WENR, April 2018: Africa
Pan-Africa: AAU Opens First Regional Office in East Africa
The Association of African Universities (AAU) has opened its first regional office in East Africa. The Eastern office will be housed at the University of Khartoum in Sudan and is the AAU’s first regional office. Other regional offices are planned in Northern, Western, Central and Southern Africa. The Eastern office will represent member institutions from Kenya, Burundi, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Djibouti, Eritrea, Sudan, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Mauritius, Somalia, Comoros and the Seychelles. It will facilitate cooperation among regional member universities and assist universities in improving the quality of higher education. It is expected that regional AAU offices will help to increase government support for AAU activities and advance intergovernmental cooperation in achieving objectives, such as increasing access to education, academic mobility and information sharing.
March 28, 2018
Ghana: Government Announces Ambitious Plan to Modernize TVET
Ghana’s government has announced a five-year strategic plan that seeks to make Ghana a leading country in technical and vocational education and training (TVET) delivery in Africa. According to the plan, all 35 public TVET institutions in the country will we placed under the direct supervision of the Ministry of Education in order to upgrade the institutions and modernize their curricula. The government also announced that it will soon build an additional 20 new TVET centers.
March 26, 2018
Cameroon: More than 10,000 Students enrolled in Chinese Confucius Institutes
Educational exchange and cooperation between Cameroon and China has expanded greatly in recent years. There are now more than 10,000 students enrolled at Confucius Institute, Cameroon. Chinese institutions provide various forms of scholarships for Cameroonian students to study in China and Cameroonians currently make up the largest group of foreign students from Africa in China with about 1,700 students. Cameroon’s University of Maroua was the first university in West Africa to graduate students in the subject of Chinese language education. Such developments reflect China’s increased use of soft power to expand its influence in Africa. China is expected to grant 30,000 scholarships for students from African countries in the next three years alone.
March 22, 2018
Kenya: Half of the Country’s Public Universities Face Severe Financial Crisis
As a result of cuts in government funding, 16 out of Kenya’s 31 public universities are in a deep financial crisis that leave many of them unable pay teacher salaries and pensions. Medical insurance schemes at all public universities have reportedly collapsed, resulting in lecturers not being able to receive treatment at hospitals. According to Kenya’s Auditor-General, 11 public universities were already insolvent last year and the situation has since then deteriorated. The financial woes have caused several teacher strikes over the past year and universities have resorted to hiring part-time lectures to ease their financial burden – a trend that raises concerns about educational quality.
March 14, 2018
Nigeria: Academics Call for Reform of the JAMB
Nigerian academics have called for a reform of Nigeria’s Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), charging that the Board is no longer able to effectively handle the growing number of university applications, which currently stands at 2 million annually. The calls come amidst allegations of corruption within the board, including the illegal sale of scratch cards used for examinations registrations. The academics have suggested that the board be reorganized and decentralized, arguing that channeling all university admissions nationwide through a single, centralized body creates greater opportunities for malpractice and corruption.
March 9, 2018
Pan-Africa: Growing Number of French Universities Open Campuses in Africa
In response to growing demand by African students, increasing numbers of French grandes écoles and business schools are establishing branch campuses in African countries. Over the past 12 years, the number of African students at grandes écoles in France has increased by 130 percent and French universities are seeing ample opportunities for expansion, given that the total number of students in Africa is expected to increase by 22 million students until 2030. Morocco has traditionally been a favored destination of French institutions and already hosts a number of French branch campuses. But French institutions are increasingly branching out to other countries. The French engineering school ICAM, for instance, just opened a new campus in the Republic of Congo, while the business school HEC has opened a permanent office in Côte d’Ivoire, and Sciences Po has established an office in Kenya. The engineering school ESIEE already has two campuses in South Africa, while KEDGE Business School is expanding its programs on its Senegal campus.
March 9, 2019