Category Archives: Africa
May 8, 2012, 4:03 pm
Bombs planted in three locations on the campus of Bayero University in the city of Kano, in northern Nigeria, were discovered and successfully defused on Tuesday, according to news reports. According to Vanguard, a Nigerian newspaper, the campus was evacuated in confusion, and an eyewitness reported seeing students, faculty members, and staff members running from the campus. Worshipers at the same university taking part in a Christian service were attacked on April 29, resulting in at least 16 fatalities, and Vanguard reports that Tuesday’s discovery also marks the second time in as many weeks that explosive devices have been found on the campus.
Nigeria’s predominantly Muslim north has been plagued by violence in recent years as Boko Haram, a terrorist group whose name means “Western education is a sin,” has carried out a series of attacks and bombings that have killed…
April 29, 2012, 8:02 pm
Gunmen attacked worshipers at Catholic mass taking place on a university campus in northern Nigeria on Sunday, killing at least 16 people and wounding many more, the Associated Press reported. According to the AP, the attackers targeted a section of Bayero University “where religious groups use a theater to hold worship services,” drawing worshipers outside the building with small explosives before firing on them. The tactics are characteristic of the extremist Islamist sect Boko Haram, although no group immediately claimed responsibility.
Details about who was killed in the attack have not yet been reported but, according to CNN, the university was on break and most students are not on campus. Sectarian violence has intensified in recent months, with Boko Haram carrying out a series of attacks in the country’s predominantly Muslim north.
April 12, 2012, 12:09 pm
Public universities in Uganda are facing a vast faculty shortage, with some 3,000 positions needing to be filled, according to a government report examined by AllAfrica. At Makerere University, for example, almost 50 percent of the academic positions are vacant, and across four of the five public institutions, schools of economics and business are particularly hurting for instructors. In some cases, professors are leaving for more lucrative private-sector jobs or to work at foreign universities, but Ugandan universities blame the shortfall primarily on cuts in public financing of higher education.
April 4, 2012, 2:20 pm
Tunisia is reopening a world-renowned Islamic college as a way to help spread a moderate version of the religion, reports Reuters. The college, at the eighth-century Zaitouna Mosque, has a storied history of Muslim teaching, but it was closed in 1964 as part of an effort to curb the influence of Islam. It reopens as Tunisia struggles with a resurgence in conservative Islam after the overthrow of Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali last year, and higher education has been a key battleground. For example, the Faculty of Letters, Arts, and Humanities at the University of Manouba, in northeastern Tunisia, was closed for several weeks recently amid protests by Islamic students and others.
February 20, 2012, 11:49 am
Hundreds of students were arrested on Friday during a raid of dormitories at the University of Khartoum, in Sudan, according to Reuters. The university has been closed for about two months while students protested rising prices and unemployment. But many students had refused to leave the residence halls, some because they had nowhere else to go. The raids occurred before dawn, while students were sleeping. One student group said 317 students had been arrested.
January 24, 2012, 5:30 pm
In Tunisia, government security forces have ended a two-month-old demonstration by ultraconservative Muslims that practically closed the University of Manouba, reports the Associated Press. The protesters, known as Salafists, wanted the university to change its policy that prevents women from wearing the Islamic face veil and have threatened secular professors. The university was widely seen as the epicenter of a showdown between religious and secular elements in the country, a cultural clash that some fear could be repeated in other Arab nations, like Egypt, where conservative Muslim groups are pushing for a broader role in society and government.
January 10, 2012, 11:19 am
A gathering of prospective students and parents outside the gates of the University of Johannesburg turned deadly Tuesday when the crowd stampeded, leaving a mother dead and several other people injured, reports the Associated Press. The crowd of thousands had gathered outside the university to seek admission. Enrollment space is limited at the university—an issue all across the South African higher-education system—and may have contributed to a sense of desperation that triggered the stampede, says the article. The vice chancellor of the University of Johannesburg, Ihron Rensburg, said some 11,000 people were expected to apply for as few as 800 remaining seats.
November 30, 2011, 10:19 am
Islamic protesters in Tunisia disrupted classes at the University of Manouba on Monday, taking hostages and calling on the institution to end mixed-sex classes and to require female students to wear full face veils, reports Middle East Online. The group took the dean of the University of Letters, Arts, and Humanities and several professors hostage. Since the ouster of President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, in January, the country has seen growing clashes between Muslim and secular elements, with university campuses a key battleground, reports Reuters. In addition to the University of Manouba, the University of Sousse was stormed by Muslim protesters last month.
November 28, 2011, 12:47 pm
Nine sub-Saharan countries have lost $2.17-billion in “human capital” because of the large number of African doctors immigrating to Western countries, according to a University of Ottawa study published by the British Medical Journal. The study based its findings on how much the countries spend to subsidize education for medical professionals who end up leaving for Australia, Britain, Canada, and the United States. Kenya, Malawi, and the other African nations examined have a shortage of health-care workers, and the authors of the study say that while everyone has a right to choose where they live, Western countries have an obligation to strengthen the health systems in those countries. The researchers said that Britain and the United States benefit the most from the influx of African doctors.
November 10, 2011, 2:30 pm
A nationwide strike by professors in Kenya has practically shut down the nation’s 22 public universities, reports the Daily Nation. The strike hit the universities as many students were scheduled to take end-of-semester examinations or planned to attend midyear graduation ceremonies. The head of the University Academic Staff Union said the 7,000 professors would not return to work until a salary dispute with the government was resolved.