University World News Africa Edition
23 November 2014 Issue 141 Register to receive our free e-newspaper by email each week Advanced Search
Developing sustainable higher education financing policies for Africa

In Africa Features, Wachira Kigotho looks at the World Bank’s project to rehabilitate Mali’s struggling universities, and Wagdy Sawahel reviews efforts to develop sustainable higher education financing policies in Africa.
In Africa Analysis, Henry Kyambalesa is outraged that 50 years after independence, Zambian students are losing out on higher education because they cannot obtain state funding.
In a Special Report, Rebecca Warden describes ways universities can use civic responsibility efforts to contribute to economic development, ahead of the global Talloires Network of engaged universities conference in Cape Town next month.
In World Blog, Gene Wade argues that universities in the United States need to think more creatively about how to close the higher education access gap using new and technology-enabled forms of education adapted to individual needs.
In Commentary, Vice-chancellor Grant Guilford explains why Victoria University of Wellington is joining a growing international movement out of investment in carbon-emitting fossil fuels.
Joseph Stetar and Modi Li investigate whether America’s 100,000 Strong China Initiative is working, and Jan Roberts-Breslin contends that grassroots encounters by US universities with counterparts in China may create deeper bonds and more effective cooperation than short-term visits by administrators.
In Global Features, Yojana Sharma reports on China’s tightening up on recruitment agents for overseas universities, and Suvendrini Kakuchi outlines Japan’s Super Global Universities initiative aimed at boosting the world ranking of its universities.
Karen MacGregor – Africa Editor
Tunde Fatunde

The four university-based unions in Nigeria recently held their first joint national education summit in Abuja, the federal capital. The main objective was to take stock of education and training since independence 54 years ago, and by the end of the summit a realistic ‘road map’ had been produced to tackle problems in the sector.
Ashraf Khaled

On arriving in Cairo from his village in Egypt’s Delta last month to start studies as a medical freshman at the state-run Al-Azhar University, Omar Mahrus was in for a shock. On asking when he could move into the university's state-subsidised dormitories, Mahrus was told that no date had been officially set for re-opening the facility.

There has been an enthusiastic response to the two-year Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program, which connects African-born academics working in America to universities in six African countries. The second round of diaspora academics will begin travelling to Africa next month.
Maina Waruru

Kenya’s Commission for University Education has published a list of more than 1,000 approved programmes at universities, in an effort to end rows over unaccredited courses and learners obtaining degrees that are not recognised. But the move has not resolved a row over professional bodies rejecting some degrees, which has led to violent student protests and the closure of three institutions.
Maina Waruru

Questions are being asked about the quality and integrity of an undergraduate degree being offered by a Kenyan Christian university, which is popular with politicians and adult learners and can apparently be completed in a couple of years.
Hanna Lange-Chenier

The University of Rwanda is ramping up efforts to increase student enrolment, while planning to provide programmes for economic sectors that are growing within the country, said Vice-chancellor James McWha.
Rebecca Warden

Engaged universities – those that see engaging with the wider community as part and parcel of their mission – can use these activities to contribute to economic development too. Around the globe, universities are doing this in various ways, some in ways you might expect, others in ways that might surprise you.
Rebecca Warden

When a small-time builder did a short course on entrepreneurship at the Naryn campus of the University of Central Asia, he became very enthusiastic about what he learned and went on to become a small-time contractor. For young people in countries where job opportunities are scarce, self-employment or setting up a business may be the best chance of making a living. Universities can help.
Rebecca Warden

Economic development is all about competitive businesses that create jobs for people and efficient public institutions that can support this. Universities can contribute to both and the changing nature of the process of innovation means their role is becoming increasingly important.
Munyaradzi Makoni

The Centre of Excellence in Scientometrics and Science, Technology and Innovation Policy – SciSTIP – outlined fields of research and how it will carry out its work at a scientific launch conference held at Stellenbosch University in South Africa earlier this month. A major aim is to produce comprehensive reviews of science and technology – the first in 20 years.
Wachira Kigotho

The World Bank is developing a comprehensive project to rehabilitate Mali’s struggling public universities, which have been drained of highly qualified teaching staff, lack degree diversification and are housed in inappropriate rental spaces in the capital Bamako.
Wagdy Sawahel

In an effort to improve access and encourage needy students to enrol in higher education while at the same time containing government spending, the cost-sharing model has been introduced worldwide – including in East Africa – along with student scholarships and loans.
Henry Kyambalesa

The recent news that thousands of would-be students had withdrawn from the University of Zambia where they were accepted to pursue studies because they could not get government bursaries is disgraceful as the country celebrates 50 years of political independence.

The Ministry for Higher Education and Research and the African Development Bank have launched a joint infrastructural development project for Senegal’s Digital University, or UVS, with funding of FCFA3.6 billion (US$6.8 million) over three years.

Egypt’s Senghor University in Alexandria was set up following the 1989 summit of French-speaking countries in Dakar, Senegal, which decided to establish a French-language international university “in the service of African development” to train high-level managers, civil servants and governors at masters level.
NEWS: Our correspondents worldwide report
Brendan O’Malley

The funding system for higher education in England is not sustainable and a better funding model must be developed, according to a critical report by the Higher Education Commission.
David Jobbins

The volatile world of international rankings was thrown into renewed turmoil when the Times Higher Education abruptly ditched its association with Thomson Reuters and renewed its link with Elsevier’s Scopus research citation database.
Geoff Maslen

Whether or not it is the collective view of all universities in Australia, the lobby group representing them was enthusiastic in welcoming the signing of a China-Australia Free Trade Agreement in Canberra last Monday.
Emilia Tan and Yojana Sharma

A private Malaysian medical institution, Allianze University College of Medical Sciences based in Penang, has had to close down amid reports of many staff left unpaid and students scrambling to find alternatives. The college caused surprise when it paid some £30 million (US$47 million) for a major campus in London in 2013, acquired from Middles ex University.
Brendan O’Malley

The number of international students in American universities rose by 8% in 2013-14, with 73% of the growth accounted for by students from China and Saudi Arabia, according to the latest Open Doors report from the Institute of International Education.
Geoff Maslen

Five Australian universities are contributing to an initiative to encourage more United States students to go abroad by promoting education opportunities on their campuses. America’s Generation Study Abroad aims to double the number of students going overseas to study by the end of the decade.
Michael Gardner

Universities in Germany are becoming increasingly attractive for students from the United States. Also, more and more Germans are doing part of their studies in America, says the German Academic Exchange Service, or DAAD.
Yojana Sharma

China is tightening up the licensing of China-based agents for overseas universities, with the sector sullied in recent years by allegations of falsified documentation and ‘conveyor belt’ essays produced as part of the application process to universities in Britain, the United States, Australia and other countries.
Suvendrini Kakuchi

Japan recently unveiled its Super Global Universities initiative in a bid to boost the lacklustre world rankings of its top universities. At the forefront of this ambitious plan is the rapid internationalisation of its inward-looking higher education sector, aimed at creating global universities and internationally minded students.
Katherine Mangan, The Chronicle of Higher Education

Six years after a flood of students entered college in the United States, many seeking shelter from a sinking economy and a leg up in an uncertain job market, their progress report is in – and it isn’t encouraging. Only 55% of the students who enrolled in the autumn of 2008 had earned degrees or certificates by May 2014, according to a new report.
Gene Wade

More and more jobs in the United States require degrees, but rising fees mean they are out of reach for many people unless they are prepared to accept large debts. Even online learning tends to be based on traditional models. Universities need to think more creatively about how to close the higher education gap using forms of education that are adapted to individual needs.
Grant Guilford

Universities should consider joining the campaign for disinvestment in fossil fuels and bringing investment policies in line with their research on climate change.
Joseph Stetar and Modi Li

If the United States really wants to prepare the next generation of American experts on China then its universities need to do more to encourage US students to tackle more than short-term courses in China.
Jan Roberts-Breslin

Short-term visits by high-level administrators are the main way of starting initiatives between Chinese and American universities, but more grassroots encounters may create deeper bonds and more effective cooperation.
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Analysts say Ukrainian authorities should relocate universities and scientific staff from the territories controlled by pro-Kremlin separatists and provide all necessary conditions to ensure a normal education for students, writes Alex Statko for Southeast European Times.

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani introduced a new candidate for the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology to parliament on 19 November, the Islamic Republic’s ISNA news agency reported, writes Umid Niayesh for Trend.

If philosophers in France are national treasures, economists are dreary specimens. But the discipline has some new stardust. One, French economist Jean Tirole won the Nobel Prize for economics. Another, Thomas Piketty, brought rock-star quality when his book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, became a bestseller in English. When the International Monetary Fund recently listed the world’s 25 best young economists, seven were French. What explains this resurgence? asks The Economist.

The cut-throat bidding war among British universities for students and resources entered a more expensive phase recently, after the University of Northampton announced plans for government-backed bond issuance and borrowing of nearly £300 million (US$470 million) to finance a new campus, writes Richard Adams for The Guardian.

China's Ministry of Education has quelled rumours that the 211 and 985 projects, aimed at improving the quality of higher education in China, would be abolished, reports Xinhua.

While the Indian higher education system has made considerable progress in terms of capacity creation and enrolment in the last decade, it lags significantly in terms of global relevance and competitiveness, according to a study by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry and Ernst & Young, writes M Saraswathy for Business Standard.

Controversial United States professor Steven Salaita, whose job offer at the University of Illinois was rescinded after he made anti-Israel comments on social media, filed a lawsuit last week alleging that the university had violated the state's open records law, writes Jodi S Cohen for the Chicago Tribune.

The Alexandria legal advocacy group that sued Harvard University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill last week for capping the number of Asian Americans they admit says it hopes to file more lawsuits against other colleges for race-based admissions policies, writes Jeffrey Scott Shapiro for The Washington Times.

The Association of American Universities was recently among the first higher education groups in Washington to back the concept of anonymous surveys to gauge student views about the prevalence of gender violence on campus, writes Michael Stratford for Inside Higher Ed.

The vice-chancellor of Queensland University of Technology has said that universities could wait until March next year for a resolution to the stand-off in the Senate over the Tony Abbott government’s plans to shake-up higher education, writes Andrew Trounson for The Australian.

Online education firm Coursera is in talks with education institutions and companies in India as it looks to further expand its presence in the Indian market, one of its top-five revenue generators, reports The Press Trust of India.

Close to 36,000 foreigners are currently studying at Polish universities, marking an increase of almost 25% over the previous academic year, reports Radio Poland. But Poland is still lagging behind other European Union countries in this sphere.

Irish universities are in their “infancy” in developing systems of alumni engagement, a conference in Dublin heard on 14 November, writes Joe Humphreys for The Irish Times.

A man is planning to sue Fukuoka Women’s University for rejecting his application for admission based on gender, which would be the first test of the constitutionality of national and public women’s colleges and universities, writes Ken Hasegawa for The Asahi Shimbun.
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