Higher Education News from Around the Region

In today’s round up, Harris Andoh examines the relevance of the world-class university debate for African Universities; Research offers ways forward for university presses; and the South Africa Higher Education Ministry examines 10 requests to establish private, national universities.

Article 1: Relevance of the World-Class University Debate for African Universities

By Harris Andoh

For most of their history, African universities have been teaching institutions with teaching as their primary or core function, until the early 2000s when there was evidence of a global shift in the role and missions of universities. This is evident in the new mission and vision statements of most top African flagship universities (University of Botswana, University of Cape Town, University of Dar es Salaam, University of Ghana, among other) that have embedded broad World-Class University (WCU) goals in their purpose statements. Recent strategic plans and research policies of selected African universities are focused on making them either WCU or providers of world-class (WC) services.

Challenges for African Universities to Become World-Class

Some have argued that it will be very expensive and challenging for Africa to establish WCUs -- smaller countries in Africa could likely have only one WCU, whereas larger nations such as Egypt, Nigeria and South Africa can support more. African countries must have at least one WCU provided that the universities and their respective governments are committed to this endeavor. 

Research at African universities suffers from a deficit of effective organization and management. Until recently not only was there no appropriate policy framework or strategic planning to outline a vision for research or mission for most African universities, but also a lack of culture capable of supporting the administration, coordination and promotion of research. Academic staff of African universities have heavy teaching responsibilities with little time for research; instead their additional time goes to consultancy work to improve their salaries. Furthermore, African governments are reluctant to finance research in public universities and research institutions and lecturers/researchers are often reluctant to use their research allowance for the intended purpose. Camara and Toure (2010) are hopeful that due to recent improvements in the overall governance of some high-profile universities in Africa and the establishment of multidisciplinary and inter-faculty doctoral schools there are more interactions between researchers and students. The authors maintain that these improvements will help African universities rise to the level of a WCU.

Read the full article here.

This article was first published on 24th September, 2017, and was retrieved from


Article 2: Research Offers Ways Forward for University Presses

By University Worldwide News

The first research to provide an empirically-based overview of African university presses reveals a bleak landscape – but also a group of active presses that are deploying technology to reduce production costs, enhance visibility and widen their reach. It offers ways forward for universities and presses keen to respond to the remarkable growth of research in Africa.

The research was conducted by Francois van Schalkwyk, editor of scholarly publisher African Minds in Cape Town, and Dr Thierry Luescher of South Africa’s Human Sciences Research Council, and funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. It is outlined in a just-published report on The African University Press.

It found 1,572 African universities listed in the Worldwide Database of Higher Education Institutions, Systems and Credentials – though there are more, if clusters of new public and especially private universities are included.

Only 52 have at some point in their history been home to a university press. And of those 52 university presses, only 11 were found to have published in the past three years – using the listing of published titles online as an indicator of activity. 

Read the full article here.

This article was first published on 24th September, 2017, and was retrieved from


Khaled Abdel Ghaffar, SA Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research

Article 3: Higher Education Ministry examines 10 requests to establish private, national universities

By Abdel Razek Al-Shuwekhi 

The Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research has examined about 10 requests to establish private and national universities before the end of this year. The ministry also plans to transform about 45 technical institutions affiliated to technological colleges into specialised technical colleges before the end of June, according to Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Khaled Abdel Ghaffar.

About 17 new hospitals were established during the period from 2014 to 2017, taking the number up from 89 to 106 by 18% and a cost of EGP 10bn. Total missions until the past fiscal year reached 371, including 950 students with a cost of EGP 691mn.

Abdel Ghaffar said in an interview with Daily News Egypt that the ministry is holding negotiations with a number of local and foreign investors to establish private universities.

Read the full article here.

This article was first published on 24th September, 2017, and was retrieved from


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This article was compiled by Birbal Boniface Musoba (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.on 27th September, 2017.

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