South Sudan rolls out varsity admissions targeting 32,000 students

South Sudan rolls out varsity admissions targeting 32,000 students
Emmanuel Kiden (left) and Lillian Adong display admission forms as they talk to the media. They are some of the students eagerly waiting to Join University. [Photo Sheila Ponnie, The City Review]

The ministry of higher education rolled out the admission process for candidates joining public and private universities for 2021–2022.

The Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology, Gabriel Changson Chang, said the ministry is targeting about 32,000 candidates from the cohort that sat the examinations last year.

“The capacity of universities, both public and private, may not accommodate all the students, but we have another space through scholarships given to the country by friendly countries,” he said.

He revealed that such opportunities are in Ethiopia, Egypt, Morocco, Sudan, and Saudi Arabia. He added that there were new opportunities coming up in Tanzania and Rwanda.

The minister lamented that conflicts have been the major hindering factor in the education sector.

Resources are needed for the development of infrastructure. The infrastructure is very weak and small, and they need an extension, but again, it is very difficult given our financial constraints in the country, “Changson lamented.

He revealed that the ministry of higher education has developed a student support fund to address the gap, although it is yet to be approved.

“Once it is approved and money is released from that fund from the government’s coffers to be administered, then that body will address students’ needs, such as the issue of a computer lab, and it will also address the issue of extensions of hostels.’’

He revealed that the admission centres are located in all 10 states. Two in Juba (Juba University and Upper Nile University), the other public universities are in Rumbek, Bor, Bahr el Ghazal, Upper Nile, and Torit Wau, and the other states have been represented.

“We want all our students to have equal chances and for the ministry of higher education to take the admission closer to their homes, where they (students) stay, because if we were to centre it only in Juba, then, students would not access the centre,” he said.

He stated that the admissions process would last two weeks and that there would be two phases. If one missed any of the phases, they would apply for phase two, and those who missed phase one would apply for direct intake.

Emmanuel Kiden, a student from Jubek Secondary School, said she had been waiting for the moment to join a university.

“I am grateful now that I have come to get the admission form and I have the confidence to be admitted here at Juba University,” she said. “I scored 84 percent out of 100 percent, and I am going to apply for [a course at the] faculty of human resource management,” Kiden said.

Another student, Abraham Chaloch Mayom, said he woke up at 6 am to reach the university to collect the admission form. It took him six hours to finally succeed.

“I am very happy now that I have managed to get the form. All I want now is to start and start applying for the faculty of law, I hope Juba University will admit me because I want to educate my community to understand the laws of this nation and for them to know their rights,” he revealed.

Lillian Adong said she was excited by the government’s move to launch the admission process for 2021 and 2022.