Home | Comment & Analysis    Monday 14 November 2011

South Sudan: Towards a higher education fit for the 21st century

separation
increase
decrease
separation
separation

By John A. Akec*

November 13, 2011 — It is attributed to Otto Von Bismarck, the architect of German nation-state and its first Chancellor, that: "A politician thinks of the next election, a statesman, of the next generation." It is my hope that we will have more statesmen than politicians when it comes to designing a policy for higher education in South Sudan.

When South Sudan declared its independence on 9 July 2011, it inherited nine public and sixteen private universities. Out of nine public universities, five are already functioning and have students on campus. The other four public universities are new and do not yet have any students. The situation of higher education institutions in the new republic is a major challenge.

The physical infrastructures in the original campuses are dilapidated and not capable of accommodating the increased number of students. On the teaching staff situation the Northern Sudanese teaching staff on these universities used to average 65%, but now the capacity is at 35%. Generally, there is lack of regulations and institutions that control and assure quality of higher education in South Sudan.

The president of the republic, Salva Kiir Mayardit, on his remarks on the occasion of independence celebration at University of Juba Campus said:

“I appeal to you all both academic staff and administrations of our public universities to put your minds together and come up with well studied recommendations and plans for strengthening our institutions, which must become the pillars of nation-building.”

Clearly, the president’s call is a challenge directed at our university academics, civil society leaders, and all those concerned with higher education in our country; to get together and lay a solid and informed foundation for the vision of higher education in new nation-state.

The Academics and Researchers Forum for Development, in collaboration with the Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology, has seized this call by the President of the Republic to organize a conference on "Future of Higher Education in South Sudan." This conference, we believe, will scientifically analyze the needs of higher education institutions of the nation and make policy recommendations after examining and addressing the associated issues of staffing, funding, maintaining the quality of academic standards, students accommodation, and a university infrastructure that is fit for the purpose in twenty first century.

The Academics and Researchers Forum for Development is an academics-led think tank that was launched in Juba in February 2011 and registered as nongovernmental organization in South Sudan in April 2011. Its aims to become a leading think tank and an advocacy group for poverty reduction, good governance, and conflict prevention in South Sudan and Eastern Africa region.

Its mission includes, among other, advocating for pro-poverty reduction policies in the nation and the region; promoting a culture of informed policy formulation in respect to design, implementation, and development of government strategies and policies; conducting research to assist government of South Sudan in policy formulation; promoting the indigenization of development process; and fostering a culture of intellectual innovation, creativity, and knowledge generation amongst academics and researchers.

The conference that is being organised by the Forum will take place over two days starting Monday 14 November and ending Tuesday 15 November 2011 at Heron Campsite Hotel in Juba (close to Juba Bridge Hotel).
About 23 papers will be presented over two days and will cover a whole range of issues such as staffing policies, capacity building in higher education, networking as a way for building higher education institutions, accreditation and licensing of private universities, management and administration of institutions of higher education, elitist versus mass higher education, models for solving problem of students accommodation, and so on.

Unsurprisingly, the conference date will coincide with many other important events of great significance that will compete for media and public attention such as the Governors Forum that will kick off in Juba on Monday 14 November 2011, the same day our conference is planned to kick off, and this, God forbid, may eclipse the importance of the conference on Higher Education.

However, we trust that many in our political establishment, diplomatic circles, NGOs and civil society organisations, and private sector; will make time to participate in our deliberations at this important academic-get-together whose recommendations, we hope, will significantly impact the vision of Higher Education in our country for many years to come.

Please join us at the conference. Together, we can make a difference.

*The author is Vice Chancellor of University of Northern Bahr El Ghazal and chairperson of Academics and Researchers Forum for Development. He edits blog www.JohnAkecSouthSudan.blogspot.com.



The views expressed in the 'Comment and Analysis' section are solely the opinions of the writers. The veracity of any claims made are the responsibility of the author not Sudan Tribune.

If you want to submit an opinion piece or an analysis please email it to comment@sudantribune.com

Sudan Tribune reserves the right to edit articles before publication. Please include your full name, relevant personal information and political affiliations.
Comments on the Sudan Tribune website must abide by the following rules. Contravention of these rules will lead to the user losing their Sudan Tribune account with immediate effect.

- No inciting violence
- No inappropriate or offensive language
- No racism, tribalism or sectarianism
- No inappropriate or derogatory remarks
- No deviation from the topic of the article
- No advertising, spamming or links
- No incomprehensible comments

Due to the unprecedented amount of racist and offensive language on the site, Sudan Tribune tries to vet all comments on the site.

There is now also a limit of 400 words per comment. If you want to express yourself in more detail than this allows, please e-mail your comment as an article to comment@sudantribune.com

Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 14 November 2011 21:50, by Whispers

    Dr. Akec, Best of luck with the forum. It will turn out well as planned. Thank you for sharing this work with the public, we need think tank and strong advocacy in South Sudan. The nation building require a bility to work well and formulated ideas and plans that are worthwhile and are easily excuted and direct the course of work

    repondre message

  • 16 November 2011 21:25, by Elijah B. Elkan

    Mr. John A. Akec,I appreciated your intellect in the field of higher education. You need to report on the progress you and others had made to the people. The people need to know under your leadership what are the improvement(s). Promising as a Chancellor, what have you done to improve the conditions of the education system(s) in South Sudan.

    Sincerely,

    Elijah

    repondre message

  • 25 April 2013 15:17, by dennishobson

    HptpwgU21haRBCqbVsArXES4O0X1OLssanyong actyon deck de madeira plastic lumber Can I just say what a relief to find someone who actually knows what theyre talking about on the internet. You definitely know how to bring an issue to light and make it important. M

    repondre message



The following ads are provided by Google. SudanTribune has no authority on it.



Sudan Tribune

Promote your Page too

Latest Comments & Analysis


A renewed call on states of South Sudan 2020-01-21 07:06:29 By James Gatdet Dak First of all, I hope that our able leaders (peace partners) shall politically resolve the number and boundaries of states in the Republic of South Sudan. Or whoever is to (...)

Sudan’s Peace: putting the cart before the Horse 2020-01-12 18:35:24 Putting Peace in the rear after the Sudanese Revolution is Akin to putting the cart before the Horse By Mahmoud A. Suleiman This article comes against the backdrop of the indifference and the (...)

Environmental effects of oil spills in South Sudan’s Unity (2-2) 2020-01-09 06:35:08 By Peter Reat Gatkuoth When pipelines are built, regulated, controlled and maintained as necessary by international and national legislation, they can be safe environmentally according to (...)


MORE






Latest Press Releases


S. Korea supports UN communities building resilience project in Sudan’s Blue Nile 2019-09-09 09:26:41 UNDP Sudan September 5, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - An agreement was signed on 5th of September between the Korean Ambassador, His Excellency. Lee Ki-Seong and Dr. Selva Ramachandran, Resident (...)

Sudanese lawyers and Human rights defenders back calls for civil rule 2019-04-26 10:22:06 Press statement by 55 Sudanese lawyers and Human rights defenders on Sudan Sit-in and Peaceful Protest Khartoum -24/04/2019 We, the undersigned (55) Sudanese lawyers and human rights defenders, (...)

South Sudan’s Lafon youth condemn killings of civilians by Pari community 2019-04-03 21:54:29 Press Statement on the Fighting between Pari/ Pacidi and Lotuko/Lokiri on 24/3/2019 Release by The Lafon County Youth Union: We, the Lafon County Youth Union hereby condemn the atrocities and (...)


MORE

Copyright © 2003-2020 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.