Also: Women take longer to finish PhDs, publish less
11 February 2021  Issue No: 300
Africa Top Stories
PHOTOAt the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, many African universities faced serious challenges pivoting to remote teaching and learning, research, and administration using online platforms. Many suffered from limited digital infrastructure, capacity and connectivity which made the transition difficult.
Women need an additional six months to finish their PhDs and have one less paper accepted for publication during their doctoral studies compared to their male counterparts, according to the findings of a study that has just been published in a peer-reviewed journal.
COVID-19 vaccine supplies are available in various parts of the world. But it’s clear that distribution is not symmetrical. High-income countries have access to disproportionate quantities of limited supplies. Vaccine nationalism, stockpiling and profit-driven strategies of global pharmaceutical manufacturers have shown up global health inequities.
Africa News
PHOTOWeaknesses in higher education provision across the world have been magnified and exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, affecting poorer students in Africa and Europe disproportionally, according to findings presented by university leaders and researchers at a recent webinar.
Africa Commentary
PHOTOPhD supervision needs to be considered in a more holistic way with the emphasis on teamwork, particularly as COVID-19 is likely to bring changes to how international researchers complete their studies, but it requires better recognition and reward for the collaborative effort needed.
Africa Features
PHOTOProfessor Firibu Saalia of the University of Ghana’s School of Engineering is one of 10 research chair holders of the OR Tambo Africa Research Chairs Initiative announced in October 2020. He was awarded for his groundbreaking work in the processing, safety and quality of food.
University Social Responsibility Summit 2021
PHOTOThe international virtual summit, “University Social Responsibility: Priorities for the next decade”, was hosted from 3-5 February by the University of Pretoria and the global University Social Responsibility Network. Participants deliberated on a future in which the academic responsibility of societal service becomes increasingly embedded in the missions of all institutions as a core commitment of students and staff to the community and a measure of their standing. University World News is a media partner.
Global Commentary
PHOTOWe are at a tipping point, a time of transformation for society and universities. A new report highlights some of the issues facing European universities, from precarity and embedding interdisciplinarity to sustainability, and outlines a vision for how universities could adapt to the future.
Academic Freedom
PHOTOIndia’s government has made it mandatory for academics and organisers to obtain prior clearance from the Ministry of External Affairs to hold international webinars or online seminars on topics touching on India’s security and internal issues and on subjects the government believes are sensitive.
Global Features
PHOTOJapan is setting up a projected US$95 billion endowment fund to increase public financing for scientific research, even as the country is struggling to contain the third wave of COVID-19 infections. The pandemic has exposed the country’s lack of long-term and stable funding of research.
World Round-up
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