Articles on African universities

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Yes, universities need to produce good scientists - but their graduates should be good citizens, too. Shutterstock

Why the time is right to create a new generation of ‘citizen scholars’

University protests in South Africa have showed that the countries students are hungry for real change. This desire can be harnessed to create a generation of "citizen scholars".
Distance learning is one way for Ghanaian entrepreneurs like Sena Ahadji to earn degrees without giving up their work. Francis Kokoroko/Reuters

How Ghana’s universities are trying to open the doors of learning

Ghana's universities are working hard to bring in more students – including those who can't afford to study full time and want good quality distance learning options.
There are sharks in the research water – predatory journals are becoming more common in Africa. Shutterstock

African academics are being caught in the predatory journal trap

African academics and universities have been caught in the predatory journal web. It's time for the continent's universities to start taking this threat to their integrity seriously.
The aftermath of an Israeli air strike on Gaza’s Islamic University. Higher education systems often become casualties of war. EPA/Mohammed Saber

How to rebuild higher education in countries torn apart by war

Quality higher education is crucial for recovery, peace-building, economic development and stronger governance in post-conflict societies.
Translating notes into ‘deep’ or ‘high’ versions of languages isn’t very useful for young students who prefer vernacular, colloquial ways of speaking. Shutterstock

Simple, vernacular translations make the most sense for university students

There is little value in translating academic texts into "high" or "deep" versions of African languages. Most students read and speak their mother tongues in a far more colloquial fashion.
An Egyptian engineer at work on a project to upgrade the Suez Canal. Engineers will be crucial in making the sustainable development goals a reality. Amr Dalsh/Reuters

Engineering graduates can help Africa to meet its sustainable development goals

If we want the Sustainable Development Goals to be more than just big dreams, Africa will need well trained engineers who can put their skills to good use in their own communities.
Then-US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton discusses collaboration between the US and Senegal. International partnerships, particularly between universities, can yield great rewards. EPA

International partnerships can be powerful tools for Africa’s universities

If memorandums of understanding with international institutions are properly developed and put into action, they can contribute a great deal to African universities' push for internationalisation.
Somali university students celebrate their graduation. Universities that fare well on national measures may be ignored by international ranking systems. Feisal Omar/Reuters

Ranking African universities is a futile endeavour

The news that African universities will soon be ranked has generated a great deal of hype. But the initiative seems likely to be doomed from the start.
Africa’s doctoral graduates have a different role to play across the continent than they did in the years immediately after independence. Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters

How African doctorates and doctoral candidates are changing

Doctoral studies are valued as an engine for development in Africa. If doctoral graduates are to meet this challenge, the very structure of the doctoral programme must change.
‘Beginning and Ending’, a sculpture by David Hlongwane, stands at the entrance to the University of the Western Cape. University of the Western Cape media office

There’s a new mood of determination in Africa’s universities

More and more African universities are realigning themselves to tackle their countries' societal and economic problems.
Many of South Africa’s primary and secondary schools are dysfunctional. But should universities use this as an excuse to turn all applicants from these schools away? REUTERS/Ryan Gray

Moving beyond the educational blame game in South Africa

Data from the National Benchmark Test can be used by universities to support students who lag behind in academic literacy.

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