Also: Private and public universities should collaborate in Africa
27 January 2022  Issue No: 344
Africa Top Stories
PHOTOAmid ongoing concerns over academic freedom, the Egyptian government has been urged to release masters student Ahmed Samir Santawy, who was imprisoned in 2021 for publishing fake news. The call came from a seminar organised by the Central European University and activist organisation Scholars at Risk.
Suicide among tertiary students has raised concerns about a mental health crisis that is tearing through tertiary institutions in Zimbabwe where classes are set to start early in February 2022. Students say there is an urgent need for impactful interventions.
In the first of two conferences to focus on the impact of private higher education on the public sector in Africa, representatives from both sectors participated in robust discussions, concluding that private universities have come to stay – and are able to contribute to best practices.
Africa News
PHOTOMost public higher education institutions in Nigeria lack basic infrastructure like a regular water supply, electricity, hostel accommodation, adequate lecture halls, up-to-date laboratories and well-equipped libraries. The dire situation has a negative effect on the quality of teaching and learning, academics and student bodies say.
Africa Commentary
PHOTOThe imminent introduction of the Ethiopian Qualification Framework will provide further impetus to ongoing efforts to improve accreditation and quality assurance practices in the education system, including in the higher education sector. However, despite being developed since 2006, the framework may still require more refinement.
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PHOTOThe Alliance for African Partnership has launched a new programme aimed at academics and administrators from Africa and Black African diaspora scholars in the United States to nurture research, teaching and outreach collaborations that would support the nurturing of globally competent faculty and students.
Academic Publishing
PHOTOOngoing concerns remain over geographical biases in the evaluation of scientific research, including journal articles and grant or funding applications. This could disadvantage scholars from Africa and suggests the need for targeted efforts to address inequalities in knowledge production and publication.
Africa Student View
PHOTOToday, the labour market prefers graduates with a blend of hard and soft skills. Hard skills are not being considered as the conclusive indicator of graduates’ professional abilities. Graduates need to master professional skills as well as a range of soft skills.
Africa Features
PHOTOMass sensitisation about the nutritional and health benefits of insects is needed to increase their acceptance, especially among the youth. Also needed across the continent are enabling environments that regulate and promote operations along the value chains of edible insects.
Global Commentary
PHOTOThe European Strategy for Universities and the European Council Recommendation published this week represent a bold attempt to transform higher education in Europe and maximise its capacities and capabilities based on the principle of ‘inclusive excellence’. Priorities include expansion of Erasmus+ and the European Universities Initiative.
World Blog
PHOTOThe controversy over the admission and deportation of world number one tennis star Novak Djokovic, who had not been vaccinated for COVID-19, will do nothing to reduce the bad taste left in the mouth of many international students over their treatment by Australia during the pandemic.
Global Features
PHOTOExpanding the European Universities Initiative and establishing a joint European degree are at the heart of the European Strategy for Universities and recommendations for “building bridges for effective European higher education cooperation”, proposed by the European Commission, but universities have concerns about funding and implementation.
World Round-up
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