174 ‘non-viable’ higher education institutions closed

Théophile Mbemba, higher education and universities minister in the Democratic Republic of Congo, has closed 174 higher education institutions that have been judged ‘non-viable’.

Mbemba announced that he would be making more than 100 closures, while attending the opening of the academic year at the University of Kinshasa, or UNIKIN, the country’s leading university, reported Radio Okapi.

Mbemba condemned certain practices that damaged the image of the country’s universities, including lack of respect for the academic calendar, late enrolment of students and bad working conditions.

“The global reputation of our higher and university institutions depends on the image that UNIKIN presents.

“How can we achieve that if our institutions do not respect the academic calendar and continue to enrol students the day before term starts? How can we ignore the very bad conditions in which some courses are given, especially in the interior of the country?” Radio Okapi quoted him as saying.

He announced that the new academic year must lay the foundations for education policy for the decade 2016-25 which envisaged total university reform, reported Radio Okapi.

University leaders who were present at the UNIKIN ceremony were committed to supporting the government in the reform process, and they condemned the proliferation of unregulated universities and other higher education institutions, said the radio station.

A few days after Mbemba’s announcement, Radio Okapi reported that the minister had closed a total of 174 ‘non-viable’ establishments.

Most of these were extensions of higher education and university institutions throughout the country.

* This article is drawn from local media. University World News cannot vouch for the accuracy of the original reports.