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15 February 2017

Bringing Out the Best in African Research

The African Research Universities Alliance, or ARUA, a unique network of 16 top African universities, was created in 2015 to grow the continent’s contribution to global research and raise the profile of its research globally. University World News spoke to its secretary-general, Professor Ernest Aryeetey, about how the alliance intends to “bring out the best in Africa”. Read more

Intensified Support for Climate Change Researchers

The African Academy of Sciences and the Association of Commonwealth Universities have selected 37 African researchers from different African universities for the third cohort of a programme supporting early career researchers in the field of climate change adaptation and mitigation. Read more

Why Joburg Is the Best Place in Africa to Study

Johannesburg hasn’t previously appeared in the top 100. Johannesburg achieved a particularly high score for affordability in the Best Student Cities index, reflecting its fairly low tuition fees and living costs. Read more


31 January 2017

Cooperation – The Magic Word for Academic Libraries

Academic libraries located in North Africa’s universities need to join forces to form consortia or alliances in order to provide access to relevant information resources and services that meet the needs of higher education. Read more

New Graduates to Assist Pastoralists with Climate Change

Pastoralists in the arid and semi-arid areas of East Africa are at the coalface of climate change impacts. A new cohort of masters graduates from the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania is set to enrich the capacity of these farmers to enhance their resilience to climatic variations and address growing food security challenges. Read more

Rethinking the University for an Online Era

When the Virtual University of Uganda, or VUU, was conceived in 2010, we knew a lot of work lay ahead to prepare for the provision of education to graduate professionals who could not afford to leave work to gain a higher qualification. Read more


15 November 2016

African University Day and Innovation Week Celebration Launched

The Association of African Universities (AAU) has launched the 2016 edition of its annual African Universities Day Celebration with an objective to promote critical dialogue among stakeholders on how to improve higher education in Africa. Read more

African Union Chairperson announces a Committee of Ten Heads of State and Government to Champion Higher Education in Africa

Ten African Heads of State and Government have been constituted into a Committee to champion Higher Education, Science and Technology in Africa, as part of the efforts to strengthen the role of Science and Technology to enhance the realization of economic growth on the continent. Read more

Challenges and Solutions for Francophone Universities

While the number of students in Africa continues to rise, universities often fail to equip them with skills needed for employment – and they have two to three times less chance of finding work than those who left school after primary level. This situation formed part of the backdrop for a conference that debated problems faced by higher education in Africa. Read more

Higher education needs to be more affordable for Africa to grow’

Founder of UNICAF,   has said that it is imperative that higher education becomes a more affordable option to enable the continent to create a strong, well-qualified workforce to meet the needs of its growing economy. Read more

Internationalisation: A Driver of Change

Internationalisation is a phenomenon that now influences different aspects of university activities, including leadership. Its consequences, opportunities, challenges and risks demand not only closer analysis and understanding but also new leadership responses. Read more

Second African Centres of Excellence Project Launched

A second regional centres of excellence project, co-funded by the World Bank and aimed at providing sustainable solutions through science and technology in higher education across East and Southern Africa, was officially unveiled in Kenya’s capital Nairobi. Read more

Varsities Must Resolve People’s Problems – Mbeki

African higher learning institutions should provide solutions to the development challenges and opportunities facing its people across the continent. Read more


31 October 2016

African Varsities Launch Courses to Develop Skills

The Partnership for Africa’s Next Generation of Academics (PANGeA) has launched a new training and skills development programme, PANGeA-Ed, after a four-day meeting of the partnership’s board in Kampala. Read more

African Virtual University to Open More Centres

The African Virtual University or AVU, in partnership with the African Development Bank, has launched phase two of its multinational project aimed at expanding its network of centres of open, distance and e-learning and which will see 27 facilities opened in 21 countries. Read more

Cambridge Has Waived Application Fee for Graduate Students from Most African Countries

The University’s policy on graduate admissions was reiterated at the opening of the third Cambridge-Africa Day, the Director of the Cambridge-Africa Programme confirms. Read more

Heads of African Universities Discuss Harmonisation of Higher Education

Heads of universities in Africa are meeting in Accra to discuss the harmonisation of higher education to promote academics on the continent. Read more

World Bank Launches Sh14bn Project for African Universities

The World Bank has launched a sh14 billion project aimed at delivering market-relevant post graduate education and building research capacity in the Eastern and Southern Africa region. Read more


30 September 2016

African Research Universities to Create Hub of Expertise

Across the developing world, especially in Asia, but also in Latin America, the Middle East and other regions, there is a strong correlation between economic growth and a commitment to build strong research capacity to grow new sectors and expand existing industries. Read more

Conceptual Clarity on the Makings of an African University

Academics are trying to rid universities of the procedures, values, norms, practices, thinking, beliefs and choices that mark anything non-European and not white as inferior. Read more

Ethics and the Developmental University

The classical university model has not helped developing countries as they do not produce the kind of graduates who can deal with the developmental problems they face. Instead a different type of university is needed – the developmental university. Read more

Virtual Institute for Higher Education in Africa Reopens

In January 2017, the Virtual Institute for Higher Education in Africa will reopen its digital doors with a new set of free courses to help African university lecturers face the challenges they meet in their everyday work. Read more


15 September 2016

Education in Africa Has Helped to Entrench Colonial Systems

Violence has never been a conclusive solution, but with education, communication and information, the continent can begin to deal with her problems in a more peaceful way. Read more

How to Fund African’s Higher Education

What is the future of higher education funding in Africa? This was the question asked by at recent online debate. Read more

Multiple Positive Signs for African Higher Education

Two of the biggest and fastest-growing economic sectors in Africa are churches and higher education. Read more

New Fellowships to Tackle Africa’s Growing Cancer Burden

The increasing cancer burden in Africa has prompted efforts in higher education to tackle a scarcity of oncologists. This month sees the launch of a fellowship initiative by the University of Nairobi and German-based pharmaceutical Merck Group, to train experts across Africa. Read more

Seven Ways to Improve Africa’s STEM Education

Tertiary education is essential. However, the continent faces a number of challenges that must be addressed if it is to truly educate and empower the next generation of science, technology, engineering and mathematics leaders. Read more

University Entrepreneurship: Key to Surviving Uncertainty

Dwindling government funding and graduate unemployment are just two of the factors contributing to the need for African universities to embrace entrepreneurship in teaching, research, and in the way in which institutions are run, according to an African expert. Read more


31 August 2016

African Universities Are Lagging Behind As the World Moves On

To respond to this overwhelming imbalance, it has even been suggested that different criteria be used rank African universities. Read more

Countries Share Common Higher Education Challenges

Regardless of geographical distances, political agendas and student bodies, countries in Africa faced similar challenges in respect of massification, quality, funding, leadership and internationalisation of higher education. Read more

How to Fund Africa’s Higher Education?

What is the future of higher education funding in Africa? This was the question asked by SciDev.Net at a recent online debate (28 July). Read more

New Curricula for Land Governance Challenges

Guidelines for the development of curricula on land governance are being drafted to assist institutions of higher learning to develop education and training programmes that will equip graduates with the skills needed to address Africa’s land governance challenges. Read more

Push for More Women in Higher Education

African universities must work cohesively to build the continent’s human capital, specifically in mathematics, science, physics and health sciences, while also realising that more women must be included in higher education. Read more

Will the New African Passport Improve Academic Mobility?

The African Union Commission has launched an African passport, signaling open, visa-free access to all 54 of the continent’s member nations. However, if this free passage is to benefit higher education and science, it must be accompanied by harmonised qualifications, greater bureaucratic efficiency and infrastructure to support academic mobility, experts say. Read more


31 July 2016

Africa Must Bridge Capacity Gaps to Deliver AU’s Agenda 2063

There is need to invest heavily in capacity building in managing critical areas such as taxation, rural agriculture, education, leadership and science and technology if Africa is to successfully implement its development plan known as Agenda 2063. Read more

African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA) appoints first SG

Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana, has been appointed to drive a collaborative initiative formed by research-intensive universities in Africa to strengthen research and postgraduate training on the continent. Read more

East Africa Credit Transfers to Come On Line Next Year

Ministers of education have agreed on a draft declaration for implementation of a harmonised higher education system for the East African Community or EAC. Read more

Ranking African Universities: Hypocrisy, Impunity and Complicity

When Times Higher Education ventured into Africa in 2015, just months after the high-profile African Higher Education Summit in Dakar, Senegal, it boasted that it was “moving Africa’s universities forward and building a shared global legacy”. Another ranking organisation, QS, has also started an African ranking system. Read more


15 July 2016

African Research Must Be Spearheaded By Africans-Experts

With statistics showing a less than 1% growth in research in the last decade, public health experts meeting on Child Behavioural Health in Sub-Saharan Africa in Kampala are calling on African researchers to take the lead in investigating social problems. Read more

African Universities Need Strategic Alliances

A well-coordinated partnership among African universities and research institutions is crucial for building institutional capacities for socio-economic development. Read more

Africa-Turkey Higher Education Partnerships Unveiled

Africa and Turkey have unveiled a higher education cooperation plan that includes setting up a joint university, networking among Turkish and African universities and enhancing student and academic mobility. Read more

Global Academic Collaboration in Africa: A New Form of Colonisation?

Higher education in Africa is as old as the pyramids in Egypt, but the continent’s ancient institutions have long disappeared. Read more

How African Institutions Can Improve Globally

The time has come for “African universities to create global academy of commons – a global community of scholars, who although responsive to the local and national needs of our society. Read more

Intercontinental Higher Education Consortium Launched

An international consortium of elite higher education institutions has been launched in Fes, Morocco, dedicated to “promoting education, culture, research, entrepreneurship and innovation on an intercontinental scale”. Read more

Invest In Universities – Mutharika Tells Africa

President Peter Mutharika of Malawi has told African countries to invest in universities if they are to develop economically, he made the remarks in Ethiopia after receiving an honorary degree from Addis Ababa University. Read more

Investing In the Future of African Women Farmers

When I thought about farming, I realised that there was a need for labour-saving technologies and improved policies around access to land and resources to assist women in particular to increase their yields. Read more

USC Training Launches a New Era of Air Pollution Health Research in Eastern Africa

Lead investigators from Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda collaborate with USC and Addis Ababa University to establish a Global Environmental and Occupational Health Hub. Read more


30 June 2016

24 Centres of Excellence for East and Southern Africa

The World Bank Group’s board of executive directors has approved a US$140 million credit for eight Eastern and Southern African countries to set up 24 centres of excellence in universities to strengthen postgraduate training and research in priority sectors. Read more

Growing a Generation of Mathematicians in Africa

Mathematics is “vital” for achieving a thriving science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, workforce in Africa, according to experts. Read more

Pilot Study Fills Data Gaps for Regional STEM Project

Benchmarking as a tool for improving quality in African universities was the focus of the first regional benchmarking and capacity building workshop. Read more

Racism Against Africans Is a Reality to be Countered

The brutal murder of a young Congolese man, has blown the lid off a simmering pot of resentment against the treatment of African migrants in India, especially the large student community. Read more

Southern Africa Stabilising the Higher Education Sector

Education is the key to success in life, and teachers make a lasting impact in the lives of their students. Read more

Too Few PhDs in Africa Limit Contribution to Policy Making On Climate Change

Climate change debates in the developing world’s universities are different. Only a handful of African universities have endowment funds, and even those are extremely modest by international standards. Read more

Top Universities in Kenya, Tanzania and Nigeria Are Coming Up As Preferred Abroad Study Options

In the run up to the college education after finishing the primary schooling, students seek the higher degree courses. Read more

Unisa and NEPAD Collaborate To Skill Nurses and Midwives of Africa

Unisa Principal and Vice-Chancellor officially handed over a research evaluation report of the first phase of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Project on Nursing and Midwifery Education in Africa. Read more


15 June 2016

Africa ‘Needs Skills Revolution’

Gauteng should open a mining academy to help Africans take charge of their own resources. Read more

African Union Issues US$9 Million Research Grant Call

The second phase of the African Union Research Grants has been launched with a call for proposals for research into food and nutrition security and sustainable agriculture. US$9 million will be allocated for research this year, and more next year under the US$20 million initiative supported by the European Union. Read more

French Forge University Governance, Research Partnerships

The global French-speaking universities’ association, Agence universitaire de la Francophonie or AUF, has forged new partnerships that will boost higher education in Africa. Read more

Iconic University Celebrates 100 Years Amid Challenges

Former South African president Nelson Mandela wrote in his autobiography Long Walk to Freedom that for young black South Africans like himself, the University of Fort Hare was “Oxford and Cambridge, Harvard and Yale, all rolled into one”. Read more

Leaders Call for Improved University Governance, Quality

University leaders, higher education policy-makers and experts from the Middle East and North Africa, or MENA, have called for stronger measures to improve university governance and teaching quality, in order to increase the competitiveness and employability of graduates. Read more

Where is the ‘African’ in African Studies?

We need to put the ‘African’ in African Studies, not as a token gesture, but as an affirmation that Africans have always produced knowledge about their continent. Read more

Top Business Schools in Africa

With Africa increasingly attracting investors and progressively becoming a business hub, it’s clear that the continent is ripe with opportunities. No one understands this better than the countless African entrepreneurs starting small businesses everyday, playing their role in transforming the economic narrative of the continent. Read more

World Bank Shifts Thinking on African University Funding

A “paradigm shift” is needed in African university funding, says World Bank education specialist Olatunde Adekola. In this film, he argues that funding should be linked to results. Read more


15 May 2016

Africa Science Leadership Programme: Second Round of Success

As the challenges we face in the world, and especially in Africa, become more complex, a different style of science leadership is required. Read more

Africa’s Varsities Must Compete Globally

No fewer than 800 leaders from around the world attended the opening of Going Global 2016, taking place in Africa and said Africa must become a producer of globally respected knowledge. Read more

African Universities Urged to Utilize Online Interactions

The Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana has challenged African Universities to explore innovative ways of engaging students through Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) in order to stay competitive and relevant in the light of globalization. Read more

Africa Needs ‘Innovation Universities’ to Develop

Africa must create ‘innovation universities’ if it is to achieve economic transformation, sustainable development and inclusive growth. Read more

CAMES Ministers Agree To Harmonise University Curricula

Ministers from CAMES, the Conseil africain et malgache pour l’enseignement supérieur – African and Malagasy Council for Higher Education – which represents 19 Francophone African states, have agreed on measures to develop higher education. Read more

Campus Helps Community to Bridge the Digital Divide

With all the excitement about the role of technology in contributing to social change and improved development outcomes across Africa, it is easy to forget that only 7% of the continent´s inhabitants are online. Read more

Consensus, Contradictions in African Higher Education

The fundamental issue of whether Africa’s future lies in manufacturing beneficiation or the knowledge economy will be key to deciding what kind of higher education system must be built. Read more

Ghana’s Vice-President Calls for Move from Liberal Arts

Universities across Africa must move away from liberal arts courses in order to make higher education relevant and ensure the continent is not left behind in today’s technological world. Read more

Grooming Leaders to Change a Continent

We aim to develop the future Nelson Mandela, the next Wangari Maathai, and the African Bill Gates. Read more

French Connections Boost HE for Leaders and Employment

The continental African Training and Research Centre in Administration for Development, or CAFRAD, and France’s elite HEC business school have signed an agreement to train leaders and high-level officials. Read more

How Political Interference Keeps Hurting Universities

Political interference in Africa’s universities is not new. Universities’ governance was seen as ‘captured’ for narrow political rather than academic ends during the 1980s and 1990s.  Read more

Pan-Africans Versus Afropolitans – An Identity Crisis?

Is a crisis of identity emerging among African academics in the diaspora as to whether they are an offshoot of Pan-Africanism or a breed of emigrant elites, the Afropolitans? Read more

Rising Africa Must Harness Knowledge, Science for Growth

Africa must respond to the education, knowledge and communications revolutions and mobilise knowledge and science not just for sustainable development but as major drivers of growth.  Read more

Universities Seek United Front in Open Access Debate

Both a unified front and a paradigm shift around access to knowledge were needed in order to deal with rising journal costs and exclusionary copyright provisions imposed by the mainstream academic publishing industry, a Leadership Dialogue on open access and African research publishing heard. Read more


30 April 2016

Challenges to Doctoral Education in Africa

Research is one of the three major pillars of higher education. For a university to progress and to address the needs and challenges of the knowledge industry, academics must constantly be engaged in research. Read more

Higher Education – Ethics in Action the Value of Values across Sectors

The Global Ethics Forum (GEF) is a global, solution-focused and multi-stakeholder annual event, organised by The aim in 2016 is to promote values-driven leadership in the higher education sector, through inspiration, discussion and action during the Forum as well as through the creation of working groups on identified projects. Read more

How an Africa-Wide Science Funding Gap Can Be Closed

The idea that Africa’s development depends critically on science, technology and innovation is embodied in the African Union’s Agenda 2063. Read more

PhD Fellowships for Sub-Saharan Africa Women Scientists

The Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World, or OWSD, is offering postgraduate training fellowships for women scientists from Sub-Saharan Africa and least developed countries, to pursue postgraduate research in the natural sciences. Read more

Researchers Call for More Open Access to Knowledge

Researchers from across the continent and beyond have called for governments and universities to introduce policies to guarantee open access to scientific knowledge in Africa. Read more

Universities Need New Funding Models and African Donors

Faced with donor fatigue and declining public funding, universities across Sub-Saharan Africa should search for new models of financing specific initiatives such as hubs for research and innovation. Read more

What Chinese Investment Means for African Higher Education

There is no doubt that China means business in sub-Saharan Africa. Read more


15 April 2016

African Govts Must Promote Women In Engineering

African governments need to come up with new strategies and programmes to improve and broaden the participation of women in engineering to help the continent attain its post-2015 development agenda. Read more

African Higher Education Development – Competing Visions

Given the knowledge economy’s thirst for skills, the societal benefits and global policy frameworks that support higher education funding, were left wondering why higher education received so little support. Read more

Africa Must Learn Higher Education Lessons From India

Africa’s tertiary education and research sector is not ready for global competitiveness and innovation as only 4% of new innovations on the continent are based on research and development. Read more

Ambitious Plans for New African Leadership University

The African Leadership University, launched in Mauritius last month with the aim of training Africa’s future leaders, has huge ambitions. Read more

Are African Universities Ready for Diaspora Academics?

Members of the academic diaspora are dependable ambassadors for universities in Africa in the face of the unstoppable onslaughts of economic globalisation and higher education internationalisation. Read more

Call for Africa to Focus on Sciences

African think tanks say they want to ensure that all countries on the continent focus on sciences and engineering studies by 2063 in order to steer industrial development. Read more

Kenya and South Africa in Joint Research Call

The governments of Kenya and South Africa have invited applications for joint research from scholars in the two countries. Read more

Online Medium Takes Tertiary Education to Africa

While only half of Africa’s children attend primary school, a paltry 10 of those who go to school enter into university programs. Read more


1 April 2016

AAU Hosts Social Media Seminar in Accra

The Secretary General said the survey revealed that ‘Social Media Usage for Impact’ by Higher Educational Institutions in most African countries was still at its infancy. Read more

Africa’s Slow Journey to Becoming A Global Science Hub

Before Africa can achieve its full potential it must overcome the barriers holding it back, particularly dismal investment in research and development and limited access to higher education. Read more

Africa Needs Confident Scientists in Global Partnerships

University of Cambridge Vice-chancellor  says Africa needs scientists who are confident and able to harness the power of global partnerships and forge closer collaboration with policy-makers and the private sector. Read more

African Scientists Say More Needed to Keep Brightest at Home

Researchers at the cutting edge of international vaccine and public health research told AFP at the first gathering of the ambitious “Next Einstein Forum” for Africa that their academic success stories remained exceptional — though the landscape is changing. Read more

Innovation in the Absence of Private Partners

African universities are facing a whole new set of challenges while they are still getting to grips with the old ones. Read more

Presidents Pledge More Science Money, Less Gender Bias

African heads of state attending the Next Einstein Forum’s Global Gathering 2016 in Senegal pledged to improve science funding and promote the enrolment and retention of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, fields. Read more


15 March 2016

Centres of Excellence in Electricity Network Launched

The African Development Bank has provided a €9.7 million (US$10.8 million) grant for the new African Network of Centres of Excellence in Electricity, or ANCEE. Centres have been selected in four African countries and will train some 9,700 power professionals. Read more

China to Expand Skills Programme to Africa

Keen to strengthen relation with Africa, China will over the next three years train 200,000 African professionals in skill-based fields. Read more

Huge Gap Between Academics’ Real and Scholarly Selves

African scholarship on Africa is operating at only a fraction of its true potential. It is hampered by the preferences, policies and politics of the Western academy. Read more

Innovators Set Grand Challenges Africa Research Agenda

African higher education must increase its interaction with the informal sector if it is to drive the continent’s innovation agenda and respond to development challenges. Read more

New Research and Exchange Initiatives to Boost Science

A flurry of initiatives ended last week’s Next Einstein Forum Global Gathering 2016 in Senegal. Read more


29 February 2016

Continental University Hub Seeks Academics Across Africa

The Pan African University’s Institute of Basic Sciences, Technology and Innovation or PAUSTI, based in Kenya, is seeking to boost its faculty by recruiting up to 32 short-term lecturers from across the continent to teach for periods ranging from four to 16 weeks. Read more

Dons Look to Rescue Higher Education

African university heads have recommended that institutions of higher learning adopt modern corporate business models to survive. Read more


15 February 2016

Four African countries rated in innovation studies

A new study has ranked South Africa and Kenya at 30 and 51 out of 56 countries for worldwide innovation influence. Read more

Green’ University Networks Being Developed in Africa

Africa has been late to join the ‘green’ universities movement – only five institutions on the continent are among more than 400 participating in a global ranking of universities that practice environmentally friendly policies to help combat climate change. Read more

Key Role for Universities in African Education Strategy

There is a strong call for strengthening universities and research in the new Continental Education Strategy for Africa 2016-2025 Read more

Pan African University Gender Desks to Tackle Inequity

The Pan African University, or PAU, is to establish gender desks with permanent staff in all of its four operational institutes to address an acute problem of gender disparity in enrolments. Read more

Second Group of 29 Young Climate Researchers Selected

Twenty-nine early career scientists from 24 African universities and research institutes have been awarded fellowships to study the impacts of climate change on the continent. Read more

Why Africa Can’t Afford To Have an Outbreak Of The Zika Virus

If the latest mosquito-borne Zika virus breaks out in Africa the continent would be less prepared than any other to deal with the outbreak. Read more


January 2016

Eight Countries to Get 23 Centres of Research Excellence

Twenty-three proposals from eight countries have been conditionally selected for the World Bank’s Eastern and Southern Africa Higher Education Centres of Excellence Project – ACE II. Read more

Flagship Universities – Enrolment, Typology, Graduates

Africa has the lowest higher education enrolment rates in the world. But in the last decade, virtually all higher education systems on the continent have recorded massive growth. Read more

Global Gathering of Top Minds to Boost Science in Africa

A first global gathering of top scientists to be held on African soil, aimed at advancing African science and innovation and showcasing scientific progress on the continent, is being held by the Next Einstein Forum in the Senegalese capital Dakar in March. Read more

Governance Models and Leadership Quality In Universities

Governance models in African higher education have evolved over the decades, but their impact on university leadership appears not to have been highly significant. Read more

IAU Members Received Africa Faculty Support Grants from the Talloires Network

Professors from IAU Member Institutions won University Education for Transformative Leadership in Africa Faculty Support Grants from the Talloires Network. Read more

New African Higher Education Harmonisation Initiative

Consortium members of a new three-year Harmonisation of African Higher Education Quality Assurance and Accreditation, or HAQAA, initiative met in Brussels this month and outlined activities for the first year of the European Union-backed operation. Read more


December 2015

African Flagship Universities: Enrollment Typology and Graduate Projections

Africa has the lowest higher education enrolment rates in the world. But in the last decade, virtually all African higher education systems have recorded massive growth. Read more

Africa To Thrive, Its Scholars And Scientists Must Also Thrive

After a decade of progress, Africa is experiencing a narrative of optimism. But, maintaining that progress largely depends on the success of the continent’s institutions of higher learning. Read more

China-Africa – Reviewing Higher Education’s Gains

An increasing focus on higher education and skills training was highlighted at the second summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation held in South Africa this month. Read more

China Ups Africa Support with Training, Scholarships

Chinese President announced 10 major plans to boost cooperation with Africa in the next three years, including 40,000 training opportunities in China and 30,000 government scholarships. Read more

Doctoral Education in South Africa

In Africa and around the world, the importance of the doctorate has risen in inverse proportion to the share of college graduates pursuing PhDs. Read more

Pan-African Standard to Manage Research Funds Planned

A new body started this year with the ambition to raise the quality and quantity of Africa’s research output, the Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa or AESA, is launching a new initiative to develop continental standards and transparency in managing donor research funds in universities, research institutions and governments. Read more

STEM Research in Sub-Sahara Declining

Research in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, fields in Sub-Saharan Africa has declined in the last 10 years in quantity and citation impact – but there has been steady progress in other sciences, especially health. Read more


November 2015

African Union Merges Science and Education Bodies The Africa Union has merged its science and education bodies in a move designed to improve sectoral relationships, effectiveness and efficiency. Read more

Developmental Universities – The Debate Continues A developmental university may be conceptualised as one with an expanded horizon that fosters collaboration with multiple external institutions, agencies and stakeholders in its role as a generator and disseminator of knowledge for national development purposes. Read more

East African Science and Technology Commission Launched The East African Science and Technology Commission, or EASTECO, has been officially launched in the Rwandan capital Kigali with the aim of promoting and coordinating the development of science and technology in the region. Read more

New Action Plan Recommends Boosting HE Cooperation As part of efforts to advance legal migration and mobility, an action plan adopted at the recent European Union-Africa Valletta Summit on Migration recommends boosting higher education cooperation, including promoting the mobility of students and researchers. Read more

Second Call for Centre of Excellence in Oil and Gas The World Bank and Inter-University Council for East Africa have jointly issued a repeat, special call for proposals to establish an Africa Centre of Excellence in the field of oil and gas for the Eastern and Southern Africa regions. Read more

Under-Funded and ‘Ethnic’ Expansion Threatens HE Quality Attempts to revitalise African higher education are being eroded because of under-funding, competing forces that try to influence who goes to university and what they should be taught, and the rise of ethnically-based institutions, according to experts. Read more

Village Universities’ Expand Access, But Lower Quality The late Tanzanian president Julius Nyerere’s view of the university as a place where people’s minds are trained for independent thinking and problem solving at the highest level remained unchallenged for half a century in East Africa. Read more

Young Africa Works Summit – Learning From Students The MasterCard Foundation hosted its inaugural Young Africa Works Summit 2015 in Cape Town, South Africa. Read more

October 2015

A Continental Quest for Scientific Independence Africa’s quest for scientific independence is likely to be a long journey on a bumpy road full of potholes, leading to who knows where, taking into account that the continent has no culture of philanthropy and government expenditure on research and development is extremely low. Read more

EAC Seeks Common Borders For Education The East African Community (EAC) is looking into the adoption of a common education protocol to ease movement of learners and teachers within the region. Read more

EAC Develops Policy Framework on Higher Education The regional quality assurance system and qualifications frame work once fully developed, together with their operational instruments, will enable mutual recognition of qualifications among EAC partner states,” Read more

Engineering Graduates Can Help Africa to Meet Its SDGs Engineers will play a vital role in meeting the challenges laid out by the newly adopted Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs. Read more

Four East Africa Medical Centres of Excellence Underway The African Development Bank has released US$98 million for the establishment of four East Africa centres of excellence in biomedical sciences, to be established at universities in Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. A fifth centre will be created later in Burundi. Read more

Higher Education Quality, Harmonisation Drives Entwined As the Association of African Universities lamented lack of quality assurance at many of the more than 1,000 universities spread across the continent, the Economic Community of West African States – the powerful regional political grouping known as ECOWAS – was preparing to develop regional criteria for harmonising pre-university qualifications. Read more

High-Level Meeting Proposes Ways to Boost Universities Recommendations for strengthening African universities were agreed at a high-level event last weekend, held alongside the United Nations General Assembly meeting to adopt the Sustainable Development Goals. Read more

RUFORUM’s New Crowd-Funding Campaign For Postgraduates The Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture, RUFORUM, has launched an ambitious crowd-funding campaign to raise money to train more postgraduate students over the next five years. Read more

Social Sciences Neglect Leads to Narrow Development View The marginalisation of social sciences and humanities in African universities has radically stifled scholarship, according to CODESRIA. Read more

University Partnerships Could Help Achieve the SDGs The African Network for Internationalization of Education, or ANIE, held its 6th annual conference in Dar es Salaam in Tanzania from 7-9 October 2015. Read more


September 2015

A Profile of Sub-Saharan African Students in America The United States is by far the most popular destination country for potential students from Sub-Saharan Africa, with high quality education being the main draw card, according to a recent study. Read more

African Science Research Fund Launched by AESA A new fund has been launched for African science, amid concerns that research is too Western-focused. Read more

Alliance for Accelerating Science Excellence Launched The African Academy of Sciences and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development have launched the Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa, or AESA, with the ambition to raise the quality and quantity of the continent’s research output. Read more

CODESRIA Initiatives to Boost Social Sciences Research The Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa – CODESRIA – has stepped up initiatives to boost academic research, with two mega grant facilities meant to mobilise support for the continent’s universities. Read more

Fellows Meet in Addis Ababa for Workshop, Stopping at the African Union Along the Way The Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa Program held its seventh workshop from July 13-17, 2015. The workshop took place in partnership with the Institute for Peace and Security Studies of Addis Ababa University. Read more

Higher Education ‘Vital’ to Meet UN Development Goals Higher education institutions have a key role to play in helping Africa to meet new United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Read more

Initiatives Needed to Tackle Severe High-Skills Shortage Although Sub-Saharan African countries have allocated large shares of government spending to education, the region’s university enrolment rates are among the lowest in the world and a severe mismatch still exists between the skills young Africans have and those employers need. Read more

Initiative to Strengthen 16 African Science Councils A US$15 million initiative to strengthen science granting councils in Africa held its inaugural forum in the Kenyan capital Nairobi this month. Read more

Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa Program Selects Thirty-Eight New Fellows The Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa program has selected thirty-eight new fellows. Fellows were chosen for the quality and originality of their work in the fields of peace, security, and development as well as their potential to make significant contributions to the social sciences. Read more


August 2015

Dilemma as Sudanese Varsity Students Join ISIS The reports last month of Sudanese medical students joining the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) made headlines in the region and globally. Read more

First Regional Masters in Research and Public Policy A new collaborative masters degree to develop Africa’s next generation of public policy leaders has been initiated by the Partnership for African Social and Governance Research, or PASGR, in cooperation with 12 universities in seven African countries. Read more

Kenyan Universities Top List of Hackers in Africa Kenyatta University and JKUAT are among Kenyan universities topping a list of hackers in Africa. Read more

Policy Measures Key to Tackling Graduate Unemployment Weak links between higher education and the labour market lead to a high level of youth unemployment, which represents a waste of human resources and increases the social exclusion that makes societies more vulnerable to civil disorder and political upheaval. Read more

Second Group Among 1,000 African Students off to Japan Hundreds of African students are leaving for Japan this year, the second group to join the African Business Education Initiative for Youth, a five-year plan to provide 1,000 young Africans with opportunities to study for masters degrees at top universities and do internships at leading Japanese companies. Read more

ISESCO-UNESCO Un camp d’excellence scientifique pour jeunes filles à l’Universite International de Rabat. Lire plus


July 2015

Boosting Alternative Energy Training in Universities The Africa-European Union Renewable Energy Cooperation Programme, or RECP, is shaping renewable energy market development with support for training the next generation of energy professionals and promoting renewable energy research in Africa. Read more

Carnegie Grant to Strengthen RUFORUM Doctoral Training The Uganda-based Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM), has received a boost for its doctoral training programme with a grant of US$1.5 million from the Carnegie Corporation of New York. Read more

Linking Universities and Marginalised Communities Through innovation and inclusive development, universities could be instrumental in fighting poverty and expanding opportunities for marginalised African communities, ongoing research has shown. Read more

Time for an African Charter on Academic Freedom The realisation of this goal marked a watershed moment in the evolution, consolidation and standardisation of the principles promoting academic freedom in the world. Read more

University Student and Graduate Extremism on the Rise Extremism among higher education students and graduates across North Africa is on the rise. Read more

SADC Education Systems in the Spotlight Southern African Development Community education systems vary considerably on many levels, with some similarities in the manner in which education ministries plan, organise, control, and direct both human and financial resources in their respective countries. Read more

Why It Makes Sense to Harmonise SADC’s Education System The 1997 summit in Blantyre, Malawi, adopted a protocol on education and training that served as a framework for cooperation in the improvement of education within SADC. Read more


June 2015

Regional Fund Created for PASET Study, Innovation grants A regional fund for study and innovation grants for Africa has been established by three African governments and a collective of business leaders under the World Bank’s Partnership for Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology, or PASET. Read more

Regional Scholarship and Innovation Fund Launched with $5 million Commitment As part of the World Bank ‘Partnership for Skills in Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology (PASET) programme, a ‘Regional Scholarship and Innovation Fund’ has been launched by the President of the Republic of Senegal, HE Macky Sall, and representatives of the heads of states of Ethiopia and Rwanda. Read more

Reversing Africa’s Medical Brain Drain There is understandable consternation over Uganda’s plan to send almost 300 health workers to Trinidad and Tobago. The plan reportedly includes four of Uganda’s 11 registered psychiatrists, 20 of its 28 radiologists, and 15 of its 92 paediatricians. Read more

Minister Points to Higher Education’s Global Challenges The challenges facing higher education in particular and humankind in general are complex and global in nature. They cannot be adequately addressed by one country or university in isolation. Hence, the need for collaboration and co-operation, especially in the areas of research and curriculum development. Read more

Talent War Intensifies Across Africa A tight competition for professional and technical skills is emerging in Africa with most companies experiencing volatile labour mobility of highly skilled persons. Read more

Nursing is Part of the Solution to Africa’s Healthcare Challenges WHO introduced task shifting and task sharing in an effort to empower nurses to perform functions and roles that would otherwise be performed by other medical workers. Read more


MAY 2015

Higher Education Holds Keys to Prosperity African countries have made considerable progress in the face of global economic downturn. But future growth will depend on development of quality tertiary education, which also holds the continent’s hope for reducing population explosion. Read more

Key Role for Science Academies in Tackling Poverty Africa’s around 20 science academies have a crucial and collaborative role to play in tackling problems and driving development, according to Academy of Science of South Africa President Daya Reddy. But efforts to grow science are constrained by brain drain – at least one third of African researchers are plying their trade outside the continent. Read more

Brain Drain Too Costly for Africa Africa must address the problem of brain drain as it continues to lose skilled professionals every year which costs the continent billions of dollars in terms of lost productivity and economic activity. Read more

Academics Urged to Engage in Academic Freedom Survey The first part of major research into “Building Academic Freedom and Democracy in Africa” has revealed that 14 African countries have explicit reference to academic freedom in their constitutions. Read more

More Universities Called to Join Tuning Africa The Association of African Universities, the African Union Commission and the European Union have issued a call to African universities to join the second phase of their Harmonisation and Tuning initiative. Read more


April 2015

African Leaders Urged To Sustain Economic Growth by Training Youths International experts have beckoned on African Leaders to heed the clarion call to “leapfrog the shackles of convention” as they approach a major education conference next month, in order to ensure that African economic growth is sustained by adequately trained young people. Read more

Training in Quality Assurance Systems for Universities The German Academic Exchange Service, or DAAD, held a one-week training programme for 35 quality assurance directors drawn from English speaking higher education institutions in West Africa. The training in Ghana’s capital Accra was part of a project to help design quality assurance systems for tertiary institutions across the region. Read more

Merits in a Regional Approach to Doctoral Training in Africa African nations continue to grapple with the acute shortage of PhDs. For example, South Africa produces 1,300 PhDs every year and yet the nation needs a minimum of 6,000. [Last year, it produced 2051–Editor] Read more

Teaching African Literature in the US is a Waste of Time Critics have realised that writing on serious topics about Africa won’t take you anywhere in America. This means that you won’t hear anybody talking about Africa’s literary monuments. Read more

Terror Stalks Africa with Kenyan University Students the Latest Victims An attack by Islamist militants on a university in Kenya left 148 people dead, mostly students. The horrific assault in which Muslim students were reportedly spared and Christian students murdered made headlines across the world and highlighted the vulnerability of educational institutions. Read more

Top Business Schools Forge Entrepreneurship Partnership Six of Africa’s top business schools have forged a new association through which they will share resources and expertise, promote academic and student exchanges and conduct research aimed at boosting entrepreneurship, job creation and economic development on the continent. Read more

Bloc Creates Virtual Regional Integration University The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa – COMESA – is set to establish within six months a virtual university aimed at supporting regional integration. Read more

The New Frontier for International Business Schools The risk of not being part of Africa’s fast-growing business opportunities is pushing business schools in Western Europe and the United States to start expanding onto a continent that is emerging as a force in the global economic enterprise. Read more

Call for All African Universities to Tighten Security The Association of African Universities, or AAU, has “strongly urged” higher education institutions across the continent to strengthen security on campuses to ensure the safety of students and staff and the protection of property. The call came in the wake of numerous atrocities committed by religious fundamentalists against educational institutions. Read more


March 2015

African Higher Education Summit – Revitalizing Higher Education for Africa’s Future For most of us here in Africa what we know has always been defined by what others know or rather what they think they know about us. Externally generated forms of knowledge and paradigms tend to shape what is possible for us as people and as nations. Read more

Aga Khan Varsity Plans More Educational Centres in EAC The Aga Khan University (AKU) will this year open a graduate school of media and communication in Nairobi as part of a major expansion in East Africa. Read more

Body to Tackle Graduate Skills A platform to bring together business community employers and the academic fraternity in addressing challenges and refine the relevance and quality of graduates produced by universities in the East African region has been established. Read more

Building Universities Cannot Wait for Good Governance Investing in Africa’s higher education sector will build momentum for a virtuous cycle of better governance. Read more

Continental Platform to Accelerate Science Excellence The Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa, or AESA, has started operations and there are plans to run funding grants before the end of the year. Read more

Dual Mission of Dlamini-Zuma and Sall: Lobbying for Higher Education on Parallel Agendas (English and French] The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, and Senegalese President, Macky Sall, have pledged to undertake a role of critical importance: lobbying their constituencies for revitalizing higher education at the upcoming head of states meeting. Read more

East Africa Credit Transfer Scheme Enters New Phase The East African Credit Accumulation and Transfer project undertaken by higher education authorities in the region’s five countries has entered a fifth phase, with experts agreeing on minimum standards for psychology, counselling, community development, developmental studies and social work programmes. Read more

Higher Education News from the Region- Politics of Data The participants of the QS Maple conference during discussions in various sessions highlighted the need of sharing data among the universities in the MENA region for purpose of regional benchmarking. Read more

Newswire Partnership to Assist Students and Universities. The African Press Organisation, or APO – the continent’s only press release newswire – has joined forces with international information provider NewsBank to furnish Africa-related news releases to students, colleges and universities, schools, libraries, professionals and researchers around the world. Read more

So You Think Your African University Fees Are Expensive? Try America University student protests in Africa are rife with demands for lower fees to cheaper meals. Lee Mwiti looks at the reality of varsity fees globally. Read more

Symposium-Border Regions in Southern Africa The symposium aims to bring together scientists who share a common interest in the study of border regions in southern Africa, issues like cross-border economies, border issues, shaping of borders amongst others can be mentioned as topics of interest. The aim is to create an interdisciplinary forum where researchers from the natural sciences, humanities and social sciences can discuss a broad range of topics. Read more

Times Higher Education Announces Inaugural MENA Universities Summit The first-ever THE MENA Universities Summit is a wonderful and timely opportunity to bring global thought leaders together, to share good practice and forge new partnerships, and to help ensure that the great vision is fully realized. Read more


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