WENR, June 2018: Africa
Nigeria: Government Shuts Down 58 Bogus Institutions
Nigeria’s National University Commission (NUC) in May published a list of 58 bogus institutions that were operating illegally in Nigeria. The institutions were not licensed by the government and provided education below minimum standards, according to the NUC. The Commission stated that the institutions in question have been closed down and that it is reviewing eight additional institutions for running illegal degree programs.
Tanzania: Government Hires More than 6,000 Teachers after Dismissing Thousands for Fake Credentials
Tanzania’s government announced that it hired 6,495 elementary and secondary schoolteachers to fill gaps caused by the dismissal of 3,655 teachers who held fake credentials in the 2016/17 and 2017/18 fiscal years. A government audit completed in 2017 revealed a massive problem of fake credentials among not only teachers, but other public employees. A total of 9,932 public employees were found to have obtained employment based on downright forged credentials or credentials bought or stolen from people who had legitimate credentials.
Zimbabwe: New Government Advances Plans to Create University Towns
After the ouster of former President Robert Mugabe, the new government of Zimbabwe is proceeding to realize his vision of establishing at least one state university in each of the country’s 10 provinces. USD $21 million has been allocated for the 2018 fiscal year to advance the development of three new state universities – the Marondera University of Agricultural Science and Technology, the Manicaland State University of Applied Sciences, and Gwanda State University. Development of the three universities is intended to be supported by infrastructure and housing construction designed to turn surrounding urban areas into “university towns” or “college cities.” The government expects parts of the project to be funded by private investors.
University World News
Nigeria: Ministry of Education Proposes Postgraduate Training to Increase Employability of Graduates
Because of high unemployment among Nigerian university graduates, Nigeria’s Minister of Education has proposed that graduates from specialized institutions undergo one year of additional employment-geared training after graduation. Nigerian universities already offer a Students Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES) in applied disciplines and science fields. However, the program has not helped stem unemployment among Nigerian graduates, raising questions about its effectiveness. The minister proposed that graduates receive further applied training similar to postgraduate training courses already in existence in fields like law or medicine. Others argue that the failure of SIWES is not attributable to the poor performance of universities, but to inadequate training provided by the industrial sector, which is responsible for delivering the program’s practical component.
Kenya: Government Seeks to Improve Quality of Education amidst Growth of Higher Education Sector
Growing demand for higher education has led to a mushrooming of new universities in Kenya – a trend that caused the government to impose a five-year moratorium on new universities in 2016. The number of universities in Kenya has more than doubled over the last four years, from 33 in 2012 to 73 today; and resulted in quality problems in higher education, according to Kenya’s Commission for University Education (CUE). To improve the quality of teaching, the government has mandated that PhD holders admitted into doctoral programs on the basis of executive master’s programs – programs that are studied in part-time mode by working professionals – will no longer be allowed to teach at universities. The CUE also recommended that public student aid should only be given to students at fully accredited and approved institutions – a recommendation that would primarily hurt private universities whose accreditation applications are pending. There are presently at least 13 of these institutions; the majority of students are publicly funded. The CUE further recommended establishing programmatic “centers of excellence,” as well as regional university systems that would merge smaller institutions with larger universities.
University World News
Nigeria: Number of Higher Education Institutions Could Possibly Triple
Two hundred ninety-two private institutions are currently being reviewed for accreditation by Nigeria’s National Universities Commission. Although many of the institutions are small providers, including medical schools and creative arts colleges, the new institutions could play a crucial role in mitigating the severe shortage of university seats in Nigeria. There are currently 163 higher education institutions in Nigeria serving a population of 200 million. Nigeria’s population is expected to double to 399 million by 2050, further burdening Nigeria’s underfunded education system. Nigeria seeks to increase the number of students by 20 percent over the next five years and plans to hire 10,000 new university lecturers by 2023. That increase, however, would amount to only 30 percent of actual requirements, according to Abulrasheed Abubakar, executive secretary of Nigeria’s National Universities Commission.
Times Higher Education
May 6, 2018