New students turn to private sector because of public delays

Preparations for enrolling new students in Madagascar’s public universities are late following delays and disruption caused by problems, notably strikes, during the past couple of years; and, with priority for places being given to students who qualified in 2020 and 2021, many of this year’s intake are resorting to expensive private higher education institutions.

School-leavers who have just passed their baccalauréate, the exam that entitles them to higher education, will not be offered places in public universities for months to come, because of the backlog of those still waiting for places from previous years, reported Midi-Madagasikara.

Meanwhile, strikes in 2021-22 have meant that courses taken by students enrolled before 2020 have had to be extended, delaying their graduation.

As a result, students are turning to private institutions – if they can afford it, said Midi-Madagasikara. Only those determined to study in a public university, notably in medicine, agronomy and polytechnic engineering, are choosing to wait until enrolment for the entrance exams is open to them.

There has been strong demand for places in the private sector during the past three years, reported Midi-Madagasikara, with fees of “several million ariary” a year (ARS1 million=US$244,500) in the most high-profile institutions for a bachelor degree, and more for a masters. So, most private-sector applications are to institutes charging less, with students concerned about the comparative equivalence of their qualifications.

The overall rate of baccalauréate passes for 2022 is 48.71% – 93,733 out of 192,444 candidates – lower than in 2021 when it was 55.94%, reported Midi-Madagasikara.

The end of the 2021-22 university year should take place at the end of October, while the new year is due to start on 7 November, reported the publication. — Compiled by Jane Marshall.

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