Also: Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan: The impact of political change on HE
12 January 2023  Issue No: 388
Africa Top Stories
PHOTOThe apparent assassination attempt on one of South Africa’s top university leaders, in which his bodyguard was killed, has highlighted the threat of corruption that appears to have firmed its grip on the country’s tertiary education sector. A national task force has been promised to improve safety at institutions.
Political turmoil in Sudan since October 2021 has affected all sectors of society, including higher education, where academic freedom has been under threat, policy reviews have stalled and the brain drain has picked up pace. A new political agreement, signed in December 2022, has brought hope for the sector’s recovery.
A few months after his election as the president of Kenya, in a context in which universities in the country have been staggering financially, William Ruto has initiated reforms that will impact upon the tertiary education sector and which reflect his political influences and aspirations.
PHOTOProfessor Ernest Aryeetey, a consummate academic, researcher, lecturer and former vice-chancellor, believes there is a need to get politics out of universities. The secretary general of the African Research Universities Alliance also hopes that universities, through their research, will increasingly persuade governments to see them as partners in policy-making.
Africa News
PHOTOUniversities in Rwanda are struggling to meet the target of the Higher Education Council determining that 30% of academic and teaching staff members should be PhD holders, but according to the council it was monitoring progess and was encouraged by the progress made. In the 2023-24 academic year the target is 27.7%.
Climate Change
PHOTOYouths are capable of leading the climate change conversation and can come up with brilliant initiatives regardless of age. What the youth need is space and a chance to show their maximum potential. However, most of the time, space and platforms are not given to them, says climate activist and masters student Elizabeth Gulugulu Machache.
Africa Commentary
PHOTOAlthough education is held in high regard by Ethiopians, political parties seldom use it in electioneering. This may explain why 18 months after a change in government its 2018 educational roadmap is still in place. However, challenges during the last year may require a rethink of some of the plan’s priorities for higher education.
Africa Features
PHOTOFollowing a peace deal between the Ethiopian government and Tigray forces after two years of civil war, which appears to be holding, academics and students are counting the cost of damage to Ethiopia’s higher education system. One of the consequences has been parents sending their children to study abroad.
Academic Publishing
PHOTOUniversities and higher education institutions in the Middle East and North Africa, or MENA, are starting to join the open science movement, recognising its potential to enhance the accessibility, inclusivity and sustainability of higher education systems and research communities. But there are many challenges.
Top Africa Stories from Last Week
PHOTOPrestige and a strong affinity for the United Kingdom’s world-class and cutting-edge university education is increasingly attracting transnational education students from Africa who have been looking for life-changing career opportunities without having to travel out of the continent, according to Universities UK International.
Global Commentary
PHOTOGlobal university rankings are unlikely to disappear, but changes are afoot, fuelled in large part by the need to redefine excellence by navigating away from citations and indicators that reinforce historic advantage and prestige and towards more relevant priorities: equity, ethics, integrity and sustainability.
World Blog
PHOTOHigher education institutions, often accused of not keeping pace with society, can find themselves in a balancing act when it comes to meeting quality assurance standards while also leading innovative teaching-learning practices, advancing novel research and responding to change in a diverse environment.
Global Features
PHOTOThe European Union is to broaden and increase its strong cooperation and support of higher education and research in Southeast Asia as part of a €10 billion (US$10.7 billion) package under its new Global Gateway scheme, focusing on ‘sustainable connectivity’ and the green transition.
World Round-up
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