Also: Vice-chancellors tasked to lobby for better internet access
3 March 2022  Issue No: 349
Africa Top Stories
PHOTOWhile 17 African countries were among the 35 states that abstained from voting on a United Nations resolution on Wednesday 2 March demanding that Russia “immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraw all of its military forces from the territory of Ukraine”, students from many of these countries were still fleeing the conflict and trying to return safely to their homelands.
Vice-chancellors have a vital advocacy role to play in promoting national research and education networks, or NRENs, to advance the digital transformation strategies of African universities. This includes engaging African governments, ministries of education and ICT and ministries of communication as well as relevant regulators.
Universities in Nigeria that adopted hybrid learning as an emergency measure when COVID-19 hit two years ago have been encouraged to fully and permanently integrate it into their teaching and learning. However, there is a list of challenges, fuelling serious concern about the quality of hybrid degrees.
Ukraine Crisis
PHOTOWe need a coordinated approach and effort to locate and repatriate the students stranded in Ukraine. The call is for institutions such as the Association of African Universities and regional higher education bodies to put pressure on European counterparts to step in to protect African students in need.
Africa News
PHOTOArtificial intelligence has been identified as a powerful tool in combating some of the debilitating effects of climate variability and change. For Africa to benefit from the revolution there must be mass production of graduates and researchers in disciplines such as computer science, engineering and mathematics.
Climate Change
PHOTOAfrican academics researching climate change should strive to share their knowledge with communities to help them to adapt and to link their work to the public. In the first dialogue of a series hosted by the Alliance for African Partnership the importance of science communication was emphasised.
Reimagining the African University
PHOTOAs part of the series of critical engagements with thought leaders on their reimaginings of higher education in Africa, Professor Reitumetse Obakeng Mabokela reflects on change and impact: the sector’s response to the youth bulge, engagement with local communities, intra-African university collaboration and ‘violent institutional cultures’.
Africa Commentary
PHOTOThe negotiation and approval of a more equal, strategic African-European partnership with a strong focus on scientific collaboration speaks of an intention to modernise the relationship between the two continents and tackle some of the historical challenges that have afflicted past partnerships.
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Africa Student View
PHOTOEmployers worldwide are battling with the divide between the skills they require and what would-be employees are bringing to the workforce. According to a recent survey, a staggering 89% of executives struggle to find graduates with the right mix of soft skills like teamwork, communication and adaptability.
Africa Features
PHOTOAmisa Rashid, a masters student in public policy and management at Strathmore University in Kenya, is a top-10 finalist for the Global Student prize. Rashid was selected for launching the Nivishe Foundation which focuses on building community resilience with community-based mental health interventions and trauma-informed programmes.
Top Africa Stories from Last Week
PHOTOAs part of the series of thought leader engagements on the reimagining of higher education in Africa, philosopher Mogobe Ramose suggests the word ‘university’ should be replaced with ‘pluriversity’ – a site where a plurality of knowledge co-exists, thus challenging the problematic fragmentation of knowledge.
Global Commentary
PHOTOChina’s new first-class higher education project actively promotes disciplines over universities and a uniquely Chinese academic evaluation system with a view to improving the global competitiveness of Chinese higher education and potentially changing the global landscape of higher education and research.
World Blog
PHOTOWhen, why and how did higher education become central to the European project? The process of forging greater cooperation around higher education in Europe is important and the details and context matter, even more so in this era of misinformation about the European Union.
Global Features
PHOTOPressure is mounting on the European Union to sever science ties with Russia following a coordinated push by the German Ministry of Education and Research and the Alliance of Science Organisations in Germany to halt scientific cooperation in response to the invasion of Ukraine.
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