WENR, September 2017: Africa
Libya: Only 12 out of 20 Universities Functional in 2011 Still Open in 2017
Political violence, civil disorder and brain drain have led to the deterioration of educational quality and the closure of more than one third of Libya’s universities since the overthrow of Muammar al-Qaddafi. While concrete statistics are not available, many of the country’s academics have fled the country, seeking to escape violence and dire economic conditions. University professors are not only under attack by political opponents, but also increasingly threatened by armed students seeking to extort favors, such as the leaking of exam questions, better grades, or academic promotion. Kidnapping for ransom and other criminal activities are also a problem. The rival governments currently running Libya have so far done little to stop on-Campus violence, raising concerns about the future of higher education in Libya.
Pan-Africa: Strong Enrollment Growth at the Pan-African University
Established four years ago as a continental university of excellence, the African Union’s Pan-African University (PAU) is expanding, and in 2017 reached its highest enrollment levels yet with more than 500 graduate students. PAU enrolls graduate students from 40 African countries mostly in STEM disciplines at campuses in Kenya, Algeria, Nigeria and Cameroon. The university is tuition-free, pays students a living stipend, and also covers other expenses, such as research and travel expenses. It was created to expand academic capacity in Africa and decrease brain drain from the continent. PAU currently offers master’s and Ph.D. programs in 37 fields of study.
The PIE News
Malawi: Largest University To Be Split Into Separate Institutions
Malawi’s president has authorized the unbundling of the University of Malawi to establish the university’s constituent colleges as independent institutions. It is still unclear whether the move will result in the establishment of three or four independent institutions. While Chancellor College and the Polytechnic are slated to become independent institutions, the College of Medicine and the Kamuzu College of Nursing could be merged into one institution, according to media reports. The decision to split up the university follows a strike of several months duration at Chancellor College after lecturers had complained about salary discrepancies between the colleges. Critics contend, however, that the split will increase staffing needs and increase operating costs. In 2012, another former constituent college, Bunda College, had already been separated from the University of Malawi and reestablished as the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
University World News
Pan-Africa: Online Education Necessary to Meet Surging Demand for Higher Education
According to Kevin Andrews, vice-chancellor of the pan-African UNICAF University, Africa would have to open 10 new universities weekly, each enrolling 10,000 students, for the next 12 years in order to meet the exploding demand for higher education on a continent on which half of the population is under the age of 19. Since this is unrealistic, the expansion of online education is needed to cope with demand. UNICAF hopes to expand enrollment from 11,000 students to 60,000 by 2021 through a combination of online and traditional face-to-face instruction. The university partners with established universities to offer education in online courses, regional learning centers and full-fledged campuses in Malawi and Zambia.
Times Higher Education
August 20, 2017