WENR, November 2017: Africa

Kenya: Government Launches Qualifications Framework to Fight Degree Fraud

Starting in January 2018, Kenya will have a national qualifications framework that will include a national database of qualifications and official guidelines on the length of academic programs. The framework is expected to increase transparency, facilitate the development of a program-based accreditation system, and curb sub-standard programs and the spread of fake degrees. Kenya’s education system has recently seen rapid expansion with more than 20 new universities receiving accreditation in the past two years. This expansion has been accompanied by an increase of poor-quality programs and rising problems with degree fraud.

University World News
November 3


Nigeria: University Admissions Crisis Worsens

Less than one third, or about half a million out of 1.7 million students, who sat for the university matriculation examinations in 2017 will get admitted into university, according to Nigeria’s National Universities Commission. At Lagos State University, for instance, merely 3,500 out of 25, 000 candidates will get admitted, while the admissions rate at the University of Ibadan was as low as 3,500 out of 62,000 candidates. Nigeria’s public universities cite staffing problems and inadequate funding and infrastructure  as the reasons for the low admissions rates.  The situation is bound to deteriorate unless more students can be absorbed by private universities and distance learning programs.

The Guardian
October 29

Rwanda: Five Universities Closed, Leaving 3,000 Students Stranded

Rwanda’s Higher Education Commission has closed down 5 private universities because they did not meet quality standards due to inadequate staffing and teaching facilities. The institutions are: Singhad Technical Education Society-Rwanda (STES), Rusizi International University (RIU), Nile Source Polytechnic of Applied Arts (NSPA), Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology and the Open University of Tanzania. The closure affects about 3,000 students who will now have to transfer to other universities. The closed institutions were given two weeks to provide students with their academic transcripts, so they can reapply at other schools.

The New Times
October 25


Pan-Africa: Sub-Saharan Africa Falling Behind in Meeting Sustainable Development Goals in Education

According to UNESCO, Sub-Saharan Africa is lagging behind internationally agreed sustainable development goals on a number of fronts. The region has the highest rate of out-of-school children worldwide (32.6 million children in total), while 41 percent of elementary school-aged children do not complete basic education. Many children are schooled by inadequately trained staff in overcrowded class rooms.  Other problems include high levels of corruption in education with large numbers of “ghost teachers” draining education funds.  Weak accreditation mechanisms, meanwhile, have contributed to the proliferation of sub-standard private education providers, causing  students to graduate with unrecognized degrees.

October 24