22 February 2017 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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TUNISIA
New Tunisia-US higher education initiatives announced
The United States is to expand a scholarship programme for Tunisian students and has agreed to create a centre for technological innovation and establish a Tunisian-American permanent committee for bilateral cooperation in the field of higher education and research.
EUROPE
Europe expands African harmonisation, QA support
The European Commission will double the reach of the Harmonisation of African Higher Education and Tuning activities in the next three years, expanding the Tuning work and adding an extra support strand covering quality assurance and accreditation.
EGYPT
Top university under fire for mass harassment case
An unprecedented case of mass sexual harassment at Egypt's biggest public university has sent shock waves across the conservative country. A video, which went viral online, showed a woman being harassed by dozens of male students on the campus of Cairo University.
AFRICA
Former British colonies achieve higher research output
Universities and research centres in African nations once ruled by the British are much more scientifically productive than those in former Belgian, French, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish colonies, according to a just-published study.
AFRICA
Science ministers agree SKA telescope readiness plan
The nine African countries involved in the Square Kilometre Array, or SKA - the huge international astronomy research project - met in Pretoria last week and gave the green light for a readiness plan that will include developing a community of scientists to undertake radio astronomy studies across Africa.
ZIMBABWE
Mugabe's presidential scholarship fund suspended
Zimbabwe's Presidential Scholarship Fund has been suspended for lack of money. It currently owes South African universities more than R11 million (US$1million) in fees for hundreds of students, many of whom have been suffering hardship.
KENYA
Qualifications authority bill goes to parliament
The government has drafted a bill seeking to form a Kenya Qualifications Authority, which will be charged with regulating and standardising all qualifications awarded by universities and colleges.
AFRICA
Five nations pledge support for science, engineering
Five African countries - Ethiopia, Mozambique, Rwanda, Senegal and Uganda - have committed to invest more in science, technology and engineering education to accelerate progress towards knowledge-based societies within a generation. Their pledge last Thursday followed a high-level forum in Kigali co-hosted by the World Bank and Rwandan government.
EGYPT
Leading university suspends two pro-Morsi lecturers
Two Egyptian university professors who worked as aides to Egypt's ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi have been suspended from duty for alleged violence and graft, in the latest crackdown on sympathisers of Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood.
TUNISIA
Mobility partnership with Europe unveiled
Tunisia and the European Union have formally established a mobility partnership that, among other things, will help facilitate mutual recognition of qualifications, enhance the exchange of higher education information and experience, and foster the flow of researchers and students. There are 10 European countries involved in the partnership.
AFRICA
Denmark's research capacity scheme enters second phase
Seven universities in Africa and South Asia will share DKK100 million (US$18.6 million) over three years in the second phase of a Danish-funded programme to build research capacity in the global South.
AFRICA
Cape Verde joins the African Virtual University
Cape Verde has become the latest country to join the African Virtual University, a pan-African intergovernmental organisation aimed at increasing access to quality higher education through innovative use of information and communication technologies.
AFRICA
World Bank rolls out African centres of excellence
The World Bank continued rolling out its African centres of excellence initiative this month, meeting representatives of universities in Nigeria – the country won 10 of the 15 centres – to discuss logistics around how the funding will be disbursed. The project seeks to promote regional scientific specialisation to deliver quality training and research.
AFRICA
India boosts HE cooperation with North Africa
In an effort to expand its ‘Look Middle East’ policy, India has announced a number of initiatives to boost higher education cooperation with three major natural resources-rich North African countries – Morocco, Tunisia and Sudan.
KENYA
New admissions body to boost enrolment equity
Kenya has moved to reform the way students are admitted to universities by launching a new body that will equitably place learners in public and private universities as well as colleges.
GHANA
Academics vow to fight national research fund
Ghana’s government has gone ahead and set up a committee to draw up modalities for a proposed national research fund to support the activities of academics – even though lecturers have vowed to fight the fund because it would scrap current allowances.
EUROPE
HE should get lion’s share in post-2015 education
With the deadline for the UNESCO 'Education for All' goals now just two years away, a consensus is emerging that post-2015 global efforts to expand education should focus on the tertiary sector.
NIGERIA
Government increases higher education budget
Nigeria’s government has allocated 10.7% of this year’s total budget to education, up from 8.7% last year. The recent six-month strike by academics in public universities is seen as largely responsible for the phenomenal hike – the first time that the central government has summoned up the political courage to provide such high funding for the education sector.
GLOBAL
Inter-university platform for Middle East, North Africa
Countries in the Middle East and North Africa are planning to set up an inter-university collaborative platform in an attempt to strengthen the capacity of higher education managers and reinforce partnerships among universities.
TUNISIA
Plans for science-business city, and new university
Tunisia is planning to set up a science and business city including a ‘world university’ as part of its efforts to tackle higher education challenges, stem the brain drain, boost university-industry linkage and fight graduate unemployment.
KENYA
New vessel to boost marine research
Kenya has upped the ante on marine research with the launch of a vessel in the Indian Ocean. The Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute will deploy the 56-metre RV Zeeleeuw to undertake research in a bid to stem the loss of at least US$117 million a year in illegal and unregulated fishing.
GLOBAL
International HE associations call for global equity
Twenty-four international education organisations from across the world – including the giants in America and Europe and groups from Mexico and Japan, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America – gathered in South Africa last week for a first inclusive Global Dialogue. They forged a declaration that stressed mutual benefit and development and a more equitable and ethical global higher education agenda.
EGYPT
Sharp rise in student protests – Report
Universities in Egypt have witnessed a remarkable upsurge in student protests since the start of the academic year in September, in response to education issues and in support of the country’s first elected civilian president – former professor Mohamed Morsi – who was ousted by the military last July.
NIGERIA
Relief as academics suspend five-month strike
Students and parents across Nigeria have welcomed the news that the Academic Staff Union of Universities has called off its five-month strike. Pressures on President Goodluck Jonathan persuaded him to meet some of the lecturer demands – and academics had also come under immense public pressure to reopen campuses.
KENYA
Two students killed in protests, universities close
Two Kenyan universities will not hold end-of-semester examinations ahead of the Christmas break after they were shut down following protests that left two students dead. The student riots were both linked to the examinations.