‘Xenophobia fears behind African student enrolment dip’

Fewer African students are coming to universities in South Africa due to xenophobia fears and long visa delays – and it could be affecting the future rating of the country’s universities, writes Carien du Plessis for News24.

Professor Maxi Schoeman from the University of Pretoria said the faculty of humanities alone has received 200 fewer applications in 2017 for postgraduate studies. On average the faculty, of which she is deputy dean, gets more than 1,000 applications per year. Schoeman, who addressed a seminar on the future of South African foreign policy at the Institute for Security Studies recently, said: “We’re very, very concerned about the drop in international students this year in enrolment, and by international students, we mean largely students from the rest of the continent.”

She said the university’s research showed that this was due to two things. “On the one hand, it’s the obvious xenophobia. Parents are scared to send their children here … The other thing is what many people interpret as a far more subtle form of xenophobia, and that is the very, very difficult procedure for students in getting their student visas. Students have battles with this,” she said.
Full report on the News24 site