Also: Academic corruption on the rise as policies falter
10 December 2020  Issue No: 295
Africa Top Stories
PHOTOThe gigantic global scientific efforts to develop a vaccine to mitigate the devastating impact of COVID-19 on societies have reached a point where the mass production and use of effective vaccines are a reality. But, in the subsequent race that is unfolding to produce and purchase vaccines, the gross global inequalities in the access to vaccinations, as well as in the science that makes that possible, have been exposed.
Academic corruption linked to the COVID-19 pandemic underscores the importance of strengthening transparency and accountability efforts at African universities, seeing that traditional anti-corruption policies are insufficient in situations of outbreak response.
Researchers and scholars want publishers to increase the volume of available free-access journals to boost research and knowledge production during the COVID-19 pandemic. This, they say, will particularly benefit poor institutions and budding scientists from low-income countries.
Africa News
PHOTOHigher education systems in the Central African region are struggling and outdated, have failed to shift the balance from the humanities to science, technology, engineering and mathematics or STEM, and fall short in terms of research output and innovation, according to panellists who participated in a virtual meeting of the 36th Intergovernmental Committee of Senior Officials and Experts for Central Africa.
Africa Analysis
PHOTOUniversities have not been spared as COVID-19 devastated and upended the world economy and healthcare systems. The pandemic has posed enormous challenges and accelerated profound changes in higher education, requiring reprioritisation and changes in the operations that affect organisational culture and governance.
Reflections Africa 2020
PHOTOI have been asked to write something about my experiences during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic as a violinist and violin teacher at a university in South Africa. Perhaps a good start is to offer a little perspective from an area in Northern Italy, with the city of Cremona as its creative epicentre, where the golden age of violin-making played out from roughly the mid-16th to the mid-18th centuries.
Global Commentary
PHOTOStudents – and lecturers – have faced a lot of disruption and anxiety as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We need to be able to talk openly about the impact on their well-being and use the past few months as a learning experience.
World Blog
PHOTOExternal quality assurance is invaluable – especially for determining if national standards are being met – but it is not enough. If universities truly want to improve, they need to embed regular internal quality assurance processes within their institution and learn from the experience.
Transformative Leadership: Webinar on Social Impact
PHOTOOn 27 January 2021 University World News, in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation, will be bringing together experts and practitioners from the International Association of Universities, the Talloires Network of Engaged Universities and the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program in an online webinar on how universities can improve their social impact.
Global Features
PHOTOThe United Nations secretary general has called on the world to take urgent climate action and has praised the work of universities as “essential to our success”. He has called on all organisations to examine their contribution to achieving carbon neutrality.
World Round-up
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