WENR, September 2015: Africa


Call to Implement Bologna Process-Inspired Reforms in Africa

The African Union Commission is pushing for all of its 54 member countries to ratify the UNESCO-backed 2014 Addis Convention – the Revised Convention on the Recognition of Studies, Certificates, Diplomas, Degrees and Other Academic Qualifications in Higher Education in African States.

Taking into account global trends in higher education and particularly those in Africa – such as the expansion of higher education, and diversification of provision and providers – there was a “need for increased attention to quality assurance, qualifications frameworks and higher education integration in Africa,” the delegates noted.

The Addis Convention is meant to be similar to the Bologna process – one of the world’s most successful processes of harmonizing university degrees. Through a mutual agreement, Bologna has created a European Higher Education Area involving more than 40 countries.

Delegates agreed to develop a ratification campaign, including advocacy, for signature by all African countries. “Member states must signal their interest, identify champion countries in each region and mobilize the regional economic blocs,” stressed the delegates.

University World News [1]
August 14, 2015

Initiative to Create Centers of Excellence in East and Southern Africa

The World Bank-backed African Centres of Excellence (ACE) initiative is expanding from Central and West Africa to East and Southern Africa. A call for universities that can develop highly skilled personnel and conduct applied research to meet the economic and developmental needs of the region was made in Uganda in July.

The Eastern and Southern Africa Higher Education Centres of Excellence Project – ACE II [2] – aims to establish and strengthen specialization and collaboration among a network of higher education institutions in East Africa and Southern Africa to deliver relevant and quality education and applied research to address key regional development challenges.

Official expression of interest came from 10 governments to participate in ACE II and a set of development priorities to focus on were decided. Participating countries include: Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe

Proposals will need to outline how the center could improve the capacity to deliver regional high quality training, its ability to develop capacity to conduct applied research, build regional and inter-regional academic collaboration, raise the quality of education, tackle regional development challenges, and nurture industry partnerships to enrich the center’s impact.

Applications will close October 2.

University World News [3]
August 14, 2015


Regional Collaboration Leads to New Master’s Degree in Public Policy

A new master’s degree that will be offered by 12 universities across Africa aims to develop the continent’s next generation of public policy leaders.

The master’s in research and public policy will give aspiring and practicing development professionals an understanding of the common challenges confronting countries across the continent, such as education, poverty and HIV/Aids, while training them in global social policy concepts.

The program, which was set to be officially launched on August 12th in Nairobi, Kenya, has been developed by the Partnership for African Social and Governance Research and the partner institutions.

Already, 150 students have enrolled on the two-year, full-time program, which includes a placement in a policy or research institution. The 12 partner universities have agreed to deliver the program using a common curriculum, with the hope that graduates will be prepared for careers in government, civil society organizations and development agencies.

Times Higher Education [4]
August 12, 2015


Call for Stricter PhD Admissions Policy

Foreign tertiary institutions in Ghana have been directed by the National Accreditation Board, or NAB, to ensure that only students with certificates awarded by institutions accredited by the board be admitted to PhD programs.

NAB said it had noticed with “concern the spate of conferment of honorary degrees and professorial titles on some important personalities by some unaccredited institutions, accredited institutions unqualified to award degrees on their own or other institutions with doubtful credentials”.

Institutions could ask the board to evaluate and authenticate certificates before accepting candidates for admission, said NAB, adding: “Failure to comply with this directive would compel the board to apply appropriate sanctions not excepting revocation of registration status.”

NAB said that to clear up doubt that might exist, Day Spring Christian University of Mississippi, Pan African Clergy Council and Bible College, World Council for Evangelical Clergy and Global Centre for Transformational Leadership had not been accredited in Ghana or their home countries by recognized accrediting bodies.

University World News [5]
July 17, 2015



New Agreement with Chinese University

Mauritania’s University of Nouakchott and China’s Ningxia University have signed an agreement to cooperate in the areas of students, teaching staff, exchange visits between university managers, and language studies.

The Agence Mauritanienne d’Information, or AMI, reported that under the agreement Nouakchott would increase studies in the Chinese language, and Chinese students would come to Mauritania for Arabic language training.

Ningxia University is located in the autonomous region of Ningxia in north-central China, home to a majority Islamic population. It is interested in education in Arabic through its faculty of languages, said AMI.

University World News [6]
August 14, 2015