[Issue 104] Media Monitoring: Extract of Press News on Higher Education in Africa


  1. Times Higher Education
    Falling African share of tertiary education aid ‘a great concern’ (Africa)

A fall in the share of higher education aid directed to Africa over the past 20 years is a “great concern” that urgently needs addressing in the light of the continent’s exploding youth population, it has been warned. The comments follow a report from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization that revealed the proportion of Official Development Assistance for tertiary education (TE ODA) going to Africa was lower than a fifth (18 per cent) in 2019, down from 31 per cent in 2002. At the same time, the report suggests that middle-income countries received about 70 per cent of such aid in 2019, far higher than the share going to the lowest-income nations (12 per cent). China on its own received 8 per cent of tertiary aid even though it is also becoming a substantial donor itself. The analysis used data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and other sources to estimate the amount and types of aid flowing between donor and recipient countries. It suggests that tertiary overseas aid almost doubled between 2002 and 2019 to about $5.3 billion (£4.3 billion) in 2019, with more than 70 per cent represented by scholarships for students to study in donor country institutions or the support costs associated with this. Germany ($1.7 billion), which has spent tens of millions supporting Syrian refugees at its institutions, and France ($900 million), with its links to francophone Africa, together accounted for almost half the 2019 total. The report raises questions about the “substantial” share taken up by student support, given it is money “reinvested in the donor country” and may not always directly benefit recipient nations. It also says the share of tertiary aid received by upper-middle countries, such as China, “is highly controversial”, while the low share for the poorest nations displayed “a disconnect with the equity principle and the narrative of ODA as a policy to close inequalities”. Read more here

2. University World News
African Centres of Excellence want to secure their longevity (East Africa-South Africa)


The World Bank-funded Eastern and Southern Africa Higher Education Centres of Excellence (ACE II) have raised millions of dollars to guarantee their sustainability. The 24 centres have so far raised a total of US$21 million to fund various initiatives to ensure they continue running beyond December 2023 when the World Bank funding officially winds up. But the funds that have been sourced so far are mainly from external funders, despite African governments’ commitments to spend at least 1% of their GDP on research and innovation. The East and Southern Africa hubs based at universities in eight host countries – Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia – since commencement of the project in 2016, have been undertaking different activities to fundraise and survive beyond the bank’s disengagement. “ACEII matches US$1 for every US$1 raised from national sources, and US$2 for every US$1 raised from regional and international sources. Through this, the ACEs are developing the skills to compete for research and other external funding opportunities to finance their development needs after the project closes,” said Roberta Malee Bassett, a senior education specialist at the World Bank. ACEII, the official said, is both the “result of and the conduit” for an extensive commitment to research and capacity-building across Sub-Saharan Africa, thus the need to ensure its continuity. Read more here

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