The decision by the Swazi Government to allow the private Limkokwing University to set up in Swaziland illegally has been called ‘stinking’.
And there is a suggestion that the university is being promoted by people with ‘personal interests’ and that the government is helping people to reap profits from government scholarships.
Ackel Zwane, writing in his weekly column in the Swazi Observer today (20 May 2011), says that while Swaziland strives to provide more institutions of higher learning, ‘there seems a lot to be desired in the manner politicians and former politicians are forcing matters to have new universities set up shop here without appropriate legislation’.
As I wrote yesterday, it was revealed this week that you need an act of parliament to set up a university in Swaziland, but this has not been done for Limkokwing.
Wilson Ntshangase, Minister of Education and Training, confirmed the law had been bypassed but said it didn’t matter.
Zwane writes, ‘The University of Swaziland [the kingdom’s only other university] is established by an Act of Parliament, which solely governs that institution and therefore, the same Act cannot be applied in the regulation of the new Limkokwing and others. There is something stinking under the carpet.
‘All those appearing to be promoting higher education in Swaziland have personal interests that cannot be disputed.’
The Swazi Government is committed to paying E16 million (US$2.1 million) a year for scholarships to Limkokwing.
Zwane says entry requirements for Limkokwing are easier than for the University of Swaziland (UNISWA), ‘in order to attract more students into that institution so that government will roll out scholarships for the institution to break even early and start churning out the profits for the players to reap.
‘Because it is now easy to gain admission at Limkokwing and government is willing to provide the much needed scholarships to such unvetted institutions, it makes sense for students to shy away from the stricter UNISWA and go to where it is easy to get degrees and join the job market faster, easily.’
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LIMKOKWING UNIVERSITY IS ILLEGAL