Juba University 'risks closure' due to funding shortage
The University of Juba, one of the top higher learning institutions in South Sudan, is at risk of closure due to rising operational cost, according to the university’s administration.
The continued rise of dollar’s exchange rate at the market has led to the increase of prices on commodities in the world’s youngest nation which depends largely on imported items.
Dr. John Apuruot Akec, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Juba, told Radio Tamazuj today that they could be forced to close before the end of this academic year due to lack of funds if the rising cost of electricity, fuel and other requirements persists.
“We get the running cost from tuition fees paid by students, and the value of the fees is too small. For instance, students of engineering are paying $40, while the students of economics are paying $14 only which is equivalent to 2,200 SSP. So this money cannot do anything because we need fuel, we need stationaries, we need water and maintenance,” said Akec.
The top administrator sounded the alarm over the increasing operational costs this year, while seeking government approval to support the institution.
“We are not getting any support from somewhere because we are a public university. But the minister of higher education is working with the ministry of finance on this issue,” he said.
Akec urged the government to come up with a plan on how to support all public universities across South Sudan. The Vice Chancellor pointed out that when the finance ministry fails to support the university, the administration will either ask the students to pay examinations papers or close the institution indefinitely.
Juba University has around 9,000 students across 13 colleges.