28 November 2017

Cameroon: 'We Anticipate a Hitch-Free Academic Year'


Professor Ngomo Horace Manga, Vice Chancellor, University of Buea.

Professor, the academic year 2017/2018 has begun today 27th November, 2017 in the University of Buea unlike other Universities in the country. Have effective classes begun today?

Yes effective classes have begun today. That I can confirm to you. We had a top management meeting that lasted up to 11:00 o'clock and we decided to make the rounds of the lecture hall and we saw some lectures that were ongoing and when we asked some of the students in the lecture halls where there were no teachers they told us that they were waiting for their teachers to come and that some lectures had held before they came to those classrooms. So effectively, lectures have started. We visited lots of lecture halls.

We know this is coming after the difficulties the University faced last year with the ghost schools. How many students are you beginning with?

On main campus we should not have less than 4.500 freshmen. If you add Masters Students who just gained admission after the postgraduate admission board met, I estimate that we will not have less than 5.000 and to this we should add the newly admitted students of the Higher Technical Teacher's Training College (HTTTC) of Kumba. So all in all we should have a little bit above 5.000 freshmen including those of Kumba.

Are there any specific difficulties this year?

Well I don't think for now there are any particular difficulties. But if there are any difficulties it will be that of adjusting the academic year calendar. In a normal academic year, we were supposed to have opened our doors in September. We are opening about 2 months later than September. So we are opening on the 27 of November. So definitely, there are going to be some adjustments to be made so that we end the year by July.

There were some courses that were announced, like the professional bachelors for translations and cultural studies. There seems to be no admissions into that course. Why?

Yes, let me say that there are norms which we respect very strictly. For example, if there are professional courses, there is the financial sustainability of those courses. Carrying out professional courses must respect a certain norm such that 70% of those teachers must intervene in the teaching of those courses from the socio-professional milieu. That means that they should be from enterprises that are dedicated to that particular profession. I take for example, if we are doing Banking and Finance for MBA, we expect 70% of the teachers to come from the business world. Now if we have only 3 or 4 students who pay say 1 million per student to 4 million. It will not be sufficient to sustain the number of teachers that are supposed to teach them because the number of teachers is not a function of the number of students. That is the reason.



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