Also: ‘Reimagining the African University’ interview series: Goolam Mohamedbhai
17 February 2022  Issue No: 347
Africa Top Stories
PHOTODespite numerous challenges, Africa has made notable progress in the production of scientific knowledge in the past two decades, with a total share of 7.6% of contributions to the world of science and one-third of all international publications in tropical medicine.
Harmonisation of standards and quality assurance efforts in higher education were scrutinised as African and European experts shared experiences ahead of the European Union-African Union Summit scheduled for 17 and 18 February in Brussels, Belgium. The engagement also aimed at building existing partnerships.
Thousands of university lecturers in Nigeria under the aegis of the Academic Staff Union of Universities have embarked on a month-long warning strike. Should the government fail to meet the union’s demands, the strike will continue indefinitely. In 2020 lecturers downed tools for nine months.
Africa News
PHOTOThe Uganda Higher Education Students Financing Board, which disburses loans to students on behalf of the government, will spend about US$1.7 million in the current financial year to assist 1,530 students. Students with disabilities are also benefiting.
Reimagining the African University
PHOTOIn the first in a series of critical engagements with thought leaders on their reimaginings of higher education in Africa, Goolam Mohamedbhai reflects on diversification, data collection and the importance of efforts to foster social cohesion and a sense of national identity at African higher education institutions.
Africa Commentary
PHOTOTo navigate a turbulent political economy and a constantly changing international higher education landscape impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the internationalisation of higher education requires sustained collaborative, mutually beneficial stakeholder engagement, and astute leadership that is aligned with critical thinking.
PHOTODr Mary Anti Chama, head of the chemistry department at the University of Ghana, has yet again attracted international attention. Using nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometry, Chama has identified plants that have medicinal value, a study that could lead to research in drug discovery. It also added the Suffrage Science award to her list of accolades.
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Africa Student View
PHOTOAt the start of a month-long strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities in Nigeria, the testimonials of students affected by the prolonged labour action in 2020 raise questions about the ethics of lecturers’ actions. The union believes it is the only way to improve public higher education.
Africa Features
PHOTOSome African universities have joined the metaverse movement as a transformative lever in the teaching and learning space, but many others may be slow due to cultural and technological hurdles. Experts believe the metaverse can improve the learning experience of the next generation of African learners.
Top Africa Stories from Last Week
PHOTOAhead of the African Union and European Union summit on 17-18 February a network of leading research universities spanning both continents have reiterated a recent call on governments to foreground research and innovation capacity in Africa as a fundamental pillar for future geopolitical cooperation.
Global Commentary
PHOTOLarge-scale global geopolitical changes are shaking the world of higher education – from changes to mobility patterns to the rise of private competition when it comes to upskilling the workforce. Could the growth of transnational education be one way for the old guard to respond?
World Blog
PHOTOChina’s higher education internationalisation has moved from inbound to outbound in recent years, with Chinese universities now establishing overseas branches and programmes, although the balance is still mostly towards inbound internationalisation. While this could change, given China’s ambitions, there are still barriers in the way, ranging from quality and cost to politics.
Global Features
PHOTORepeated bomb threats against historically black colleges and universities in the United States have raised questions about how far the country has come since black people were forbidden by law to learn to read, and the Ku Klux Klan terrorised freed slaves.
World Round-up
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