22 February 2017 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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SOUTH AFRICA
Bitter race rows follow 20-year democracy celebrations
In the wake of 20 years of democracy celebrations, two occurrences in universities starkly reminded South Africans of how far the country has yet to go to overcome apartheid. The death of popular Stellenbosch Vice-chancellor Russel Botman sparked accusations that he had been ‘killed’ by Afrikaner conservatives, while Cape Town was fiercely attacked by black intellectuals after unveiling a new student admissions policy.
AFRICA
New West African higher education quality project
The German Academic Exchange Service, DAAD, has signed an agreement with the Association of African Universities, Ghana’s National Accreditation Board and the Nigerian National Universities Commission to promote internal quality assurance in higher education in a new project for the West African region.
KENYA
Kenyatta launches virtual learning ‘Anywhere School’
Kenyatta University has become the first in East Africa to have a fully-fledged digital school, offering a wide range of courses through virtual and open learning. A free tablet uploaded with course materials for every student is expected to be a huge drawcard.
EAST AFRICA
Countries step closer to harmonisation
The five East African Community member countries have taken the biggest step yet towards harmonising higher education by crafting a draft credit transfer system and a qualifications model. The new qualifications system – which awaits several approvals before being rolled out – means Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda will harmonise the courses offered in their universities.
GLOBAL
High-level global climate change MOOC for GUPES
The United Nations Environment Programme has produced a 50-hour masters module climate change MOOC – massive open online course – that will be taught through the Global Universities Partnership on Environment and Sustainability and is expected to reach a large global audience.
AFRICA
South Africa to host fifth Pan African University node
South Africa has reportedly been selected to host the southern, space sciences node of the Pan African University – after initial rejection, a five-year wait and much politicking. But the African Union Commission has not yet been officially informed.
COTE D'IVOIRE
Project to modernise universities after years of closure
With the need for Côte d’Ivoire to rebuild its higher education and research system following violent crises that closed public universities for two years, the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research has asked the Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie to lead a project to modernise and reform the system.
GLOBAL
First fellows selected for African diaspora initiative
A first round of 33 African-born academics working in North America have been selected for 31 projects at 24 universities across Africa under the Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program – and a deadline for new applications is looming. Scholars in the diaspora are supported to return to Africa for academic collaborations initiated by African institutions.
KENYA
Universities funding rise of 5% is far short of needs
Kenya has upped spending on public universities by a meagre 5% for the new fiscal year starting in July, potentially slowing down expansionary projects. Allocations to universities will increase from US$624 million to US$658 million, according to new budgetary estimates.
AFRICA
Harmonise West African HE governance, report urges
Harmonisation of the governance systems of higher education institutions in the eight countries of the West African Economic and Monetary Union is among recommendations of a report on how improved governance in the sector could boost socio-economic development.
SOUTH AFRICA
Reducing tuberculosis among HIV-infected patients
A trial of isoniazid preventive therapy plus antiretroviral therapy to prevent tuberculosis has shown safety and efficacy in patients with HIV, say researchers at the University of Cape Town in a study published in The Lancet. Tuberculosis is the biggest cause of morbidity and mortality in people infected with HIV in Africa.
SENEGAL
University crisis was ‘necessary’ and ‘predictable’
Following violent confrontations between police and students at the University Cheikh Anta Diop – Senegal’s leading university – the Minister of Higher Education and Research Mary Teuw Niane told the media the crisis was “necessary” and “even predictable”.
NIGERIA
Focus on Ghana shows 75,000 Nigerians studying there
The recent deaths of some Nigerian students in Ghana shattered the ‘Eldorado’ perceptions of Nigerian parents towards Ghanaian tertiary institutions. Subsequent critical assessment of Ghana’s institutions has highlighted their good, bad and the ugly sides – along with the extraordinary news that there are now some 75,000 Nigerians studying in Ghana.
GLOBAL
HE tuning initiative for North Africa and Middle East
A three-year higher education Tuning Middle East and North Africa – T-MEDA – initiative was launched last month in four fields including tourism, nursing, law and architecture. The project was unveiled at an event in Jordan and outlined by the Association of Arab Universities.
KENYA
Seven institutions approved to train doctors
Kenya is set to boost its pool of desperately needed high-level health care professionals after the Ministry of Health approved seven public and private higher education institutions to train doctors. It is hoped that expanding medical training will stem a shortage that has been frustrating the country’s health care plans.
SENEGAL
Violence between police and top university’s students
There were hopes for a return to calm a week after violent confrontations between police and students led to severe damage to property on the campus of Senegal’s top Université Cheikh Anta Diop. Students were continuing an indefinite strike, although 22 who had faced charges in court were released.
BENIN
Campuses open, lecturers resume work after long strike
The gates of universities in Benin have been thrown open after a more than three-month public sector strike ended. Lecturers had come under pressure to resume work, and some of their demands had been met, with the rest being investigated by the government.
SENEGAL
Government ‘satisfied’ with reforms, despite delays
The Senegalese government is satisfied with progress in carrying out its reforms under the Presidential Council on the Future of Higher Education and Research. But there are delays in accomplishing some important measures, according to press reports.
LIBYA
Wall segregates women and men students at university
Administrators at Derna University in Libya have agreed to build a wall across the campus to segregate women and men students, following threats from radical Islamists.
AFRICA
Research universities to shape Africa's future success
Recognition that universities - and research universities in particular - are critical to development and to building knowledge economies will enable Africa to grow its prosperity for the next 50 years, African Union chair Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said last week.
EGYPT
Students angry as universities bring forward exams
Egypt's state-run universities, hit by months of anti-government protests, have brought forward end-of-year examinations by three weeks - drawing angry reactions from students.
EGYPT
Call to support academic freedom in universities
Egyptian lecturers and academic freedom groups have called on international human rights organisations to support the release of detained academics and students and a halt to violations of rights in universities, in a report that also records the deaths, arrests or fleeing of 212 academics.
KENYA
Science and technology audit aims to expand innovation
Kenya is seeking to audit its science and technology offering, hoping to ride on its growing role as a regional hub for emerging technologies.
EGYPT
Universities on alert after blasts, students expelled
Egypt's universities, rocked by months of anti-government protests, have toughened up on security following deadly explosions near the country's largest academic institution. Dozens of students involved in protests have been expelled in recent weeks.
KENYA
Major initiative to train university managers
Kenya's government has launched a major initiative to train senior university managers including council members, vice-chancellors, their deputies, deans, heads of departments and managers in a strategic project funded by the African Development Bank.