Also: The complexities of engaging Africa’s academic diaspora
22 July 2021  Issue No: 323
Africa Top Stories
PHOTOInequalities in access to university education in Sub-Saharan Africa are no longer embedded in historic ethnic boundaries and those who reside within them, but are now determined by regional geographic areas, mostly non-rural areas, a study covering seven countries has shown.
Many countries in Africa have policies to guide the broader engagement with the diaspora, often focusing on institutions at the receiving end of the relationship. But the complex and nuanced experiences of diaspora academics as participants in the engagement may also have to be considered.
A project to use ZAR866 million (US$60 million) for skills and infrastructure development, including the construction of a state-of-the-art technical and vocational education and training college in one of South Africa’s poorest townships, has been derailed by COVID-19 and subsequently canned by Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology Dr Blade Nzimande.
Africa News
PHOTOThe higher education system in Equatorial Guinea has been trying to move studies online because of COVID-19, but students still struggle to get computers and affordable and fast internet. It is hard to ignore the socio-economic backdrop of Equatorial Guinea, Africa’s only independent Spanish-speaking country, when assessing its higher education.
Africa Commentary
PHOTOThe current higher education landscape, which has been severely affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, particularly the suspension of many activities reliant on international mobility, compels us to think more humanely and to bring about positive change in higher education, internationalisation and our societies at large.
Student Blog
PHOTOThe threat posed to humankind by increased incidences of drought, cyclones, floods, hailstorms and heat waves has made climate change a salient subject anywhere in the world. Climate change is a scientific issue as much as it is a political issue and a communication issue. To tackle the challenge, a multidimensional approach is necessary – and everyone must be involved.
Africa Features
PHOTOAfter Beth Nasiforo Mukarwego’s birth, her parents were frantic about her education because she had a visual impairment that led to blindness. This, however, did not stop her from obtaining a PhD in special needs education. Despite several challenges, she teaches her students with compassion and an iron will.
Digitalisation in Higher Education
PHOTOFrom the redesign of educational campus spaces to the evolving rules of engagement for virtual learnerships, the digitalisation of higher education has been affecting every aspect of university life. In this online environment, students are also developing new learning preferences, habits and skills that may be vital as they prepare to enter a rapidly changing world of work.
PHOTODr Diane Parker, a former deputy director-general in the South African Department of Higher Education and Training, responds to an article, “HE sector concerned over turmoil in department”, published in the Africa edition of University World News on 1 July. She outlines her complaint and explains her contribution to the department, which she believes has been amiss in the article.
Global Commentary
PHOTOOne person’s freedom is another person’s oppression and in a politically divided country where education has become a punching bag, claims of censorship – especially by proponents whose goal is to “dismantle the so-called liberal bias” in US academia – need to be viewed with suspicion.
World Blog
PHOTOIndian students have been hit badly by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic this summer, but 54% are still keen to study abroad. However, they face unprecedented challenges due to lockdowns causing cancellation of secondary school leaving exams and delays in the application process.
Civic Engagement
PHOTOWinners of the Open Society University Network and Talloires Network’s COV-AID Student Engagement Award tell University World News about how they are bringing change to their communities with student-run projects set up during the COVID-19 pandemic and designed to answer the question, ‘How can I make a difference?’
Global Features
PHOTOOne in every five students in years two and three in the United Kingdom says they don’t have a ‘real friend’ at university, and one in every 10 students has experienced suicidal thoughts for the first time at university, a survey of 12,000 students reveals.
World Round-up
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