WENR, February 2008: Africa


Sumbe Polytechnic Institute Inaugurated

The Sumbe Medium Polytechnic Institute was inaugurated in February by Angolan Education Minister, Antonio Burity da Silva. The institute will accommodate up to 1,100 students and specialize in cold and electric installations. The building was built by Chinese firm Camco with funding from the central government.

Angola Press Agency
February 12, 2008


Most Universities Keep Doors Closed as Post-Election Violence Worsens

After three private student hostels were set ablaze by students at the Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology toward the end of January that university and others around the country remained closed despite plans to reopen. Masinde Muliro has said it might not reopen until April.

The first public university to announce that it would reopen, Kenyatta University, did so in the first week of February. The university announced that it would introduce a series of measures to ensure that learning is uninterrupted despite continuing violence and tension in parts of the country, according to a report from the Integrated Regional Information Network. The measures include counseling services, meetings with leaders and members of the local community, beefing up campus security and holding discussions with student and staff unions.

The university has asked lecturers to be sensitive to political realities and has “put on hold” student and staff organizations based on ethnic or regional composition. Only broad-based clubs and sports associations are operating.

– The Chronicle of Higher Education
January 29, 2008
February 6, 2008

Computer Network Link to Boost African Research Capacity

A high-speed computer network will increase African research capacity by allowing scholars based on the continent to share information and data with the rest of the world. The link will connect the UbuntuNet Alliance, which covers nine countries in sub-Saharan Africa, to the international community. The link will be made via the European Union-funded GEANT2 network, which connects more than 30 million research and education users in 34 countries in Europe.

The UbuntuNet Alliance was founded in 2005 by the National Research and Education Networks (NRENs) of Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda and South Africa with the aim of establishing a research and education network backbone for Sub-Saharan Africa. Membership of the Alliance now also includes the NRENs of Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia, and is open to all recognized African NRENs. As well as creating links between national research networks it aims to join Africa to the global research community, with this connection to GEANT2 the first step towards this vision.

January 31, 2008


Three Fully Accredited Universities in Liberia, Five Seeking Accreditation

According to a statement from the National Commission on Higher Education in December of last year, there are three fully accredited institutions in the country: Cuttington University, University of Liberia, and William V. S. Tubman Technical College.

In addition, five institutions have been granted permission to operate while seeking accreditation: African Methodist Episcopal University, African Methodist Episcopal Zion University College, Liberia Theological Seminary, Stella Maris Polytechnic, and United Methodist University.

Sixteen universities were shuttered by the commission because they did not meet ministry-set guidelines: All Charismatic Theological Seminary, Berea Theological Seminary, C. C. Pennoh Community College on Gurley Street, Christopolis University, Evangel Christian University, Global University, John Evangelical Seminary, Liberia College of Professional Studies, Liberia College of Technology, Liberia University College, Liberty Theological Seminary, Lloyd Faulkner Theological Seminary, Monrovia University, St. Clement University, St. Martin College of Career Development, Vision International University, and Bible College.

The Commission also announced that online institutions claiming to operate from the country were also not valid, including but not limited to: Adam Smith University, Brendan University, Concordia University, Evangel Christian University, Global University, James Monroe University, St. Clement University, St. Luke School of Medicine, Virtual University.

– National Commission on Higher Education
December 2006


New University to Begin Classes in September

Salem University in Kogi State will begin classes with the new academic year in September after receiving a provisional license from the National Universities Commission (NUC) in May of last year. The new institution will offer 29 programs in three departments.

This Day
January 30, 2008


Makerere University Halts Mature Student Entry Program

More than 130 students have had their degrees cancelled by Makerere University after an investigation found that a government scheme to boost mature student numbers had been abused. New Vision reports that the university suspended an assistant academic registrar and a secretary, and closed its mature-entry program. The scheme allowed more than 1,500 students to be admitted every year in both government and private sponsorships. But in January 2007 the university set up a committee to probe reports that students with no qualifications had been admitted through the program.

New Vision
January 11, 2008


Government Orders all Public Universities to Close

All state universities in Zimbabwe were ordered to close and remain so until after parliamentary and presidential elections in late March, according to university and education officials quoted by the Chronicle of Higher Education.

According to Promise Mkwananzi, a former president of the Zimbabwe National Students Union, President Robert Mugabe is worried that students might hold demonstrations if they considered the results to have been rigged. The once-revered university system in Zimbabwe has suffered greatly under the Mugabe regime, and today faces a massive exodus of faculty and students as economic and political pressures continue to cripple the system.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education told university leaders to keep their campuses closed two weeks before they were scheduled to open in mid February following the winter break.

The Chronicle of Higher Education
February 1, 2008

Posted in Africa, Regional News Summaries