Volume 19, Issue 3
All Public Universities to be Audited
Ghana’s National Accreditation Board (NAB) has announced plans to audit the country’s four public universities. NAB, the only organization in Ghana with the power to grant accreditation, establish criteria for tertiary education and evaluate
learning facilities, will employ experts from South Africa and other African nations to conduct a thorough inspection of public higher education programs and facilities in the country. According to Richard Adjei, senior assistant secretary of NAB, the evaluations are part of a strategy to help the universities adapt to improving international university standards and to recast the image of Ghanaian universities.
The audit also reflects complaints of local industry leaders about graduates who are poorly prepared for the workforce, and a reaction to the recent proliferation of private universities into the market for post-secondary students. NAB has accredited 34 private institutions to date, with more applications to be processed.
News in Ghana
UK University Signs Exchange Agreement with Private University
The University of Wolverhampton signed an agreement with Kabarak University, which will involve student and faculty exchanges, research collaboration and the development of degree programs. Wolverhampton hopes that its students will study at the private Kenyan university, based just outside Nakuru in the west of the country, as part of their studies.
With the development of degree programs at Kabarak University, Kenyan students will have the option to study in Wolverhampton as part of their undergraduate training or to pursue graduate studies there.
Education Receives Large Multinational Donation
Education Minister Aires Aly and Dutch Ambassador Lidi Remmelzwaal signed a memorandum of understanding last month, formalizing a donation of US$39million from six countries that support educational development in Mozambique.
The Netherlands, Canada, Ireland, Britain, Germany and Finland contributed the money to assist Mozambique’s effort to achieve its objectives under their UN Millennium Development Goals. The money will be used for teacher training, building new schools and to help gain primary education for the estimated one million children not attending school in the country. At the signing ceremony, Remmelzwaal announced that next year a donation of US$50million is to be expected.
Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique
Petroleum Institute Upgraded to University
Governmental approval has been given for the upgrade of the Petroleum Training Institute in Effurun to the Nigerian Federal Petroleum Engineering University, of which the Petroleum Training Institute will be one of its faculties.
Universal Basic Education System Altered
Nigerian Education Minister Chinwe Obaji, addressing attendees of Education for All week this past April in Abuja, detailed reforms that the government will make in the design of the basic education system in an effort to make sure that every Nigerian child has access to quality basic education. The Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) has developed a nine-year basic education plan that guarantees Nigerian youth six years of primary education and the first three years of their secondary education. Earlier this year, NERDC eliminated the common entrance examination previously required for entry to junior secondary school.
Government concerns over the new education initiative include the total enrollment of all Nigerian children and the necessity of training 200,000 teachers to manage the expanding number of pupils. In response to these worries, the government has established a system of reprimands for parents who fail to register their children for school and has begun a recruitment strategy to attract an initial 40,000 teachers for the most needy rural communities.
Canadian Journalism School Collaborates with Rwandan University
The School of Journalism and Communications at Canada’s Carleton University is proposing a plan to work with the National University of Rwanda (NUR) to improve media education in that country. As part of the collaboration between the two institutions, Carleton University would provide the NUR campus in Butare with visiting professors, help develop a new journalism curriculum, hold media-training workshops for Rwandan journalists and facilitate student exchange between the two universities.
The cross-continent initiative was envisioned by Carleton Journalism Professor Allan Thompson, who has organized an international symposium on the role of the news media during Rwanda’s 1994 political upheaval and subsequent acts of genocide. Carleton’s School of Journalism and Communications also plans to create an archive at their home campus of material related to the events of 1994.
The New Times
Universities Work Together to Combat Cheating
In an effort to ensure quality among the nation’s institutions of higher education, university leaders in Uganda have decided to share inforation regarding the classroom conduct of particular students, documented cases of exam malpractice, and information pertaining to the quality of the professors lecturing at each institution. According to Vice Rector of Academic Affairs at the Islamic University in Uganda (IUIU), Dr Mohamed Mpezamihigo, the cross-institutional exchange of information is designed to ensure quality practices within the student body and faculty at the country’s universities. A list of names comprised of professors and students who have violated university code in the past has been circulated so as to prevent them from gaining admission to, or employment from, another institution in the future.