Monthly Archives: September 2014

Launch of the Consortium of Academic Publishers in Tanzania
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Does Tanzania have a reading culture? This was one of the questions raised at the launch of the Consortium of Academic Publishers in Tanzania, held at the Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH) on June 16. Although everybody present at the launch was very enthusiastic about the project and the possibilities it will offer to strengthen digital and academic publishing in Tanzania, there was also discussion about the challenges and difficulties of publishing in this country. Children grow up in an environment where reading isn’t stimulated and access to high quality publications is difficult. In addition to this, universities give credits for publishing in international journals, but do not acknowledge articles published in Tanzanian journals. That will be one of the tasks of the newly established consortium: liaising with the Tanzanian Commission for Universities to have a standardized list for all universities of recommended international AND indigenous journals. Another … Continue reading

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This summer Oxford helped me to realize three things
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Dr Haseeb Md Irfanullah is an AuthorAID mentor and an editor of Bangladesh Journal of Plant Taxonomy hosted on BanglaJOL. On 7−18 July, Haseeb participated in a 2-week publishing summer school at the Oxford Brookes University, UK, with financial support from the INASP. This article captures his recent realizations and thoughts on publishing. Working full-time for a UK-based charity Practical Action in Bangladesh, Haseeb is available on hmirfanullah@yahoo.co.uk and can be followed on @hmirfanullah Size I work for Practical Action − an NGO which uses simple technologies to help the poor. Here we believe in ‘small is beautiful’ – a philosophy EF Schumacher introduced several decades back. In the publishing industry, however, big is better and [the question of size] is becoming unavoidable. In the publishing training I attended, Amazon’s ever-increasing size, its monopolization, and its fight with Hachette came up again and again. Our visit to Lightning Source/Ingram, the … Continue reading

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World class universities – or world class systems?
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The idea of ‘world class universities’ grips the higher education sector, driven by several big international rankings. It’s an idea that is no less popular when it comes to many of the countries in which INASP works. But when it comes to research and higher education for development, is it world class universities that we should be pursuing? Different institutions to do different things Goolam Mohamedbhai argues that what African higher education needs is ‘mission differentiation’, namely a range of institutions doing different things. Rather than focusing on creating new universities, governments should instead be supporting existing institutions in different ways – some to become more research-focused, and some to concentrate more on undergraduate education. ‘It would be impossible, and unnecessary, for most staff in all tertiary institutions on the continent to have a PhD’ he argues. In a similar vein, Lynn Meek argues that our emphasis should be on … Continue reading

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