Also: First Nobel Prize Dialogue in Africa focuses on the future of work
13 May 2021  Issue No: 313
Africa Top Stories
PHOTOIn the absence of proper funding for the academic pipeline and the production of new knowledge, higher education systems could succumb, producing large numbers of undergraduates with degrees that are of little economic value. Prioritising student access over institutional viability spells trouble, experts warned at a webinar on the student debt crisis in South Africa and called for a differentiated funding strategy.
Reports that the tuition fees of West African students at United Kingdom universities could be used for money-laundering purposes have put universities in Africa that receive cash on the alert, underscoring the significance of anti-money-laundering institutional regulations. Besides having adequate staffing for the proper monitoring of day-to-day compliance with anti-money-laundering policies, experts recommend that universities ensure sufficient technological resources are available to support these efforts.
Ethiopia’s Ministry of Science and Higher Education has unveiled an ambitious plan to have 5,000 PhD graduates by the end of 2025. The Homegrown Collaborative PhD Programmes will be able to respond to national development goals, but the human resource and infrastructure capacities of participating higher education institutions are part of several concerns over the plan.
Africa News
PHOTOCape Verdean public universities are competing to raise their country’s profile as an international higher education centre – launching new modern facilities, degree courses taught entirely in English and engaging in multiple international agreements. With the expansion of the sector and various initiatives to boost graduate employment, institutions are hoping to persuade more students to stay at home for their studies.
Africa Commentary
PHOTOIn the wake of the recent student protests and the resulting suspension of tuition on some higher education campuses throughout South Africa, the management teams from public universities have become used to criticism levelled against them for their handling of these crises and for the financial decisions underpinning them. But, when it comes to finding a new financial solution for higher education, we should think beyond a mere tinkering with existing models, and rather consider total transformation.
Africa Features
PHOTOStudents in South Sudan are frustrated at the lack of internship opportunities in their country because of the COVID-19 pandemic, saying the problem is delaying the completion of their university education. Young people who have been turning away from the military to study should be supported to obtain their qualifications as an educational strategy to support peace efforts and to end the civil war.
Global Commentary
PHOTOThe hybrid university has been much talked about during the pandemic, but it is not just about technical fixes. It requires a deep transformation of the very essence of what a university is. It is not a system or space but a home and a place.
World Blog
PHOTOThe dominance of the employability agenda at universities and the focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics or STEM subjects has led us to downplay the role of the arts, humanities and social sciences, but COVID-19 has shown that it is central to how we rebuild after the pandemic.
Global Features
PHOTOAs India reels with record numbers of COVID-19 cases and a health system suffering shortages of beds and oxygen and unable to cope with soaring admissions, universities are having to use their own facilities to care for sick faculty, staff and family members.
World Round-up
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