WENR, March 2016: Africa

South Africa, Egypt, and Tunisia among top publishers of science and engineering publications

South Africa, Egypt and Tunisia are the only three African countries to make it into the list of the top 50 global producers of peer-reviewed science and engineering publications, according to the American National Science Foundation’s ranking index. Top producers include the U.S., China, Japan, Germany, and Britain. A country or region’s expenditure on research and development is predictive of its presence on the list. As a continent, Africa spent US$13 billion on research and development in 2013; the U.S. spent US$1.67 trillion.

University World News
February 26

Zimbabwean higher ed exports skilled workers to South Sudan

Zimbabwe will send nearly 20,000 graduates to South Sudan to fill positions in teaching, nursing, and lecturing at polytechnics and colleges. A joint memorandum of understanding stipulates cooperation from Zimbabwean universities, research institutions, polytechnics, and teacher education centers. South Sudan funded 200 scholarship students to study at Zimbabwean universities in 2015. Zimbabwe has Africa’s highest literacy rate and an 80 percent jobless rate.

University World News
February 26

With more local options for higher ed, Kenyan students are more often home-bound

A radically expanded Kenyan higher ed sector, together with the increased cost of studying abroad, has had a major impact on Kenyan student mobility. In 2013, just over 12,000 Kenyan students went abroad. Per UNESCO, that number is down from nearly 15,000 in 2012. The U.S. has reportedly seen Kenyan enrollments cut in half in the last decade. Many Kenyans may simply be staying home to study. There are now 68 higher education institutions in Kenya, up from 58 since 2011.

ICEF Monitor
February 23

With government funds falling short, universities open malls, gas stations, and more

Kenya’s government will raise university subsidies by 3.5 percent for the coming year, despite the fact that inflation has averaged over 10 percent annually for the last 10 years. The government has asked universities to embark on commercial income-generating activities to bridge the gap. In response,  Kenyatta University – which has the nation’s largest enrollment – announced that it would invest in “a mall, a gas station and other enterprises.” The university is also building what will supposedly be the biggest modern referral hospital in East Africa, and has set up a mini-mall that will house an outlet of Kenya’s third largest retail chain.

University World News
February 20

As Kenya’s higher ed sector grows, quality lags

Since establishing independence in 1963, Kenya has seen its higher ed sector expand rapidly, growing from one public university and 1,000 tertiary students, to 33 public universities and 276,349 university students today. Seventy percent of those new institutions sprung up 2012 and 2013. But quality has not kept pace with speed, not least because Kenya’s Commission of University Education only began accrediting public universities in 2013.

Quartz Africa
February 17

In an unexpected move, 13 Nigerian universities get new leadership

In a surprise move, Nigeria’s president recently replaced leaders at 13 Nigerian universities and established new governing councils. Civil society groups have condemned the action, calling it “a gross violation of the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which guarantees universities’ autonomy.” Insiders say that the contracts of nine of the university leaders had expired. Nigeria is the leading African source of international students in the U.S., sending 9,494 students in 2014/15.

Times Higher Education
February 17, 2016

New African education strategy focuses on tertiary education

A new Continental Education Strategy for Africa focuses on postgraduate and post-doctoral education, and seeks to foster young academics, international research cooperation, and institutional links. The new strategy urges governments to commit one percent of gross domestic product to research, and to provide adequate infrastructure and resources at the tertiary level to foster research and development, and innovation. Africa’s “education pyramid” has 79 percent participation at the primary level, 50 percent participation at the secondary level and only 7 percent participation in higher ed.

University World News
February 5

Posted in Africa, Regional News Summaries