WENR, January 2012: Africa
Billions Lost in ‘Human Capital’ to the West
Nine sub-Saharan countries have lost $2.17 billion in “human capital” because of the large number of African doctors emigrating to Western countries, according to a study recently published in the British Medical Journal by researchers from Ottawa University.
The study based its findings on how much the countries spend to subsidize education for medical professionals who end up leaving for Australia, Britain, Canada, and the United States.
Kenya, Malawi, and the other African nations included in the study have a shortage of health-care workers, and the authors of the study say that while everyone has a right to choose where they live, Western countries have an obligation to strengthen the health systems in those countries. The researchers said that Britain and the United States benefit the most from emigrating African doctors.
– British Medical Journal
September 23, 2011
International Campus Options in Africa
A new executive MBA program offered by the China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) graduated its first class of students in late December 2010 at its branch campus in Accra, Ghana. Founded as a joint venture by the European Commission, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Trade, and Shanghai Jiao Tong University, CEIBS has quickly become a globally respected business school, and is now one of a few international schools that have established a presence in Africa.
Although there have been Western-backed universities in Africa before — the American University in Cairo dates to 1919 — most were backed by missionaries. The CEIBS program in Accra is completely secular, as is a new branch of Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) that opened in Kigali, Rwanda, in January.
As with the CEIBS program, which flies in faculty members from Shanghai and Beijing, students will study with Carnegie Mellon faculty. “We are offering Carnegie Mellon credits towards a Carnegie Mellon degree,” said Bruce Krogh, professor of electrical engineering and the new engineering program’s director. CMU will also offer information technology degrees.
Are these two new ventures the start of a new trend? Alex Vines, head of Africa programs at the Royal Institute of International Affairs in London, thinks they might be.
“Given the state of higher education in Africa, the huge growth in demand and a rapidly growing middle class, I think this is just the beginning,” he told The New York Times. “There are state universities and private providers already there. But they can’t guarantee either quality or the recognized status that students want. And you have to remember, Africa has the fastest-growing population of young people in the world.”
Fees at both campuses are expensive and on par with those being charged in Pittsburgh and in Shanghai, however, a combination of scholarships and loans, funded by the Rwandan government and other donors, means that most students are paying considerably less in Kigali. It should also be noted that at present African students wanting anything comparable to a Carnegie Mellon degree have to leave the continent. The CEIBS program also offers discounts and partial scholarships to make the 18-month program fees of $35,000 a little more manageable.
– The New York Times
January 1, 2012
Government Pushes Universities to Double Intake to Clear Student Backlog
Higher Education Minister Margaret Kama has directed public universities to accept a double intake of students from this year to clear a backlog of more than 30,000 students by 2015. The government, she said, would give universities supplemental funds to help accommodate the extra students.
Kamar said the government had agreed with universities to address the problem in three years. “We want students to join university as soon as they clear the [Kenyan national examinations]. Currently those who qualify every year have to wait for two or three years before joining university,” the minister said.
However, the Universities’ Academic Staff Union (UASU) has rejected the proposed double intake, saying it will compromise the quality of education at the universities. UASU Organizing Secretary Musalia Edebe said facilities at universities are excessively overstretched and the current 9,000 lecturers cannot handle more students.
– Nairobi Star
January 3, 2012
UNISA to Take Action Against Diploma Mills Using its Name
The University of South Africa (Unisa), the country’s largest university, has vowed to take action against unlicensed institutions issuing false degrees bearing its name. The move comes after the university pressed charges against a Chinese couple accused of transgressing immigration laws as well as having over 1,000 signed and suspected fake Unisa certificates.
Operating under the South Africa and China International Study Abroad Service Centre, the couple – who are suspected of being part of an organized crime syndicate – were allegedly selling fake Unisa degrees as well as passports to individuals, chiefly in Asian countries.
“Because we have had a zero-tolerance policy in place for many years now, we plan to prosecute these individuals,” a spokesman for the university said. He said forging Unisa degrees was a growing problem, adding that there was growing evidence of organized crime specializing in forging qualifications.
December 9, 2011
Government Plans to Raise Enrollment Levels 50% to 1.5 Million by 2030
The South African government has announced plans to raise university enrollments from a current 900,000 to 1.5 million by 2030, to achieve a participation rate in higher education of 23 percent according to a green paper published in January. Last year the country’s participation rate for 18- to 24-year-olds was 16 percent.
Outside the university sector, a proposed six-fold expansion to four million students in colleges and other tertiary institutions would raise the country’s tertiary participation rate to 60 percent. The plan is to massively expand the public further education and training college sector, with high priority given to building capacity, management, governance and quality, with universities providing support for this work.
– University World News
January 15, 2012
Virtual University Begins Enrolling
The Ugandan National Council for Higher Education, the sector regulator, recently authorized the Virtual University of Uganda to begin offering fully online programs, the first such programs in the region. The university has created an open access virtual library and a course management system through Moodle, which is being hosted in the Netherlands.
The university will use tutors from Kenya, Tanzania, Germany, and The Netherlands, teaching in Dodoma University, University of Twente and the London School of Economics, among other universities. Initially, only two programs will be taught by the university: graduate degrees in Public Health and International Development. Instruction will be in English, but there are plans to expand to French as well.
– The Monitor
November 14, 2011