01 May 2016 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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Africa News
ZIMBABWE: Lecturers disciplined, bonded students freed
The Zimbabwean government has suspended 18 lecturers from state-run polytechnics and colleges, and instituted disciplinary proceedings against a further 200, for participating in a strike that the authorities said was illegal. And on the medical education front, government has announced its intention to unconditionally release 2,000 nursing students it had 'bonded'.
ZIMBABWE: New institute for development opens
The National University of Science and Technology has started a specialist institute for development, in Zimbabwe's second city of Bulawayo. It offers extensive research as its core business, with teaching as a secondary focus.
MADAGASCAR: Protests still disrupting universities
Strikes, protests and disputes between students, sometimes violent and ethnically based, have continued to disrupt universities in Madagascar - notably Maninday-Toliara, Antananarivo-Ankatso and Barikadimy-Toamasina - report local papers.
AFRICA: Dilemmas of development work
I recently finished writing the book Higher Education in Development: Lessons from Sub-Saharan Africa with my colleague Dr Philip Rayner. We have worked in Sub-Saharan African countries for a number of years in higher education at the government level and within institutions.
NIGERIA: Terror agenda sparks debate on campuses
The political and ideological agenda of Boko Haram (pictured), a Muslim fundamentalist group that opposes 'Western education', has ignited debate at Nigerian universities. The group has attacked buildings and threatened to send suicide bombers onto campuses. The university community has roundly condemned terror, but is polarised over Boko Haram's intentions.
DR CONGO: Minister sets out plans for academic year
The Democratic Republic of Congo's minister for higher education and university education, Léonard Mashako Mamba (pictured), presented his plans for 2011-12 to heads of higher education institutions in the run-up to the academic year that starts this weekend. Among issues he raised were efforts to achieve international standards and extending the teaching of English in higher education, reported Le Potentiel of Kinshasa.
EGYPT: Elections reinstate some university leaders
Four university presidents in Egypt have kept their posts in unprecedented elections, just weeks after they were forced to step down. The elections were held recently at the public universities of Cairo, Beni Suef, Benha and South Valley.
AFRICA: Teaching and learning guide planned
A project to produce a teaching and learning guide to help improve higher education quality in Africa was approved at a regional UNESCO conference held in Mali this month. The guide will aim to build the pedagogical and managerial skills of African academics.
GHANA: Qualifications crunch for private universities
The fate of hundreds, possibly thousands, of final-year students at private universities across Ghana hangs in the balance because they may not graduate, after the National Accreditation Board revealed that they were admitted without the requisite qualifications. The board suggested that some private universities have lowered entry requirements to bolster their numbers.
SOUTH AFRICA: Free education to boost skills levels?
A mismatch between the supply of and demand for certain skills needed by South Africa's labour market has led Deputy Minister of Basic Education Enver Surty (pictured) to call for extending provision of free education to cover students in further education and training and in higher education institutions - not just the compulsory seven- to 15-year-old category.
ZIMBABWE: Students send protest alerts to leaders
Zimbabwean students have launched a 45-day campaign during which protest message will be sent to the government. The aim is to pile pressure on the authorities to turn the struggling higher education sector around.
NAMIBIA: Investigation into 'sex for marks' claims
Officials at the University of Namibia have launched an investigation after students told Deputy Minister of Education David Namwandi of lecturers awarding marks to students in exchange for sex. There have also been reports of some lecturers accepting payment from students to write their assignments for them.
KENYA: Mainstreamed e-learning expanding access
Leading universities and middle-level colleges in Kenya are increasingly using technology-enhanced learning to remove geographical and financial barriers to higher education. And the government has said it intends increasing support for the implementation of e-learning.
MAURITIUS: Head of national university to leave
Professor Konrad Morgan (pictured), Vice-chancellor of the University of Mauritius, has announced that he does not wish to extend his contract when it expires in December 2012. One of the reasons behind the impending resignation is the university's failure to recruit two pro vice-chancellors to assist Morgan.
CAMEROON: 'Stop state meddling,' says union
Meddling by state and political authorities in university appointments has been criticised by Synes, Cameroon's national higher education teachers' union, reported Quotidienmutations.info of Yaoundé.
ALGERIA: Reforms aim to boost professional skills
Algeria is continuing to adapt higher education to better serve the needs of the economy, with new degree courses aimed at teaching professional skills, reported La Tribune of Algiers.
KENYA: Higher education minister fired
Kenya last week fired Higher Education Minister William Ruto (pictured), who had been suspended from cabinet last year following allegations of graft. His axing ends uncertainty that has engulfed the ministry for a year.
GHANA: Growing role for private higher education
Ghana's government is considering more private participation in the provision of tertiary education, which is facing a funding squeeze due to huge demand on the national budget and pressure from increasing student enrolments, Education Minister Betty Mould-Iddrisu (pictured) said last week at a national dialogue on sustainable funding for the tertiary sector.
NIGERIA: Staff to down tools over retirement clause
Leaders of Nigeria's Academic Staff Union of Universities have begun mobilising lecturers to embark, once again, on indefinite strike action. The main gripe is the failure of the national assembly to pass into law the voluntary retirement of professors at the maximum age of 70, rather than the current 65. The country's president and vice-president have reportedly now called for the retirement bill's speedy enactment.
MALAWI: Collapsed dialogue, campuses stay closed
Students in Malawi have embarked on a vigil to force the authorities to open campuses that were closed in April, as dialogue efforts launched in June have so far failed to yield results. The vigil is the latest twist in the academic freedom saga that started in February and continues in what many report to be an increasingly autocratic climate.
WEST AFRICA: New two-year project to boost quality
The West African Economic and Monetary Union will shortly launch a two-year project to catalyse improvements in the quality of higher education in its eight member states. The project will focus on strengthening the capacity of higher education institutions in the region to implement the Licence-Master-Doctorate system, which was introduced four years ago.
TANZANIA: Funding boost for science, maths students
In an effort to increase numbers of health professionals, the Tanzanian government will from the next academic year grant full scholarships to new medical students. First-year students of science teaching and maths will also be fully-funded. And to speed up disbursement, student funds are to be channeled through universities rather than the government's loans board.
MADAGASCAR: Student protests hit universities
Student protests have disrupted universities during the past weeks, with student strikes and demonstrations hitting the Ecole Polytechnique of Vontovorona, the University of Fianarantsoa and the University of Toliara, where students took members of staff hostage for three days at the end of July.
KENYA: Groundbreaking online MBA on the cards
One of Kenya's fastest growing private universities has signed a memorandum of understanding with a Malaysian higher education institution to develop a world-class online MBA programme. But experts worry that the projected high fees could exclude all but the financially elite.
SOUTH AFRICA: Grappling with curriculum 'relevance'
Seventeen years after the end of white rule and against the backdrop of persistent high unemployment levels, South Africa's universities continue to grapple with the issue of a 'relevant' curriculum and how best to achieve it.