Higher Education in the World’s Newest Nation

Last month the nation’s newest nation, Southern Sudan, declared its independence. The mostly black southern Sudanese have suffered from years of war with the predominantly Arab Sudanese in the northern part of the African country.

Due to the war, many of the academics in the southern part of the country decided to teach at foreign universities. Some of the universities in the southern part of Sudan moved to campuses in the north to avoid the conflict.

Now efforts are underway to reestablish Juba University in the capital city of Southern Sudan as well as Upper Nile University in Malakal and Bahr el Ghazal University in Wau. All three universities had moved operations to Khartoum in the north.

But the campuses of the universities are in bad shape due to the war and there is almost no laboratory space or facilities for students at the university’s medical schools. Furthermore, there are very few faculty members who are willing to return to Southern Sudan.

Officials in Southern Sudan hope that United States, Europe, and nonprofit foundations will funnel research funds to universities in Southern Sudan in an effort to attract faculty. South African and Zimbabwe have offered to send lecturers to teach at universities in Southern Sudan.

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