South Sudan

Upper Nile University reopens

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5 January 2012 – Upper Nile University reopened its doors today for the first time in nearly a year.

Approximately 5,000 students are expected to register at the university’s campuses in Malakal and Renk later this month and lectures are scheduled to begin on 31 January.

“The University is ready to receive students,” said University Academic Secretary Anthony Sisto Wani. “The contractors who provide food to the students are ready to serve. Lecturers are here as well and everything else is set.”

The main campus in the state capital of Malakal suffered extensive vandalism damage and looting in February 2011 when fighting broke out in the city between factions of Sudan Armed Forces troops assigned to the locally based Joint Integrated Unit over plans to relocate the soldiers to the northern Sudanese town of Kosti.

The Upper Nile State Ministry of Higher Education started renovation work at the university last August, and Mr. Wani said that student hostels are ready for habitation. Several buildings are still under construction at the Malakal campus.
Lecturers in the departments of education, animal production, economics and agriculture and forestry are also ready to resume teaching, he added.

Mr. Wani said he regretted the loss of the entire 2011 academic year but said that was part of the price for achieving South Sudan’s independence.

First-year students at the university’s public health and medicine colleges will receive instruction at the Malakal campus for the first time. Students who have already completed their initial year of studies in these colleges will continue to be enrolled at Bahri University in the neighbouring Republic of Sudan capital of Khartoum.

Upper Nile University is one of five government-run institutions of higher learning in the Republic of South Sudan.