WENR, May 2012: Africa

Chinese Education in Africa

Following its economic ambitions in Africa, there are signs that China is looking to the rapidly developing university sector to build its ‘soft’ relations with the continent.

China currently gives out over 4,000 scholarships each year to students from Africa, and having recently decided to double the number of foreign students it funds to study in China, the China Scholarship Council is now concentrating its new bilateral scholarship schemes on African countries, according to a recent report in International Focus.

The first Chinese campus in Africa was the China Europe International Business School, which opened in Ghana in 2009 and delivers its Executive MBA to students from Ghana and across the continent. The Observatory on Borderless Higher Education predicts Chinese institutions could set up campuses in Sudan, Angola, Zambia and Nigeria over the next few years. Meanwhile, Confucius Institutes, which typically promote cultural exchange and language training, are looking to offer degree programs.

Africa’s first Confucius Institute opened in 2005 in Kenya, a collaboration between Tianjin Normal University and the University of Nairobi. Seven years later, 30 institutions are operating out of universities from Madagascar to South Africa. In October 2009, Africa’s Confucius Institutes (CI) met in Nairobi to develop a 10-year plan for African CIs. The conference noted that Institutes in Africa are developing rapidly and are already preparing for the next stage: developing degree programs. Seeing a role in educational provision, Africa’s CIs are preparing to follow a different path to those in Europe and the Americas.

International Focus
April 2012


New University Colleges to Handle Bulk of Increased Tertiary Enrollments

Kenya will admit 7,000 extra students to its universities in the next academic year, making use of additional capacity at new colleges. This brings to 41,000 the number of students who will join universities in the coming academic year, up from 34,000 admitted last year, or a 20 percent increase.

Eight new university colleges created over the past year will admit 4,500 of the additional 7,000 students, with Kenya’s existing universities finding it increasingly difficult to boost intake due to infrastructural constraints.

Over the past year, Kenya has upgraded several tertiary institutions to university colleges in an effort to end an admissions crisis brought on by recent and dramatic increases in the number of school-leavers seeking university places. Nonetheless, more than half of the 118,256 students eligible for university places – 76,000 – will miss out on a place at a public university. And with only 41,000 securing places at public universities, the majority will have to seek out opportunities at private universities or equally expensive parallel programs offered at public universities.

University World News
May 6, 2012


UK University Opens Office

The University of Nottingham opened an office in the Ghanaian capital Accra in April. The West Africa Office will provide a regional base for the University’s increasing collaborative work across Africa, encouraging greater staff and student exchange and widening access to the University’s campuses through increased awareness of the University’s extensive scholarships portfolio.

The University of Nottingham has a number of existing initiatives in place with universities in Ghana, including the University of Ghana and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi, to promote collaborative research, student and staff exchange/mobility and partner Ph.D. study routes where students spend part of their studies at Nottingham in the UK and the other part of their study in Ghana.

The University’s Developing Solutions scholarship program, celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, will have a key role to play in West Africa. One of the UK’s largest scholarship programs for the developing world, it offers full or partial tuition fees to support students on one-year Master of Science programs that have development and sustainability at their core. The new presence in Ghana will join the University’s existing global network of in-country offices, which include China, Malaysia, Brazil and Mexico.

University of Nottingham
April 4, 2012

South Africa

South African Universities Open Doors to Internationalization Through Joint Degree Programs

South African universities are receiving and embracing an increasing number of requests for joint and double degree programs as they seek to address policy vacuums and join the growing number of institutions around the world offering such degrees.

According to Dorothy Stevens, assistant director of the postgraduate and international office at Stellenbosch University, joint degree offerings are a relatively new form of international education for South Africa that have highlighted the absence of adequate internationalization policy instruments at both the institutional and national levels. Today, Stellenbosch offers seven international joint Ph.D. programs with five in the pipeline. There are two double masters degrees in place with a third on the way. Partner countries include Scotland, France, Belgium, Germany and The Netherlands.

Addressing delegates at the QS-MAPLE conference held in Durban in May, Stevens said the double degree and joint degree programs provided the university with an opportunity to build cooperation beyond traditional exchange programs, formalize investments in relationships and give recognition for contributions.

Stevens said she could not comment comprehensively on the progress of other South African universities in developing joint offerings, but a survey of the field was on the way. However, she said that Stellenbosch University had taken the lead in terms of policy development. “We have researched the subject and sought the advice and input of both the Department of Education and the Council on Higher Education.”

University World News
May 6, 2012

Foreign Student Numbers on the Rise

According to South Africa’s Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET), since 1994, the number of international students in South Africa’s 23 universities has grown dramatically from 12,600 to more than 64,784 in 2010. About a quarter of these are studying at the graduate level.

According to an article in Cape Town’s Biz-Community newspaper, students are attracted to South Africa because of the high standard of its institutions, as demonstrated by their standing in regional and world rankings. The University of Cape Town is the highest ranked African university in the QS World University Rankings, the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, and the Academic Ranking of World Universities and is home to some 4,300 international students from 104 countries, representing 20 percent of its student body.

Another reason why students may come to South Africa, according to the article, is that the country can offer a unique context for study. Business students, for example, might be attracted by the opportunity to study within an emerging market context. Recent improvements to both the infrastructure of South Africa and events, such as the 2010 FIFA World Cup, have also helped put South Africa on the map as a destination for students wishing to study in Africa. As a further draw card, South African cities such as Cape Town are being rated with increasing frequency as among the world’s top tourist destinations.

May 14, 2012

South Sudan

Private Universities Closed

The National Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology in the Republic of South Sudan has ordered with immediate effect the closure of 21 private institutions. Education Minister Dr Peter Adwok told a press conference in May that the decision had been made after the ministry commissioned a study into all private universities in the country.

There are at least 34 private universities and colleges in South Sudan in addition to five public universities. Most of the private universities have for years been providing degrees, diplomas and certificates in different programs including medicine and engineering.

The affected universities include, Supiri Institute of Management and Information Technology, The Bridge University, Nile Institute of Technology, Hippo Engineering Institute, Southern University (Institute of Management studies), Cambridge International College, African Population Institute, and Agape Christian University.

All Africa
May 10, 2012

Posted in Africa, Regional News Summaries