Government has said it can only afford to award scholarships to a maximum 500 students, although the university has offered places to 2,155. In recent years about 1,200 scholarships were awarded, according to figures published by the Weekend Observer newspaper.
Uniswa announced on Friday (5 August 2011) that it would not open for the new academic year as planned this week. Instead opening has been postponed indefinitely until the government sorts out the scholarship issue.
It is understood that the Swazi Government will discuss the closure at a cabinet meeting today (9 August 2011).
An unconfirmed report suggested that a major factor in Uniswa’s decision not to open was the fear that students would ‘riot’ as a protest against scholarship cuts.
News that the number of scholarships available at Uniswa is to be slashed comes months after the Swazi Government awarded 800 scholarships worth about E16 million (US$2 million) a year for students to study at the private Limkokwing University that opened in Mbabane, Swaziland’s capital, in May this year.
Limkokwing has been criticised across Africa for the poor quality of its courses and staff and has been subjected to numerous protests by its students demanding value for money in their education.
SWAZI UNIVERSITIES LACK RELEVANCE
NEW SWAZI UNIVERSITY SUBSTANDARD