Also: How alumni associations are rebuilding universities in Nigeria
9 February 2023  Issue No: 392
Africa Top Stories
PHOTOFrom suggestions to ban ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence chatbot, to adjusting curricula and assessment formats, the academic community in North Africa, as in other parts of the world, disagrees about how the higher education sector should respond to the latest text tool.
Leading French grande école Sciences Po has banned the use of ChatGPT, the new chatbot capable of instantly writing students’ essays. The innovation has sparked consternation in universities worldwide due to its potential for exacerbating plagiarism and undermining academic quality and integrity.
Three West African countries – Benin, the Gambia and Ivory Coast – with the support of the South Africa-based ethical research non-governmental organisation EthiXpert, have secured a €1.5 million (US$1.62 million) grant that will be used to build the capacity of research ethics committees in these countries.
Africa News
PHOTOGhana’s obstetrics and gynaecology training, development and retention programme over the past 30 years has demonstrated the strengths and barriers of speciality training in low-resource settings and has the potential to serve as a model for international academic medicine partnerships. It can be adapted to other low-resource settings.
Building Partnerships
PHOTOThe first University Partnership Initiative Summit, hosted by the University of Pretoria in South Africa, has yielded insights into how the United States-South Africa Higher Education Network has built productive cross-continental partnerships and is navigating some of the difficulties that are inherent in such collaborations.
Africa Commentary
PHOTOUniversities, particularly those in the Global North, have increasingly begun to develop what is referred to as ‘diaspora strategies’ to take advantage of the cultural diversity and transnational connectivity of their international students and faculty in order to gain a competitive global advantage.
Academic Publishing
PHOTODistance education can be used to increase the knowledge and awareness of postgraduate students and early-career researchers about predatory publishing and research ethics in under-resourced low- and middle-income countries. A study found that half of the respondents who received training in the field had no prior knowledge of predatory publishing.
Africa Features
PHOTOAlumni associations, whose members comprise prominent politicians, religious leaders, entrepreneurs, academics and other professionals, have been stepping up to plug many of the infrastructural and other gaps in the Nigerian higher education system by raising funds for their alma maters. Several government-run tertiary institutions have been benefiting.
Top Africa Stories from Last Week
PHOTOA new definition of higher education internationalisation can create an opportunity for South Africa to become an ‘active and self-determined’ contributor and partner in the global field of internationalisation of higher education instead of merely replicating dominant concepts and definitions from the Global North.
Global Commentary
PHOTOThe trends identified by a study of collaboration between United States and Chinese scientists during the COVID-19 pandemic provide valuable information to understand and support US and Chinese scientists’ international collaborations so that they are well positioned to respond effectively during crisis situations.
World Blog
PHOTOThe introduction of performance-based funding at universities in some Canadian provinces and other current trends are cause for alarm, necessitating an urgent debate about what kind of society we hope to maintain, foster and create – and how universities can best serve that society.
Global Features
PHOTOChina has suddenly reversed its temporary rules in place for over two years during the COVID-19 pandemic allowing online courses from foreign universities to be delivered to students within China, which is being justified in China as a crackdown on substandard online degree courses.
World Round-up
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