18 October 2016

Swaziland: MPs Probe University Standards

The university in Swaziland that King Mswati III says will host his new University of Transformation is to be investigated by members of parliament after students complained lecturers were unqualified and equipment was lacking.

Limkokwing University of Creative Technology will be investigated by a five-strong parliamentary select committee after students delivered a petition of grievances.

Students have been boycotting classes and last week police reportedly fired guns on protestors, injuring four people.

The Times of Swaziland, the kingdom's only independent daily newspaper reported on Friday (14 October 2016) that one of the main complaints was the lack of experienced and qualified lecturers.

The newspaper quoted Zombodze Emuva MP Titus Thwala saying Limkokwing students had complained that some of their lecturers had only graduated last year and in the following academic year were hired by the university.

The newspaper added, 'Thwala also said the committee needed to investigate if it was true that some lectures were held outside the school campus, under a tree, because there was a shortage of classrooms.

'He also highlighted that some of the students did not have chairs or desks and computers.

'He said some students were forced to behave like bus conductors and had to take notes while standing.'

In August 2016, King Mswati, who rules Swaziland as sub-Saharan Africa's last absolute monarch, became Chair of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC). He announced that within a year he would create a University of Transformation and that it would be housed at Limkokwing.

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