eWENR, March/April 2000: Africa (Regional News)


Only 8,150 first-year students will be admitted to public universities in Kenya this year. A mere 27 percent of those students met the minimum entry requirements.

Private universities are expected to absorb some of the surplus by admitting 1,200 students. However, the overflow is so great that the Joint University Admissions Board is advising students to apply for admission to institutions of higher education in neighboring countries and even overseas.

The World Bank has advised Kenya to keep new enrollments below 10,000 each year to prevent the problem of overcrowding, which tends to lower academic standards. The brain drain and inadequate resources are additional factors affecting the quality of higher education.

The bank also advised universities to improve science and technology programs while reducing the number of students enrolled in the humanities and fine arts.

However, increasing demand for higher education is putting tremendous pressure on universities to admit more students. Since 1990, about 180,000 applicants were turned down at public universities, which has caused many students to lose interest in applying to college.

The joint admissions board stated that expanded access to university education is contingent on Kenya’s economic growth in the near future.

— The Times Higher Education Supplement
March 21, 2000

South Africa

In January, Australia’s Monash University and the Netherlands Business School were the only two foreign colleges to receive recognition from the South African government. All private institutions of higher education were required to apply for registration and accreditation by the first of the year under provisions outlined in the country’s Education Act.

The 80 or so colleges in South Africa that have not registered with the government will not be permitted to admit new students and must inform current students of their registration status.

However, the educational missions of the two colleges that were approved are distinctly different from the missions of other institutions seeking registration in South Africa. The Netherlands Business School opened in 1946 with the goal of educating internationally oriented business executives. In addition to the campus it will open in South Africa, the school conducts a joint MBA program for executives with the University of Rochester.

The Australian Monash University plans to open a branch campus in South Africa in February 2001. Courses will be offered in the arts, business, computing, and information technology. The new institution, to be called Monash University South Africa, hopes to attract up to 1,000 undergraduate students from across South Africa within two years.

David Robinson, Monash’s acting vice chancellor, said the new campus would not receive funding from either the South African or the Australian governments. Tuition for full-time students is expected to be about $4,775 a year per student.

— The Chronicle of Higher Education
Feb. 11, 2000