31 July 2016 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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Africa News
Reinstated lecturers resume fight in court
Two years ago the supreme court ordered the council of the University of Ilorin in central Nigeria to immediately reinstate 49 lecturers who had been sacked during nationwide industrial action 10 years ago. Now the reinstated academics are back in the legal trenches asking the court to force the university to fully implement the ruling.
International agencies to help loans board
Kenya is planning to approach international financing agencies as it seeks to cope with ever-increasing numbers of university students, most requiring study loans. The country's higher education loans board, faced with a dwindling pool of funds, has been mulling a range of fundraising options to allow it to keep up with growing demand.
University unveils desert development project
With the Nile Delta bursting at the seams with the vast majority of Egypt's 81 million people, scientists at the provincial University of Mansoura believe it is high time to reclaim large stretches of the desert. The Delta-based public university has unveiled an ambitious plan to increase arable land in the country by more than 20%.
Gender equity in student enrolment improves
Zimbabwe's higher education affirmative action policy has resulted in a sharp increase in the number of female students at institutions of higher learning.
AFRICA: Pan-African University officially launched
The Pan African University was officially launched last Wednesday in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, headquarters of the African Union, which has been driving the initiative. The event transformed into reality the dream of creating centres of excellence across Africa to conduct research and train the high-level professionals desperately needed for development.
CÔTE D'IVOIRE: President closes universities for 2012
A decision by President Alassane Ouattara to close Côte d'Ivoire's two universities until at least September 2012 has caused consternation in the higher education community and provoked condemnation by human rights organisations, according to press reports.
KENYA: Universities in talks with private investors
Kenya is in talks with three South African investors to construct facilities in one of its public universities, as institutions seek private funding to expand facilities against a background of soaring student numbers. Another major university is also seeking private investment in academic and residential infrastructure.
TANZANIA: Protests at universities, students expelled
Protests at Tanzania's institutions of higher learning appear to be far from over. There have been demonstrations at three universities in the past two weeks over issues ranging from lack of practical training to the disbanding of a student group and non-payment of allowances.
MAURITIUS: State might cancel 'useless' courses
The Ministry of Tertiary Education announced last week that it might cancel some humanities and social sciences courses at the University of Mauritius. The news sparked an uproar among students and intellectuals on the Indian Ocean island.
TOGO: Protests against 'merit' grants shut universities
The government of Togo "temporarily" closed the universities of Lomé and Kara last week following student protests against a new system of grants that will be paid to students on merit, rather than to everyone as previously.
TUNISIA: Universities disrupted by niqab protests
Some universities in Tunisia have been disrupted by religiously motivated protesters, outsiders as well as students, demanding the right of women students to wear the niqab, the full-face veil, in class and during examinations, according to press reports.
TUNISIA: European innovation partnership set up
A four-year partnership funded by the European Union has been set up to promote the development of technological innovation in Tunisia, reported La Presse of Tunis.
ALGERIA: Aim to strengthen scientific research
A national forum on scientific research will take place in Algeria in 2012, aimed at finding solutions to problems such as the lack of highly qualified researchers and managers in the sector. The government has said 1,200 research places will open for recruitment next year.
NIGERIA: Striking academics close public universities
Striking academics have once again shut down Nigeria's public universities, and students have been sent home. Leaders of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, or ASUU, have accused the federal and regional governments of deliberately failing to execute a memorandum of understanding on funding, salaries and conditions signed two years ago.
EGYPT: Tough challenges for new universities minister
He is Egypt's fourth higher education minister in 10 months. His predecessor held the post for four months and was forced to quit along with the rest of the government after clashes between pro-democracy protesters and security forces left 45 people dead. When named universities minister this month, Dr Hussein Khaled said he would handle the job regardless of when he might leave it.
TUNISIA: Debate on higher education problems and future
The future of higher education in Tunisia following the revolution in January has been under debate in the media. In a series of articles, La Presse questioned whether the sector "truly responds to the commonly accepted demands on universities?" Are there links coordinating teaching with the job market, have higher education's problems been identified and what should reform priorities be?
AFRICA: Universities rethink internationalisation
The African Network for Internationalisation of Education, ANIE, held its third annual conference recently in Abuja, Nigeria. Among the trends identified were growing collaboration between African universities, which is driving far greater mobility of students and staff across the continent, and increased use of information and communication technologies.
KENYA: Paralysing lecturer strike suspended, for now
Lecturers in public universities in Kenya have suspended their paralysing nine-day strike for two weeks to pave the way for negotiations with the government. The tussle has triggered a debate over who should pick up the wage bill.
SOUTH AFRICA: Campaign to support SKA bid
Minister of Science and Technology Naledi Pandor (pictured) this week launched a national campaign to drum up support for the bid to host the Square Kilometre Array in South Africa. The campaign, aimed at stimulating interest and showcasing Africa as an emerging global astronomy hub, comes in the months leading up to the international announcement of the bid winner in the first half of 2012.
NIGERIA: VCs protest move to end screening test
Once again Nigeria's national assembly and some officials of the examination agency, the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, have made moves to dismantle the screening tests carried out by universities around the country. They argue that any test additional to the one conducted by the admissions board itself is unnecessary - even illegal - and places a financial burden on parents.
GLOBAL: World's largest gathering of Africa experts
More than 1,000 scholars and researchers from around the globe converged on Washington DC on Thursday for what the US African Studies Association said was the world's largest gatherings of experts on Africa.
EGYPT: German University in Cairo reports arson threat
The German University in Cairo, a private Egyptian institution established in partnership with German universities, has reported receiving a threat from an anonymous arsonist. The alleged threat was made just days after the university announced suspension of classes due to a dispute with the student union over regulations for elections.
SENEGAL: Second university to offer teacher training
The Université Gaston Berger, Senegal's second largest academic institution with 7,000 students, will add teacher training to its offerings to meet the rapidly growing needs of middle and high schools. Demand for quality teachers is intense as a result of Senegal's resolve to accelerate the provision of universal education.
AFRICA: New medical schools seek strength in numbers
New medical schools in Africa have formed an unusual consortium in partnership with well-established medical schools in the United States and Finland, as they strive to avoid re-inventing the wheel and instead focus on strengthening teaching, learning and research.
SOUTH AFRICA: New dynamics in student politics
A convincing win for the opposition-aligned Democratic Alliance Student Organisation in recent student representative council elections at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University suggests that South African students may be tired of having their interests overshadowed by intra-party politics in a more complex post-apartheid political environment.