WENR, February 2007: Africa
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Hu Trumpets Sino-African Educational Ties during 8-country Trip
Chinese President Hu Jintao completed an eight-country African tour in February, which he used to discuss opportunities for educational cooperation among other things. According to an article by Li Baoping, secretary-general of China’s African History Academy, this trip represents the culmination of 50 years of cooperative relations in education with 50 African countries, which has developed from student exchanges to multi-level avenues for cooperation, covering various fields and taking many different forms. Between 1956 and 2006, 18,000 African students have received sponsorship from the Chinese government to study in China, while China has sent 523 educators to 35 African countries. In Cameroon, cooperation has centered on a relationship between China’s Zhejiang Agricultural University and the University of Yaounde in the field of advanced microbiology and with funding of almost US$300,000 from the Chinese government. At the recent Beijing Summit for China-Africa Cooperation (attended by some 50 African leaders) President Hu stated “China will train 15,000 African professionals, send 100 senior agricultural experts to Africa, and set up 10 special agricultural technology demonstration centers in Africa over the next three years.”
— Xinhua News Agency
College Upgraded to Become Country’s Seventh Public University
Western University College of Science and Technology has been renamed Masinde Muliro University to become the first university in Kenya’s Western Province. Approved by a parliamentary bill in December, the new university becomes the nation’s seventh public university. President Kibaki signed the Bill granting the charter for the new university on December 30, 2006. The new university is offering graduate programs in disaster management and humanitarian assistance. Other programs include conflict resolution and peace studies, sustainable development, disaster preparedness and mitigation, criminology, international diplomacy, sugar technology and journalism and mass communication. The university has forged international research links with Coventry University in the United Kingdom and Zhejiang University in China.
— The Nation
Jan. 11, 2007
China Promises Professors, Facilities for University
Chinese diplomats attending an intellectual forum at the University of Liberia (UL) last month announced plans to provide the institution with support in the form of visiting academics and improved infrastructure. China will provide UL with three new laboratories, 20 visiting professors, computers, and engineering laboratories, according to Chinese Ambassador to Liberia Lin Songtian. Visiting professors and lecturers will teach classes in Chinese language as well as technology. The partnership with China is aimed at boosting agricultural and engineering education at the university and bolstering economic relationships between the two nations.
— The Analyst
Jan. 18, 2007
Business School Enters Global Top 10
The University of Cape Town (UCT) Graduate School of Business has been rated one of the top 10 internationally by the Economist Intelligence Unit, the only African university to ever receive a top-10 berth. Released last December, the results of the annual Economist Intelligence Unit survey placed UCT MBA programs in the top four internationally with a grade of 4.3 out of a possible 5 for its customized programs and in the top 10 in open programs rating a 4.0. Other universities rated alongside UCT included the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, the Indian Institute of Management — Ahmedabad, and Instituto de Empresa. South Africa’s top business school jumped to 52nd from 66th in the 2007 edition of the Financial Times Global Top 100, released in January.
— Business Day
Jan. 19, 2007
7 Lawmakers Suspected of Holding Credentials from Bogus Universities
At least seven Tanzanian legislators are suspected of holding credentials from unaccredited institutions, according to The East African newspaper. The newspaper reports that the actual number is likely much higher and that the credentials were obtained from institutions operating online. The newspaper reports that the problem of fraudulent academic credentials in Tanzania is not confined to politicians or those in public service; it is endemic in many other fields such as medicine and engineering. Officials from the Tanzania Commission for Universities (TCU) told The East African that they were assessing the certificates, diplomas and degrees awarded by various institutions to determine their authenticity before taking legal measures against those suspected of holding bogus credentials. Furthermore, the TCU has instructed all MA and Ph.D degree holders to present certificates obtained abroad for authentication. The Commission has also published a document — Degree Mills — to educate people about fraudulent documents from bogus institutions.
— The East African
Jan. 2, 2007
Universal Secondary Education Introduced
The Ugandan government in January launched its plan to offer universal secondary education at public and private secondary schools across the nation. Only students who sat for the Primary Leaving Examination in 2006 will be eligible for the program. The government estimates 320,000 students will benefit.
— The Monitor
Jan. 12, 2007
Plans Afoot for Construction of Indian University
The government of Uganda has agreed in principle with India’s private Amity University to establish a science and technology university in Uganda, according to a memorandum of understanding seen by reporters from the Sunday Monitor. If established, Amity University in Uganda would be the second science and technology university after Mbarara University of Science and Technology.
— The Monitor
Feb. 4, 2007
Beware Forged Makerere University Documents
An investigation by a committee of Makerere University deans has uncovered massive forgery, bribery and extortion in the Academic Registrar’s office, confirming fears that hundreds of forged transcripts are in circulation. As a result, the university senate is considering the recall of all transcripts for verification in an effort to eliminate false ones, New Vision newspaper reports. According to the deans’ report “Makerere University transcripts are especially easy to forge, as they have few security features. The forging business is big and goes beyond the gates of the university.”
— New Vision
Jan. 27, 2007