25 July 2017 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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Africa News
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.
High cost of upgrading polytechnics into universities
It will cost Ghana’s government US$180 million per annum for the next three years to fully turn the country’s 10 polytechnics into technical universities, a report by a committee set up to work on the institutional conversion programme has said. Meanwhile, a working group has developed a national quality assurance framework for higher education.
Two new universities in 2016 to increase student capacity
Construction is about to start on two new universities in Senegal, each with capacity for 30,000 students, President Macky Sall has announced. One will be the second public university in the capital Dakar, and the other is the University of Sine-Saloum at Kaolack.
New regulations planned to boost postgraduate numbers
Kenya’s Ministry of Education, Science and Technology is proposing new regulations that will compel universities to ensure that 25% of graduates each year are at the postgraduate level, in an effort to end a biting shortage of lecturers.
Government announces plan for a virtual university
In an effort to ease the burden of overcrowded universities and improve access to higher education, the government of Côte d’Ivoire has announced the creation of a digital university to boost distance education.
Polytechnics to gain university status – Vice-president
The legislative instrument that will change Ghana’s polytechnics into technical universities is ready to be put before parliament to be debated, according to Vice-president Kwesi Amissah-Arthur.
Clampdown on associations awarding qualifications
Ghana’s National Accreditation Board has said it is worried that professional associations have – without any authority – started enrolling unsuspecting students and awarding them qualifications. It has directed associations running ‘chartered institutes’ to cease operations.
University of Rwanda expands to meet economic needs
The University of Rwanda is ramping up efforts to increase student enrolment, while planning to provide programmes for economic sectors that are growing within Rwanda, said Vice-chancellor James McWha.
Accreditation board cracks down on dodgy universities
Foreign tertiary institutions and their representatives in Ghana who operate without accreditation, including online universities, have been warned by the National Accreditation Board to regularise their operations or close.
New president of CAMES outlines his plans
Professor Georges Moyen, the new president of CAMES – the francophone Council for African and Malagasy Higher Education – has spelt out his plans for the 19-member council.
First private university gains permanent licence
Botswana’s first private university, the Malaysian-owned Limkokwing University of Creative Technology, has become the country’s first fully licensed private tertiary institution, after seven years of operating under an interim licence.
Union strikes against ‘threat’ to public universities
Morocco’s higher education union Syndicat National de l’Enseignement Supérieur called a three-day strike at the end of September in protest against proposed government reforms, which it claimed threatened public universities and infringed its members’ rights.
UCAD returns to work after campus closure
The rector of the Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar said the university would reopen at the beginning of October, following closure of the campus in August due to violence in which a student died during a confrontation with police. Professor Ibrahima Thioub also said police were being withdrawn from the site to help calm the situation.
UNESCO leads effort to improve geology teaching
A pilot initiative led by UNESCO’s regional office in Dakar, Senegal, will provide online courses to expand and improve geology materials to West African universities.
Experts, EU and DAAD awarded for quality assurance work
On 16 September Goolam Mohammedbhai, Juma Shabani and Peter Okebukola were awarded by GUNi and AfriQAN for their tireless work on quality assurance in higher education in Africa. The European Union and the German Academic Exchange Service, DAAD, were awarded for their support to quality assurance processes on the continent.
Decline of French among university students
The proficiency of many Senegalese students in French, the colonial language, is declining and the use of local languages – especially Wolof – is becoming more common on campus and in lectures. But there is disagreement over whether the decline is due to poor teaching, the fault of students, government reforms, or overcrowding and poor facilities.