University unrest fosters corruption


Unrest in Ethiopian public universities has led to increased enrollment in private higher institutions which in turn has led to corruption. Brokers are asking parents for up to 50,000 birr for registration via dealers Capital learned.
Because there have been ongoing ethnic based clashes in public universities all over the country students have left their campuses, opting instead for private schools in Addis Ababa causing their numbers to mushroom.
At the end of August, the Ministry of Science and Higher Education announced that it would sign binding agreements with stakeholders in the education sector to prevent the violence, although little change has occurred.
Last month, alone two students at Woldia University in the Amhara region and one student at Dembi Dollo University in the Oromia region were killed.
Officials from the Ministry of Science and Higher Education think that the problem behavior is being conducted by people from outside the campus using fake student IDs.
As almost all private higher educational institutions have closed registration, parents are looking for ways to register their children through corrupt back channels.
The Higher Education, Relevance and Quality Assurance Agency (HERQA), says they take special cases into account. They don’t have a mandate to decide the registration timetable. It is determined via a monthly report.
Some of the private educational institutions that Capital approached said, they already closed registration for many programs but there are still some students getting in through illegal means.
There are close to 236 private higher education institutions in the country. Most are in Addis.
Alemayehu Kebede Advisor at Ministry of Science and Higher Education, says Ethiopian universities have been facing recurrent ethnic-based conflicts, students have lost their lives and property has been damaged. He adds that one of the sources of conflict is where students and lecturers are places so they are trying to revise this practice.
There are more than 50 public universities in Ethiopia and the country allots a budget of 23 billion birr for higher education.