By Philip Thon Aleu
March 21, 2011 (KAMPALA) – The government of southern Sudan (GOSS) will reduce financial support to students studying in neighboring east African countries in order to inject more money to home based universities, an official told Sudan Tribune.
- Lual Akol Nhial, GOSS Liaison Educational Attaché to Uganda speaking in Kampala. (ST)
Lual Akol Nhial, GOSS Liaison Educational Attaché to Uganda, notes that continuing students will not be affected. "Those who are joining their academic studies from [the academic year] 2010 onward, should be joining our national universities in Southern Sudan,” said Akol.
"On those [students] who are within the support of the government… will be going [on with their studies] until they finished. The support will be put back to home universities," he added.
Thousands of former student refugees from South Sudan are continuing their studies in East Africa despite return of peace six years ago. The Juba government decided to extend annual financial support to students in neighboring countries in 2006.
That money did not cover academic year tuition fees but was a significant assistance given high tuition fees charge for foreign students by Ugandan universities.
South Sudanese voted to succeed from the north in January referendum that resulted from the 2005 peace accord which ended two decades north-south civil war. Facing financial difficulties, most universities in South Sudan, including Juba University, have delayed 2011 academic programs till May.
Reducing financial support to students is aimed at paying much more attention to education universities in South Sudan.