Tag: post-conflict

All of the students failed university admission exams in Liberia?

Map of Liberia (Source: Oona Räisänen)

Map of Liberia
(Source: Oona Räisänen)

BBC is reporting that in one of the two state run Liberian universities, all (!) of the students failed at the university admission exam.

Current Liberian president, the Nobel prize winning Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has frequently made statements regarding issues in the Liberian educational system. She sees the educational system as a key aspect for the nation’s future wellbeing and success:at the end of the day, if you do not have an educated population, we will be unable to build the national capacities of our young people“, and she has called for a total overhaul of the system.

The BBC correspondent for the current case has observed that “schools lack basic education material and teachers are poorly qualified“. However, one could argue that even in that context, there should be at least some percentage of students who would have the basic capacities to successfully complete the admission exams?

Well, the case of Liberia now – none. According to BBC, the university official said that the students lacked enthusiasm and English language skills, and they have made clear they would not be moved from their decision on this. Furthermore, they also argued that it is the government who now has to do something.

Less clear is what exactly the government can do in this context. After the bloody civil war  that destroyed much of the current educational system, there is still much of the basic infrastructure that needs to be set in place.

Hedda podcast: Thematic week – Higher education in Sudan

We continue our thematic week with episode 36 of our Hedda podcast series with a focus on higher education in Sudan. Professor Halla Holmarsdottir shares her expertise on higher education in Sudan. She first gives and overview of some of the current challenges of the higher education system in Sudan and further shares her experiences with three different projects they have had in Sudan in building research capacity.

Listen without the Flashplayer

Prof. Halla Holmarsdottir
(Oslo and Akershus University College)

Halla Holmarsdottir is a Professor in Multicultural and International Education at Oslo and Akershus University College. She has 20 years of experience working with education and development in a number of Asian and African countries.

She is the coordinator of the GEEP project on Gender Equality, Education and Poverty, and member of the Education and Sustainable Development in a Post-Conflict Southern Sudan (NUCOOP) projects. She has published a number of edited books and articles on topis related to bilingual education, adult education, teacher training and training of trainers. In addition, her research interests further include development cooperation, capacity development in the university and public sector, post-conflict reconstruction and development, indigenous peoples and human rights, and education for marginalized groups.


View also the video produced for the GEEP project: