1. University World News

New journal to boost dissemination of African research (Africa)

A new African journal is to boost access to research output, particularly for African university academics, through a new peer-reviewed and open access publication that aims to increase intra-African research collaborations across scientific disciplines. The quarterly journal Scientific African is owned and operated by a community of Next Einstein Forum scientists and is published by Elsevier. It was launched last year during the Next Einstein Forum (NEF) Global Gathering in Kigali, Rwanda. The editor-in-chief of the journal, Benjamin Gyampoh, said that the pan-African content of the publication would provide learning materials for teaching and research in African universities. “As the journal produces many issues, African universities will find a one-stop resource for excellent scientific content in basically all disciplines,” he said, adding that this will facilitate teaching and research using examples and scenarios that students can relate to and appreciate within their context. Speaking to University World News in an exclusive interview, Gyampoh said the publication also aims at creating opportunities for collaboration for Africa’s academics and researchers. Gyampoh, who is the immediate former executive director of the African Academy of Sciences, said: “With our open access platform and low author processing fees, we are making it possible for Africa’s researchers to publish their work in a highly visible journal and allow them to identify collaborators.”  The journal, whose first edition was published in December 2018, and the second of which is expected in the first quarter of this year, allows African academics to publish their research findings and build academic research capacity. The scientific disciplines currently accepted by the journal include chemistry, information technology and engineering, economics and business, environmental sciences and geosciences, life and health sciences, mathematics, physical sciences, social sciences and policy, conservation and sustainability studies, and agriculture and food security.

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  1. Ghana Web

Ministry plans centralised university placement system (Ghana)

Ghana’s ministry of education is planning to introduce a placement system for admission into tertiary institutions in the country aimed at reducing the stress and expense currently involved in the admission process. This comes after a nine-member committee chaired by Professor Cliff Tagoe made the proposal for a centralised university admissions and placement service (CAPS) in the Tertiary Education Policy Document submitted on 1 November 2018 to the ministry of education. CAPS will replace the current stressful and expensive system of applying to different universities. The Minister of State in Charge of Tertiary Education Professor Kwesi Yankah said exploratory visits had been made to the United Kingdom and Nigeria by the ministry of education and vice-chancellors and registrars to study how the system works in the two countries. “One proposal currently under contemplation by the Ministry of Education has also incidentally been proposed by this draft Policy document. “It is the Proposal for a Centralized University admissions and Placement Service (CAPS), which replaces the stressful and rather expensive system of applying to separate Universities in Ghana with a Centralized system, where the applicants list their choices of University on a single platform. “A Central administrative and technical set up then facilitates the process of placement,” the Committee said. The Minister of State in Charge of Tertiary Education Prof Kwesi Yankah revealed this on Friday in an ongoing stakeholder meeting in Koforidua, Eastern Regional Capital. He said exploratory visits have been made to UK and Nigeria by the Ministry of Education and Vice Chancellors and Registrars to understudy how the system works in the two countries. He added that a national committee in centralized admissions for Universities to be chaired by Prof. Adow Obeng, former Vice Chancellor of University of Cape Coast currently President of Presbyterian University college will be formally inaugurated on Thursday, January 17, 2019, to facilitate the process.

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  1. University World News

Union sounds alarm over brain drain, lecturer conditions (Algeria)

The Union of Algerian Doctors and Researchers, a body representing senior university academics and researchers, has raised the alarm regarding national research capacity and output as the country continues to suffer the effects of a massive brain drain to foreign countries. In a statement reportedly released in early January, senior academics and researchers called on the authorities to take heed of their demands for government to contribute to the search for solutions to their problems. The union called for higher education to reconnect with the skilled Algerians abroad for the benefit of the Algerian economy. The authors of the statement also called on the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research to take appropriate measures to link scientific research outlets with the needs of the Algerian economy and society. The union said it was developing a national project for scientific research aimed at providing realistic solutions and alternatives for developing and encouraging research, according to Ennahar, a daily independent newspaper. This call is not the first, since the other representative of Algerian researchers, the National Syndicate of Researchers, also made a public statement at the end of its meeting held on 23 and 24 December in Algiers, in which it listed a number of demands. Among these demands was tenure for permanent researchers in the civil service, a policy which was suspended in 2008, and the immediate review of the status of permanent researchers. The researchers also requested a revision of salary scales to guarantee dignity to permanent researchers, an end to discrimination between the sectors of scientific research, a review of salaries for academics, the establishment of a permanent scientific research and technology ministry that includes all scientific research institutions, an end to the ‘marginalisation’ of permanent research and the right of researchers to access continuous training.

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Read more about Issue 32 issue 32 media monitoring.extract for higher education news in africa. 31

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