University World News Africa Edition
25 September 2016 Issue 181 Register to receive our free e-newspaper by email each week Advanced Search
Alliance of top African universities builds hub of research excellence

In Africa Analysis, University of Cape Town Vice-Chancellor Max Price outlines the goals and planned joint research, PhD training and capacity building activities of the 16-member African Research Universities Alliance, of which he is founding chair.
In Africa Features, Ramadan Rajab describes the rapid growth of higher education in Somalia, and accompanying concerns about quality in independent universities, and Ochieng’ O Benny reports on a new consortium of universities in South Africa aimed at boosting data-intensive research capacity ahead of the global astronomy initiative, the Square Kilometre Array.
In the Transformative Leadership series, in which University World News is partnering with The MasterCard Foundation, the focus is on ethics. Mervyn Frost says too little attention has been paid to the ethical role played by universities, which must uphold a host of values, central to which is the value of truth. Stephen Heyneman emphasises the importance of courageous university leaders who understand the importance of ethics, as universities are the teachers of future leaders. Eric Fredua-Kwarteng says the developmental university model for developing countries must include ethical ways of doing research, anchored in social justice and human rights.
In Commentary, Angel Calderon describes how Times Higher Education produced a game-changer ranking by including book and book chapter citations, and Elena Denisova-Schmidt says universities should acknowledge a situation in which international students are more likely to cheat than domestic students, and tackle the problem.
Karen MacGregor – Africa Editor
Munyaradzi Makoni

Several universities in South Africa shut down or faced disruptions as student protests erupted in the wake of last Monday’s long-awaited recommendation by Higher Education and Training Minister Dr Blade Nzimande to allow universities to raise fees for 2017 by up to 8%.
Laeed Zaghlami

Plagiarism has been taboo for some and an open secret for others in Algeria, but is today a scandal that no one can deny – even though Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research officials are trying to minimise the problem. Some flagrant examples of plagiarism have emerged into the public sphere, and they appear to be the tip of the iceberg.
Ard Jongsma

In January 2017, the Virtual Institute for Higher Education in Africa will reopen its digital doors with a new set of free courses to help African university lecturers face the challenges they meet in their everyday work.
Ard Jongsma

The 2016 GUNi Africa-AfriQAN award for distinguished service to quality assurance in higher education in Africa has been awarded to Professor Bertrand Mbatchi, secretary-general of CAMES, the African and Malagasy Council for Higher Education.

A new global clearinghouse to identify scholarships and opportunities and connect refugee students with resources they can use anywhere in the world was announced at the Institute of International Education in New York on Thursday.

Malawi is implementing a law on student loans passed last year that will see more students in need of financial help at both public and private institutions receiving aid while those who were assisted as far back as 1985 have been told to repay the money.
Tunde Fatunde

Recently-appointed Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board Executive Registrar Professor Is-Haq Oloyede faces a tough job as controversy continues around the cancellation of the Post Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, a quality assurance examination conducted by individual universities to screen prospective students.
Jane Marshall

A decision by the Medical Council of Mauritius to exclude Ukraine and Russia from its list of education centres approved to teach medicine has been condemned by the president of the Medical and Health Officers Association, Dr Wassim Ballam, and the Ukrainian honorary consul in Mauritius, Dr Abdool Mohaboob Kureemun.
Kudzai Mashininga

Zimbabwe’s first lady Grace Mugabe is planning to build Robert Mugabe University in honour of her husband, who is one of the world’s most educated presidents.
Ramadan Rajab

As guns continue to fall silent in Somalia’s waning civil conflict, exponential growth has been witnessed in the higher education sector. But there are mixed reviews of the quality of education offered by the country’s new independent universities.
Ochieng’ O Benny

A consortium of institutions in South Africa has been formed to establish a Western Cape Data Intensive Research Facility as part of the country’s National Integrated Cyberinfrastructure System. The aim is to dramatically increase data-intensive research capacity ahead of the global astronomy research initiative, the Square Kilometre Array or SKA.
Max Price

The African Research Universities Alliance is working to build strong research capacity to grow new sectors and expand existing industries across the continent over time, by aligning Africa’s leading research universities into a hub of research expertise.

As more than 1.6 million students prepared to start the new academic year in Algeria, Higher Education and Scientific Research Minister Tahar Hadjar announced a development plan to open universities to their surroundings.

Lecturer-researchers from Niger’s public universities were last week due to carry out a seven-day strike – the second this month – over salary and research allowance payments that they claim are in arrears.
In this Special Report University World News explores the role of universities in promoting ethical leadership and addressing ethical challenges in society and examines how higher education itself can take a lead in upholding ethical values.
Mervyn Frost

There have been various attempts to narrow the scope of what universities stand for, but first and foremost universities have a commitment to seeking truth, providing ethical leadership and upholding academic freedom.
Eric Fredua-Kwarteng

Developmental universities are a model for developing countries and they should have a distinct, ethical way of doing research, where the power in the relationship between researcher and research participant is evenly distributed.
Stephen Heyneman

Universities must stand up for ethical behaviour because they are the teachers of future leaders. To do so they must have courageous leaders who understand the importance of ethics in a world where they can be held to account in a way that is unprecedented.
Margaret Andrews

After the global crash there was some soul-searching about business ethics and many courses started up. But do any of them work?
Neal King

Ethics should be at the heart of universities’ mission and yet there is no global body overseeing ethical behaviour. In its absence, the United Nations Academic Impact provides a way for universities around the world to commit to high standards.
Gillian Brock

Carefully crafted programmes of compulsory service and taxation can reasonably balance the interests, freedoms and opportunities of all who are affected by brain drain, offsetting the losses of those who are left behind in an ethical way.
Rui Yang

There have been numerous attempts to tackle corruption in Chinese higher education, but the problems are deep rooted and require fundamental changes to the academic incentive system.

University World News in partnership with DrEducation will be hosting a second international webinar, 'Embracing Technology for Global Engagement: A leadership challenge and opportunity' on 4 October. Participation is free if you register.

NEWS – Our correspondents worldwide report
Brendan O'Malley

The University of Oxford has become the first institution outside the United States to take top spot in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, but two-thirds of the United Kingdom’s top 200 universities lost ground, and some other European countries also fared badly, as a second ranking in a fortnight shows the continuing rise of Asia at Europe’s expense.
Yojana Sharma

Concerns over Chinese ‘soft power’ influence on Australian universities has led to the resignation of a well-connected Chinese donor as chair of a China-Australia think tank at the University of Technology Sydney.
Brendan O'Malley

Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO and founder of Facebook, and his wife Priscilla Chan have announced ambitious plans to invest US$3 billion over the next decade in helping scientists build new tools and technologies to “cure, prevent or manage all diseases by the end of the century”.
Jeffrey R Young, The Chronicle of Higher Education

The 'micro-masters' online degree is gaining momentum, with more than a dozen colleges announcing plans last week to offer an alternative credential by that name, roughly equivalent to between a quarter and a half of a typical masters degree course, and the biggest challenge may be preventing cheating and fraud.
Michael Gardner

The German Student Welfare Service remains critical of the federal government reform of the equality act to promote the integration of people with disabilities. It claims that the new law, which has now received parliamentary approval, would hamper access to higher education for many students.
Jan Petter Myklebust

University rectors should be elected by the university board and not by university staff, according to a report commissioned by the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise – an association of 60,000 private companies. In a damning assessment of the 'leadership problem' in Swedish universities, it says the current arrangement does not produce strong governance.
Angel Calderon

The Times Higher Education ranking, with a new inclusion of book and chapter citations, seems weighted towards United States and United Kingdom universities, with institutions from developing and emerging countries making a relatively rare appearance.
Elena Denisova-Schmidt

Corruption back home, pressure on universities to accept international students and a focus on research rather than teaching contribute to a situation where overseas students are more likely to cheat than domestic ones. Universities should allocate resources to tackle this problem.
José Luis Mogollón

Universities in Venezuela are rapidly losing talent and are in desperate need of more funding from government and industry to prevent more academics leaving the country.
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The University of Tokyo announced last week it is launching an investigation into anonymously made claims of fabricated and falsified data appearing in 22 papers by six university research groups, writes Dennis Normile for Science Magazine.

A member of parliament has claimed that Malaysia is on the verge of an education crisis as the National Higher Education Fund Corporation is having a cash flow problem in financing students pursuing tertiary learning, reports the Malay Mail.

Some of India's most talented young students are now being kept at arm's length of the country's start-up scene after dozens saw job offers pulled with little or no notice, writes Vidhi Doshi for Mashable.

Graduation rates across the country have not improved over the past decade. But now, post-secondary institutions are turning to big data analysis to help them find the students most at risk of dropping out. Financial pressures are forcing them to take action, writes Simona Chiose for The Globe and Mail.

Turkey is one of the countries with the lowest spending per student, according to a report prepared by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, reports Hurriyet Daily News.

The University of Sydney has become the second major New South Wales university to fully disclose its admissions scores after Fairfax Media revealed the practice of admitting students below the advertised cut-off was rife throughout the sector, writes Eryk Bagshaw for The Sydney Morning Herald.

University vice-chancellors fear the United Kingdom’s global reputation for higher education and research is already at risk after the vote to leave the European Union, with more than 80% of university chiefs surveyed saying they believed the risk to funding would be “considerable”, writes Jessica Elgot for the Guardian.

The Netherlands must spend an extra €1 billion (US$1.1 billion) a year to maintain the excellence of Dutch scientific research, its universities have argued, writes Jack Grove for Times Higher Education.

The commission of inquiry into higher education fees, established by President Jacob Zuma, has its sights on finding a long-term solution, not the current turbulence rocking the sector, chairperson of the inquiry, Judge Jonathan Arthur Heher, said on Wednesday, reports eNCA.

Germany and Sweden have been named the cheapest places to attend university with a combined cost of £6,700 (US$8,760) per year – a fraction of the £18,000 needed to study at an institution in the United Kingdom – writes Aftab Ali for the Independent.

The University of New Hampshire is facing criticism for the way it has chosen to spend a US$4 million donation left by a long-time university librarian in his will, writes Katie Reilly for Time.
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This Week

Africa Features
Rapid growth in higher education but quality concerns, as conflict wanes in Somalia

South African universities join to raise data intensive research capacity

Africa Analysis
African Research Universities Alliance to strengthen research capacity and boost growth

Transformative Leadership
Too little attention is paid to the ethical role of universities, including the search for truth

Developmental university model should include ethical ways of doing research

A strong moral compass and courage are vital for the leaders of honourable universities

After the 2008 market crash, business schools began some soul-searching about ethics

New inclusion in THE global university ranking favours US and UK institutions

The problem of international students who cheat should be acknowledged and addressed

Universities in Venezuela are bleeding talent and need government and industry support