WENR, February 2018: Africa
South Africa: Strong Growth of ELT Enrollments in 2017
Enrollments in English Language Training (ELT) programs in South Africa grew by more than 15 percent between 2016 and 2017, according to Education South Africa, the country’s main ELT association. The increase brings enrollments back to 2014 levels after the number of ELT students had plunged in 2015 when the government enacted new immigration rules that barred ELT students from obtaining student visas. A 2016 settlement between the government and the ELT industry led to an easing of the restrictions and allowed the issuance of student visas to ELT students enrolled in recognized ELT programs, beginning in late 2016. After dropping by 28 percent between 2014 and 2015, enrollments in 2017 rebounded to 10,042, which is roughly the same number as in 2014.
February 2, 2018
Nigeria: More than 2,000 Secondary Schools Closed in Benue State
The government of Nigeria’s Benue State announced that it closed down 2,219 secondary schools due to poor quality standards. Nineteen unspecified tertiary education institutions were reportedly shut down for quality problems as well.
January 30, 2018
Zimbabwe: Grace Mugabe’s Dissertation Published Amidst Calls to Revoke Her Degree
Grace Mugabe, the wife of recently ousted President Robert Mugabe, stands accused of holding a bogus Ph.D. degree in sociology from the University of Zimbabwe ever since she graduated in 2014 within less than three months after enrolling at the university. Amidst public pressure to revoke the degree, the University of Zimbabwe has now published her dissertation online. Robert Mugabe was the chancellor of the university at the time Ms. Mugabe received the degree. A fraud investigation was initiated by Zimbabwe’s Anti-Corruption Commission following Robert Mugabe’s ouster late last year.
January 25, 2018
Kenya: Drastic Changes in University Funding Structure
Beginning in the summer of 2018, the Kenyan government will introduce the first changes in public university funding in 25 years. Whereas universities currently receive an annual flat rate of US$1,200 per student irrespective of the type of the program, universities will in the future receive varying amounts of funds depending on the program. The changes are motivated by the government’s desire to obtain greater control over university curricula and increase enrollments in science and technology programs, as opposed to liberal arts and social science programs, in which most of Kenya’s students are currently enrolled. It is expected that universities will now receive between US$ 4,000 and US$ 6,000 per student in medicine programs, for example, while the rate for students in arts programs will be US$ 1,440. Overall, the new structure will significantly improve funding for Kenya’s cash-strapped public universities and boost allocations by at least US$ 700 million annually.
University World News
January 13, 2018
South Africa: Free Undergraduate Education for Low-Income Students Announced
South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma has announced that undergraduate students from households earning less than 350,000 Rand (about US$ 29,500) will be able to study tuition free at public universities, beginning in 2018. The move, which critics have called populist pandering, comes despite recent fee increases at universities and warnings that free higher education cannot be sustained by South Africa’s strained government budget, which is currently facing of deficit US$ 4 billion. The cost of the tuition subsidies is expected to amount to up to 1 percent of South Africa’s GDP. Zuma has announced that the subsidies will be phased in gradually, “year on year in a fiscally sustainable way”.
University World News
December 17, 2017