19 May 2002
Education news from around the world

PROF KADER ASMAL, the minister of education, last week announced his decisions on the restructuring of the higher education system. The announcement is expected to have far-reaching implications for South Africa's higher education landscape, with the fate of South African universities and technikons at stake.

FORMER PRESIDENT Nelson Mandela has received yet another academic accolade, this time from the University of Ghana which awarded him an honorary doctorate two weeks ago.

THE BOULDER County district attorney's office has decided not to file sexual assault charges against any of the University of Colorado football players and recruits accused of raping a student at an off-campus recruiting party on December 7. "This decision reflects substantial thoughtful consideration of the impact of a prosecution on the victim, given the current likelihood of success on the merits at trial," said the district attorney. The university has taken no action against the students involved, even allowing them to participate in a big game in January.

THE CHANCELLOR of one of the newly-approved private universities in Nigeria, the Covenant University, Dr David Oyedepo, has stressed the need for the federal government to overhaul the university academic curriculum to enhance more technological-oriented programmes.

POTCHEFSTROOM University for Christian Higher Education has kicked off a debate on the possible dropping of its 'surname', and opting for English as a language of tuition. The university's new vice-chancellor, Dr Theuns Eloff, initiated the discussion following a report that rated the university as too white, too Afrikaans and too isolated to become a "respected centre of international academic excellence".

ACADEMICS at New Zealand's University of Auckland, the largest university in the country, have been told that they would face instant dismissal if they publicly criticised colleagues or the institution. The university's vice chancellor warned that it had "been brought to his attention that there had been occasions where public or semi-public comment had been made which did not reflect a unified collegial approach to the work undertaken within the various faculties". The university's sensitivity relates to a new system of financing university research in New Zealand.

DOCTORS IN remote Mexican villages will soon be able to consult with American experts by using satellite and Internet linkups between University of Texas medical schools and the Autonomous University of Puebla. A new programme, called telemedicina in Spanish, seeks to make professors at the Texas system's six medical schools available to doctors in a state that is one of Mexico's main sources of migration.

Sources:, Chronicle of Higher Education, Independent Online, Sunday Times

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