in their countries' universities, and to collaborate on professional development and research.
More universities to tackle growing student demand
Ghana’s President John Dramani Mahama has announced that a new university is to be built in order to meet growing demand for higher education, bringing the number of public universities to 10. Also, 10 polytechnics are to be upgraded into technical universities, and the country is taking steps against private institutions that undermine academic standards.
Bulawayo-based university considers student quotas
Zimbabwe’s National university of Science and Technology is considering introducing a student quota system, arguing that students from other regions have been getting the bulk of places at the institution.
Learning to debate as an aid to boosting democracy
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.
Two new French agency institutes appoint boards
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.
New Casablanca campus for private university
Université Internationale de Casablanca, a Laureate universities network institution, plans to open a new campus in Casablanca catering for 12,000 students.
Hope that new university will pacify restive region
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.
E-initiatives needed to boost medical education
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.
New science scholarship initiative launched
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.
Court rejects reinstated lecturers’ new demands
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.
Language course strengthens China-Tanzania ties
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.
Initiative to unify Islamic universities launched
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.
Two new research centres for Africa open in Beijing
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.
Relations between academics and new president sour
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.