WENR, April 2016: Africa

South Africa: Unrest and economic turmoil spark interest in international mobility

Student protests have been roiling South African campuses for months. Last month, reports Sara Custer, “four universities… had to close … after arson attacks during the clashes.” At least 17 campuses have been affected as well. Observers say the unrest is causing an uptick in interest in international mobility to countries such as the U.S., Canada, and Australia. Economic concerns are also driving student interest. The rand has fallen dramatically in recent months, trading as low as 18 per dollar in December —  this “after a slow decline from seven per dollar in 2011.”

The PIE News
March 22

Kenya: Rapid expansion of tertiary education system draws quality into question

A World Bank report issued in March critiques Kenya’s higher ed sector a focus on profits over quality of education. In 2000 there were six public universities with a total enrollment of 41,000 students. There are now 23 fully-fledged public universities and 10 university colleges with a total enrollment of more than 400,000 students. The report also blasts the sector for failing to provide graduates with the baseline technical and problem-solving skills they needed to survive in the workplace.

University World News
March 18

Pan Africa: U.S. conducts first area-specific foreign student recruitment drive

With its youth-heavy demographic profile and pockets of significant economic expansion, Africa could become a valuable student recruitment market. To that end the U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Industry & Analysis led a delegation of 25 universities and colleges on visits to South Africa, Ghana, and Côte d’Ivoire. Although a significant contributor of students to the U.S., Nigeria was not on the itinerary.

University World News
March

Botswana: Accreditation questions lead to protests, school closures

Botswana’s minister of education temporarily shuttered two institutions, Gaborone Technical College (GTC) and Francistown College of Technical Education. Student unrest reportedly stemmed in part from lack of accreditation of some courses. Students will be required to students will be required to reapply for admission to the schools when they are reopened.

All Africa
March 8

Nigeria: International students reel as currency plummets

Nigeria’s economy is reeling in the face of steep drops in the price of oil. Now its international students are suffering. The Nigerian publication Daily Trust recently reported that the foreign exchange crisis had left Nigerian students stranded around the world. According to the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, more than 52,000 Nigerians are pursuing tertiary education abroad, with some 17,300 in the United Kingdom, 12,000 in Ghana and 7,000 in the United States.

University World News
March 11

Ghana: New arts universities to be banned

In an effort to promote the development of a skilled workforce, Ghana’s National Accreditation Board plans to ban the creation of humanities-based universities. The plan is in sharp contrast to the Ministry of Education’s policy, which mandates universities to admit 40 percent of students into humanities departments and the rest into science.

University World News
March 5

Tanzania: Admission to Technical Colleges Centralized

Tanzania’s National Council for Technical Education (NACTE) rolled out a new Central Admission System to curb the use of forged certificates, reduce costs that applicants incur during enrolment, and curtail double admissions. The system is also intended to help students avoid enrolling in unrecognized institutions. NACTE is responsible for regulating over 500 technical colleges in the country. The new system will be in place for the academic year 2016/2017.

All Africa
March 4

Posted in Africa, Regional News Summaries