Ministry Seeks Excellence with Plan to Classify Public Universities

ADDIS ABABA – In an effort to elevate excellencies, Ministry of Science and Higher Education plans to classify public universities into four categories.

Ministry of Science and Higher Education’s proposal is prepared based on a year-long study by its Higher education strategic center after looking into the experiences of at least 11 countries.

The study was a subject of discussion during the higher educational institutions’ council meeting on Friday involving university presidents, deputy presidents and academicians.

The universities will partially commence operating based on the proposed plan as of the next Ethiopian academic year, said Hirut Weldemariam (Ph.D.), Minister of Science and Higher Education, while speaking at the meeting.

The plan classifies the universities as research (8), applied science (15), compressive/general (21) as well as specialized (3) institutions.

Minister Hirut said it aims t bringing quality into the educational system.

“We have noticed that the existing educational system and the ways the universities operate are not either satisfactory or comprehensive enough to help Ethiopia’s ongoing development,” said the minister.

Higher academicians and researchers will be enrolled in the research specialization universities with well-equipped laboratories and necessary materials, according to the Ministry. Addis Ababa, Arba Minch, Bahir Dar, Gondar, Haramaya, Hawassa, Jimma and Mekelle universities will be research focussed institutions.

The Ministry also said applied education universities will operate in ways that fulfill the labor interest of industrial parks and the manufacturing sector. Arsi, Asossa, Aksum, Dilla, Dire Dawa, Debre Birhan, Debre Markos, Kotebe, Jigjiga, Wolita Sodo, Semera, Ambo, Wellega, Welkite and Wollo universities are categorized under applied institutions.

The majority of universities will be assigned as general/comprehensive universities while Addis Ababa Science and Technology University, Federal technical and vocational schools will be classified as specialized universities.

The Minister noted that despite the ministry is planning to start as of the coming New Year, but it will take certain years to fully implement the new system.

By Sisay Sahlu

Image Caption: Minister Hirut (R), presidents of universities and senior government officials attended the two-day meeting that started on Friday  [Photo MoSHE]