WENR, October 2017: Africa

Kenya: New Visa Rules Could Hamper Student Flows

Kenya’s government has adopted new rules that make it more difficult for international students to obtain student visas. In an attempt to curb crimes committed by foreigners in Kenya on student visas, the government now requires a police certificate or other official certificate of “good conduct” from foreign students. Observers fear that the move could make Kenya a less attractive study destination. Kenya is currently a growing education hub in Africa, particularly in the East African region, and admits  between 4,000 and 5,000 foreign students each year. The new regulations could weaken its competitive position vis-á-vis South Africa, the country’s main destination country  for international students.

The PIE News
October 16

Cameroon: Anglophone Universities Shut Down in Attempt to Suppress Separatist Movement

Cameroon’s president has ordered the indefinite shut down of the University of Bamenda and the University of Buea, the two public universities in Cameroon’s Anglophone region. The move follows an army raid on the universities to squash on-campus demonstrations for greater independence of Cameroon’s English-speaking regions. Several students and staff members were killed in the raids, according to unconfirmed reports. The protesters were advocating for the symbolic declaration of an Anglophone “Republic of Ambazonia”. Modern Cameroon was founded in 1961 by joining former French and British colonies, but has in recent years been characterized by increasing conflicts between Anglophone and Francophone regions. Among the grievances of the Anglophone university community is the domination of the education system by the Francophone region. Education ministries and other government bodies are predominantly staffed with Francophones, official state documents are issued in French, and entrance examinations into a number of professional schools, some located in the English-speaking region, are conducted in French.

University World News
October 10

Kenya: University of Nairobi Closed Indefinitely Due to Security Concerns

Political violence following the recently annulled August general elections in politically divided Kenya have affected university campuses and led to the indefinite closure of the University of Nairobi.  The closure follows on-campus students protests in late September, in which 27 students were injured. It is currently unclear when the university will reopen.

Daily Nation
October 3

Nigeria: Universities Mandated to Provide O- and A-level Results

Nigeria’s Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has directed all Nigerian universities to supply it with records of all O-level and A-level examination results before granting admission. The move is intended to curb illegal admissions based on insufficient secondary credentials. Until recently, universities could recommend students for admission without submitting actual examination records, a practice that facilitated irregular admissions.

September 27

Uganda: Corruption Scandal at Makerere University

Eighty-eight staff members at Makerere Universitity, Uganda’s largest and most prestigious higher education institution, have been apprehended in connection to charges of fraud dating as far back as 2011. A university audit found possible discrepancies between the grades submitted by constituent colleges and the final results issued by the university, raising the prospect that grades were fraudulently improved. Makerere is also revoking several law degrees awarded on the basis of forged examination results.  The recent scandal follows earlier corruption incidents. In 2014, for instance, some 600 students were removed from graduation lists due to discrepancies in grades. In 2016, Makerere held back the transcripts of 14,000 graduates pending verification. Six staff members from the Registrar’s office are still under police investigation. The corruption scandal also has implications for Makerere graduates abroad. Kenya’s Council of Legal Education has mandated that Makerere graduates submit verified transcripts and degree certificates.

University World News
September 15

Posted in Africa, Regional News Summaries