Also: Inequitable technology transfer violates human rights
20 May 2021  Issue No: 314
Africa Top Stories
PHOTOA framework to map the integration and progress on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals at institutional, national and regional level has been mooted by the Southern African Regional Universities Association. This, according to the association, could serve as a practical guide for universities to create an impact in their local communities.
Universities in Africa must be more vocal about the failures of higher education institutions in the Global North to challenge the status quo of innovation- and technology-sharing that is denying millions access to life-saving treatments. If African universities are engaged in global collaboration on health research, they should attempt to direct the downstream access implications of these partnerships.
African universities need to increase investment in postgraduate training in order to produce the knowledge and human resources needed to support the agriculture sector. It is also important that universities increase investment in postdoctoral training, as part of reforms needed in aligning education and skills development to respond to the requirements of African food systems.
Africa News
PHOTOThe World Bank and UNESCO’s report, Education Finance Watch 2021, indicates that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused cuts to external education aid and education budget cuts in two-thirds of low- and middle-income countries. The financial challenges outlined in the report should be tackled using domestic resources with a special focus on permanent practical solutions, including tax exemptions.
Africa Commentary
PHOTOHigher education in Sierra Leone faces a number of challenges. Standards and teaching practices have varied across the country and there is a gap between what is taught in universities and the demands of employers and wider society. These are the problems a quality assurance project was set up to deal with and, through capacity building, it has been making an impact in the higher education sector.
Africa Features
PHOTONearly a year on from a spottily respected United Nations-brokered ceasefire between Libya’s warring factions, the country’s universities are hoping a planned new national government will deliver sufficient stability to overhaul their higher education system. Their goal is to raise standards in both teaching and research. Management, energy and health science have been identified as areas in which to develop research capacity.
Nobel Prize Dialogue
PHOTOThe first Nobel Prize Dialogue hosted by an institution in Africa on 18 May focused on the future of work in a world grappling with disruptive forces such as COVID-19, rapid technological advances and global inequalities. Nearly 6,000 people joined five Nobel laureates and other experts in a virtual science-meets-society conversation hosted by South Africa’s University of Pretoria. Together, they attempted to unravel what lies ahead for workers.
2021 AAP Dialogue Series
PHOTOOngoing protests against racial injustice and systemic racism, still embedded in many societal institutions, have presented an opportunity to the higher education sector to discuss its role and responsibility in bringing about meaningful change at a historical moment. The Alliance for African Partnership, or AAP, brought together experts to reflect critically on racial issues that are affecting the African diaspora and university policies.
Global Commentary
PHOTODigitalisation and technology will not solve the equity challenges for universities in the near future. Things like a reliable supply of electricity are as important as technology in remote delivery of education. Higher education needs to diversify to address growing equity issues after COVID-19.
World Blog
PHOTOIt is not merely ‘misconduct’, but violence that many victims of ‘sexual misconduct’ have experienced. To transform university cultures and provide truly inclusive learning and working environments for all, we first need to pay attention to the language we use, particularly when it comes to sexual violence.
Global Features
PHOTOSome 13,000 or around 45% of academics and staff at universities in Myanmar have been suspended – including reportedly half of the staff in one university – because of their involvement in the civil disobedience movement protests against the military junta’s seizure of power.
World Round-up
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