World Watch

09 June 2003
Stellenbosch student Jan Daniel Möller, a member of the SA under-21 rugby side, has been given a suspended expulsion from the university for assaulting fellow students as part of a masked, secret society, the Majuba Internal Alliance (MIA). Victims had complained of racist, homophobic and anti-Semitic violence in residences and on campus, but a disciplinary hearing could not find "sufficient evidence" of this. Instead, Möller and two other students, Anton Groenewald and Paul von Zeuner, told the hearing they assaulted their fellows because they smoked dagga.

The University of Stellenbosch has also appointed veteran political commentator Frederik Van Zyl Slabbert to head a panel that will investigate campus culture and traditions in residences that may have led to violent attacks on some students. The panel's formation follows last year's attack on two residents of the Majuba residence, Carl Beyers and Philip Botha, which led to a formal inquiry by the university.

Bokkiesweek, a series of school sports events organised by Afrikaner Volkseie Sport (AVS) exclusively for white Afrikaans children, has drawn much debate and comment from authorities. Education bodies and the Human Rights Commission described Bokkiesweek as a racist endeavour that is "a travesty of our democracy". AVS president, Daan Nolte, initially said that Bokkiesweek - first held in 1990 - was not just for whites, but for all Afrikaans-speaking pupils. However, when asked if Afrikaans-speaking children of other races could participate, he said they couldn't because "they are not Afrikaners". "It's got nothing to do with racism, it's got to do with culture and the Afrikaner people," said Nolte.

Authorities at the Kaduna Polytechnic in Nigeria have shut down the institution over protests by some students opposed to the admission of female students to the male hostels.

A private "international secondary school" in the Amuwo-Odofin area of Lagos, Nigeria, is being threatened with a lawsuit for subjecting its female students to virginity tests. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the nine-year old school, with about 60 students in its secondary school section and with no boarding facilities, was also in the habit of "screening" male students for sexually transmitted infections.

In response to the SARS outbreaks in Asia, American institutions are moving their study-abroad programmes that were scheduled to take place in China back to the United States. Approximately 50 of the 98 students originally set to go to China on one exchange, for example, will sign a "language pledge" to speak only Chinese with one another on the streets of Washington, where the programme will operate from Boston University's Washington Centre.

Japanese boys want to be university professors more than anything else, according to the results of a survey conducted by Dai-Ichi Mutual Insurance Company. Nearly 10% of the 375 boys surveyed, mainly between the ages of six and 11, indicated that their number-one career preference was to work in academe.

Texas A&M University at College Station has signed a 10-year agreement with the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science, and Community Development to open an undergraduate engineering campus in the oil- and gas-rich country. The foundation will cover all of the costs of building and operating the campus.

Sources: Chronicle for Higher Education;

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