MAPUTO– The Mozambican government has repeated its warning that sub-standard institutions of higher education will be forced to close down if they do not improve their performance by October.

The warning came from the Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education, Jorge Nhambiu, who said Monday that there are 28 university level institutions which did not meet the legal conditions to operate.

They have been forbidden to enrol any new student in the 2018 academic year, and if their conditions are still inadequate by October they will be closed down. There are 52 institutions of higher education in Mozambique, most of them privately owned.

The Ministry began serious inspection of the universities in 2015, demanding that they all abide by the government regulations on the licensing and operations of universities.

Only after the 2015 warning did the institutions seek formal authorization for their operations. Before issuing the permits, we had to inspect them,” said Nhambiu.

Among the problems found was that the universities simply did not have enough staff. We have laid down rules on the minimum number of teaching staff required for a university institution to functions. But there are institutions that do not have this minimum number, the Minister said.

The Ministry also wants to check the projects presented by the universities at the time of their creation to what they have actually done.

Anyone who seeks authorization to set up a university must submit a project to the Council of Ministers, which approves or rejects it, said Nhambiu. But what happens on the ground is that the university does not comply with the terms of the project presented.”