Threat to cancel courses – ‘Government will pay up’

Senegal's Higher Education Minister Mary Teuw Niane has tried to reassure institutions that the government will pay the more than 16 billion francs it owes them, after they threatened to cancel the courses of thousands of students that the state has been contracted to fund.

The three associations representing private higher education – the Fédération des Établissements Privés d’Enseignement Supérieur, the Conférence des Établissements Privés d’Enseignement Supérieur and the Conférence des Grandes Écoles – announced they would cancel bachelors, masters and advanced technical courses funded by the state, and that no state-financed students in their institutions would be able to resume their studies until the government took steps to settle its debt, estimated at XOF16.5 billion (US$29 million), reported Sud Quotidien.

The associations said the debt put institutions’ operations at risk, and that, as well as outstanding amounts for the 2016-17 and 2017-18 academic years, they demanded the state promptly settle payments contracted for 2018-19, reported Sud Quotidien.

Niane told Sud Quotidien that his ministry was in regular contact with the institutions, which made a contribution to resolving the problem of access to higher education: “It is true that with the constraints of the Ministry of Economy, Finances and Planning, it has not been possible until now to settle all the debt.”

He added that XOF3 billion had now been released and the three associations would be consulted about how this would be made available to them. The ministry would also talk to students at private institutions who were receiving funding from them.

“I am sure there will be a solution to this problem because it’s in the interests of Senegal and the private institutions,” Niane said. – Compiled by Jane Marshall

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