WENR, July/August 2004: Africa


UMES Inks 3 Agreements

Three institutions —Golden Beach Hotels, the University of Cape Coast [1] (UCC) and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology [2] — have signed separate memorandums of understanding for linkage agreements with the University of Maryland Eastern Shores [3] (UMES).

The UMES/UCC agreement will help stimulate technical cooperation in establishing a Hospitality and Tourism Institute, which will provide professional training and certification for management-, supervisory- and basic-level personnel in Ghana’s hotel, restaurant and travel industry. The diplomas and certificates will be awarded through UCC, and Golden Beach Hotels will provide facilities for practical training. The agreements between UMES and the two Ghanaian universities will also foster international exchange programs, and are initially being funded through two U.S. government grants.

Ghanaian Chronicle [4]
July 12, 2004


Parliament Approves College Joint Admission Board

Parliament in May passed a motion that would set up a joint board of admissions for tertiary colleges. The motion seeks to transfer the responsibility of student admissions from individual colleges to the centralized board.

The motion received unanimous support from members of Parliament, who reportedly blame the current admissions system for fueling corruption and inequality. The system, according to members, is responsible for the erosion of academic standards and overcrowding in colleges, with some admissions personnel and senior institutional managers filling places with friends and relatives or with those offering bribes.

The East African Standard [5]
May 27, 2004

Module II Gives Public Universities a Boost

The last two decades have seen a dramatic rise in the number and status of private universities in Kenya. The number of private universities has grown from three to 17 since the late 1980s. The number of public institutions has also risen during this time, from two to six. Enrollments have grown steadily within the private higher education sector, and many universities now have waiting lists of applicants. In response to this challenge and to shrinking state funding, public institutions have expanded their student intake and fattened coffers through privately sponsored programs, known as Module II, which charge similar fees to those offered at private institutions.

Module II programs not only offer qualifications in fields such as medicine and engineering, which are the traditional domains of public institutions, but also in areas such as business, which traditionally have been the domain of private institutions. This is evident when comparing the number of total enrollments at Kenya’s largest private university — United States International University [6] (2,931) — with enrollment figures for the Module II business program at the University of Nairobi [7] (UoN) — Kenya’s largest public institution — which enrolled 2,683 students in 2002/03. Overall, just over half of the 27,839 students at UoN were enrolled in Module II programs in 2002-03.

Although there are three times as many private universities as public, the private share of enrollments is declining. From 20 percent in 1999 and 16 percent in 2001, the share fell to 13 percent in 2003. Privatization of the public institutions appears to be occurring at the expense of private growth. However, private enrollments continue to grow (16 percent over the last three years), and the public-sector increase has much to do with previously low public enrollments.

Both private and public institutions must compete with foreign-franchised programs operating with local colleges, which are proliferating. Although private institutions continue to increase their enrollments, they have to remain competitive to maintain their market share over foreign and public/private provision.

International Higher Education [8]
Summer 2004


USAID Provides Grants to Reopen University of Liberia

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) recently provided three grants worth US$170,000 to reopen the University of Liberia and repair Newport High School in Monrovia.

Students from the university staged protests earlier in the year (see May/June WENR [9]) over the institution’s closure of more than a year. According to a news release issued July 12, the Ministry of Education and U.S. representatives had been looking into confidence-building measures that could be undertaken with students to quell the unrest, move forward on positive activities, improve physical facilities and assist in reopening the university.

The NEWS [10]
July 13, 2004


College to Offer Country’s 1st Baccalaureate Diploma

Geneva-based International Baccalaureate Organization [11] has selected D-Ivy College as the first school in Nigeria to offer its pre-university diploma program.

The two-year program is accepted globally by most universities and has earned a reputation for rigorous assessment. The grading system is criterion-referenced — each student’s performance is measured against well-defined levels of achievement. These are consistent from one examination session to the next and are applied equally to all schools. The Ikeja, Lagos-based private school will begin offering the program in September.

This Day [12]
June 2, 2004

South Africa

Report: Fraudulent MBAs Increase

Since the Council on Higher Education [13] clamped down on substandard qualifications in May (see May/June issue of WENR [9]), there has been a significant rise in the number of fraudulent master of business administration (MBA) degrees submitted by job seekers, according to credential verification company Kroll MIE.

It is unclear, the company said, if the increase is linked to the council’s action, but there had been a definite slowdown in the claiming of fake MBAs before the clampdown. The council withdrew MBA accreditations of 10 business schools for failing to meet minimum standards, leaving about 2,500 MBA students with an uncertain future. Of the qualifications Kroll has reviewed since the ruling in May, 14 percent reportedly have been frauds or from bogus institutions. Kroll CEO Ina van der Merwe told Business Day that she blames the tight job market for the surge in fake credentials, and warns that current labor legislation makes it hard to dismiss dishonest employees.

Business Day [14]
July 13, 2004

Foreign Providers Begin to Pull Out in Wake of Clampdown

Two foreign universities have announced that they will be closing operations in South Africa after the de-accreditation of their master’s in business administration (MBA) programs in May. United Kingdom-based De Montfort University [15] and Australian-based Bond University [16] were among 10 universities whose MBA programs were de-accredited by the Higher Education Quality Committee [17] of the Council on Higher Education [13].

Four of the 10 programs that lost their accreditation are offered by foreign institutions. United States-based Regent University [18] and the Business School of the Netherlands [19] also lost accreditation of their South African MBA programs. Despite offering a number of other programs in addition to its MBA, Bond will close its campus and all its programs once enrolled students have completed their current courses, which officials estimate to be in three years. De Montfort University has stated that it will not be seeking re-accreditation and will also be withdrawing its MBA program when all students have finished their studies. The MBA is the only program the university offers.

The Star [20]
June 30, 2004


UN Report: South Has World’s Lowest Primary School Graduation Rate

A United Nations report says approximately 500 girls and 2,000 boys complete primary education every year in southern Sudan — the lowest rate in the world. The report by the UNICEF children’s agency says the region has been scarred by war, although it is engaged in peace talks now. UNICEF and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army, the de facto government of the south, wrote the report.

While conflict continues in the western Darfur region of Sudan between pro-government Arab militias and ethnic African rebels, the rest of southern Sudan is, paradoxically, engaged in peace talks. Southern Sudan, the report says, has the youngest population profile in the world owing to a high birth rate and a low proportion of adults because of famine and war.

BBC [21]
June 18, 2004


New Universities Bring Opportunity to Zanzibar

For decades, prospective students living on the Tanzanian island of Zanzibar were obliged to seek out admissions at universities on the mainland, 25 miles away, or in the Soviet Union, a world away. But now, the island has two universities, one private and one state-owned.

The provision of private education was outlawed on Zanzibar in 1964 after a socialist revolution. In the 1990s, a Tanzanian form of perestroika opened the door to attempts to establish a local university. That endeavor eventually collapsed after its main financier, a British businessman, was arrested in a financial scandal. When the project collapsed, the Darul Iman Charitable Association was in the process of having plans for a technical college approved in Tungu, 12 miles from Stone Town, the island’s capital. The college became Zanzibar University [22], which began offering mainly business programs in 1998 for US$600 a year. The university has since opened faculties of law, arts and social sciences.

A year later, State University of Zanzibar (SUZA) opened in converted government buildings near Stone Town. SUZA has specialized in the arts, but science classes are set to begin in September. The university charges no fees and enrolls more than 300 students, of which a majority is female. Faculties of engineering, business, agriculture, law and business are planned. For an island that has witnessed acute poverty under African socialism, the arrival of a new state university is a big step forward.

The Times Higher Education Supplement [23]
June 4, 2004


KIU Gets Approval to Operate

The National Council for Higher Education on July 19 awarded Kampala International University [24] a license to operate as a fully recognized university, after deferring its decision in January.

The university had been operating under an interim letter of authority granted by the council. Previously, it had permission from the Ministry of Education and Sports [25] to operate.

New Vision [26]
July 19, 2004