Also: Special report: Africa's student housing crisis
24 August 2023  Issue No: 417
Africa Top Stories
PHOTOLearning loss, an opportunity gap, polarisation and environmental and climate justice have in common systems of practices and policies that are pervasive and intentionally exclusionary. They reflect system failures. As educators, we must ask how we are contributing to the problem or solutions.
Employment and earnings returns to postsecondary qualifications are large, so graduation from postsecondary education can play a key role in catalysing upward social mobility. This means tertiary institutions’ imprint on student success can transform society, said Professor Murray Leibbrandt at a recent Siyaphumelela Network Conference.
South Africa has been a backslider on commitments to increase the number of international students at its universities. And there was a ‘disconnect’ between government policy, which supported internationalisation, and a fiscus that did not fund it. Meanwhile, officialdom frustrated efforts to admit foreign students with its ‘abominable’ visa service.
Africa News
PHOTOZimbabwe’s government has deported British academic Professor Stephen Chan, accusing him of plotting to destabilise the country after the general elections on 23 August. Chan, a professor of world politics at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies, has been doing community work in Africa.
Special Report – Student Housing in Africa
PHOTOThe massive growth in student numbers has exacerbated a dire shortage of quality, affordable student housing in Africa. It has become one of the major challenges facing the higher education sector on the continent. The crisis is affecting the academic success of students who have shared their experiences with University World News. Apart from a few plans and public-private partnerships, governments and institutions appear to lack the appetite to act.
Africa Commentary
PHOTOIn Ethiopia, higher education stakeholders should discuss the emerging trend to award honorary degrees based on ethnic affiliations, in particular to persons who are part of ethnic groups in the area where the awarding university is geographically located. This has drawn criticism and has negative consequences for a society where national unity is a challenge.
PHOTOA new study highlights the need for the training of research ethics committees in Sub-Saharan Africa tasked with reviewing data-intense research protocols where data protection and data sharing are important. This is to better handle the ethical, legal and social implications of big data-related research, which are inadequately supported by legislative and enforcement frameworks.
Top Africa Stories from Last Week
PHOTOA group of students who staged a protest in front of the Mauritanian Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research on 14 August about the lack of transparency in the awarding of foreign scholarships was dispersed by the riot police, leading to the hospitalisation of three students and the arrest of another two.
Global Commentary
PHOTOGlobalisation is prompting democratic governments in Asia to introduce nationalist courses in universities. However, when the nationalist values such courses espouse are not embodied by government leaders, students may be more likely to question them.
Edtech, AI and Higher Education
PHOTOIn the rush to adopt new technologies, universities are at risk of compromising the most human of skills such as compassion and emotional intelligence. But it is precisely those values that hold the key to helping machine learning technology serve educators better.
Global Features
PHOTOThe South Korean government’s new plan to attract 300,000 international students by 2027 will include the easing of visa rules and broadening of permissible language tests. The plan is geared towards addressing the country’s declining student population while also securing high-tech talent.
World Round-up
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