World Watch

26 July 2004

Two universities whose MBA programmes have been de-accredited are leaving South Africa. The United Kingdom-based De Montfort University (DMU) and the Australian-based Bond University were among the 10 universities whose MBA programmes were de-accredited by the Higher Education Quality Committee (HEQC) of the Council on Higher Education (CHE). Both DMU and Bond universities will shut up shop in South Africa at the end of the year.

Some 500 students at the Newlands Institute of Nursing have lost thousands of rands and/or years of study following the South African Nursing Council's decision to close the institute. Following complaints by students, the council visited the school in May and found numerous irregularities, including that the school had registered 500 students while it was certified to register only 90 prospective nurses and another 40 studying auxiliary nursing students every trimester. In a document ordering the closure of the institution, the nursing council ordered the institute's principal to refund all students registered in May 2004, and committed itself to move students registered earlier to other nursing colleges.

About 75 000 students have registered for full-time study at the government's Further Education and Training (FET) colleges in KwaZulu-Natal. According to Sam Mbokazi, deputy director-general of the province's department of education, these colleges - with a budget of around R13-billion - are a "salvation" for matriculants who are unable to get into universities or technikons. The colleges also offer an alternative to the rash of fly-by-night colleges that have emptied many students' pockets - with questionable returns - over recent years.

Two badly-performing sector education and training authorities (Setas) are faced with closure next month and amalgamation with other Setas or an administrative takeover by the labour department. The diplomacy, intelligence defence and trade and industry Seta (Dideta) and local government and water Seta (LGWSeta) have until the end of July to convince Labour Minister Membathisi Mdladlana why this should not happen. The minister's tough stance is in line with three sets of stringent regulations introduced in April to improve service-delivery and instil credibility in the Setas that have been hit by allegations of corruption and financial mismanagement.

Amid intense lobbying from anti-embargo activists, the US departments of state and the treasury have agreed to exempt a Havana medical school from new regulations governing study in Cuba. The exemption will allow 80 Americans to continue their studies at the Latin American School of Medicine. The programme mostly benefits minority students who could not afford medical studies in the US.

A Turkish medical student has lost her bid to wear a headscarf while pursuing studies at the University of Istanbul. In a potentially precedent-setting decision, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the student's rights to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion were not violated by Turkey's ban on students' wearing overtly religious garb at public universities. "Measures taken in universities to prevent certain fundamentalist religious movements from pressuring students who do not practice the religion in question or those belonging to another religion can be justified," the panel of seven judges said in a unanimous ruling.

Sources:, Independent Online, Chronicle of Higher Education

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