Student news wrap 07/05/19

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News for and about students in Africa.

Political parties push radical free education policies before elections

As we get ready to vote in South Africa’s sixth democratic general election tomorrow, political parties have been working hard to appeal to young voters through various promises on higher education. University World News yesterday ran an in-depth article looking at the various promises by parties as well as commentary from prominent academic leaders and university rectors. Polls indicate that more than 4,5 million eligible young South Africans have no plans to vote, but if you’re one of those still undecided where to make your mark tomorrow, head on over to the University World News article.

DHET unveils new plan for post-school applications

The Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) has published a bill aiming to make changes to the post-school application process in South Africa. Post-school education and training refers to all learning and teaching that happens after school, including universities, TVET colleges, private institutions, apprenticeship programmes and in-service training.

Published in April, The Central Application Service Bill aims to offer advice and serve as a channel for students applying to such opportunities. Students will pay a single application fee, yet to be finalised, to apply for study places at one or multiple institutions. Other proposed objectives include reducing the administrative burden of application processing for institutions; optimising the placement of applicants in appropriate studies and providing all potential entrants a single point for application to their education and training opportunities as well as applications for accommodation and financial assistance. – Read the full article on the Business Tech site

Sudanese students continue protests after military coup

After four months of violent protests and the closure of universities last year, Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir, who ruled for three decades, was ousted by the military on April 11. Sudanese universities, academics and students however, have rejected the takeover and have promised to continue protesting until a civilian government is in place.

The decision by the Transitional Military Council (TMC) in Sudan to reopen all public and private universities in the country last week has been met with opposition. The Sudanese Students Association (SSA) said in a statement that “This decision [to reopen] is not within the jurisdiction of the Military Council. The university is a free institution and the military does not have the right to even enter campus with official uniforms”. While students may be opposed to the decision, a number of institutions will be opening and have announced start dates in June. The SSA has vowed to continue protest action until civilian rule is in place. Both the African Union and the United Nations are in favour of a civilian-led transitional government and have extended the deadline for the military to hand over power from 15 days to 60 days as negotiations continue. – Read more on this story on the University World News site.