Education Minister Berhanu Nega (Prof) speaking at a press briefing on on Friday jan 27, 2023

Public Universities Restricted from Opening New Programs

ADDIS ABABA – The Ministry of Education has imposed a temporary restriction on public universities from launching undergraduate and postgraduate programs in the new Ethiopian academic year.

Education Minister Birhanu Nega (Prof) on Tuesday communicated the decision to universities in a letter he wrote to their board chairs and administrators.

The move comes only a few weeks ahead of the beginning of the new 2023/24 Ethiopian academic year.

The Ethiopian higher education sector comprises 51 public universities and the level of their current education quality is under constant strict scrutiny. 

Per the Ministry, a new direction for opening a new university program will be introduced as part of ongoing efforts to address quality problems in the sector.

It will be carried out within a specified mission and area of focus of an institution, the Ministry said in a statement on Friday.

The Universities have been tasked to revisit their current programs based on their human and material capacity, experience and expertise, and economic corridor.

In his letter, Birhanu says the new year plan would be to evaluate and assess all undergraduate and postgraduate students in detail. It will be followed by an endeavor to ensure their comparability with the categories the universities fall into.

Hence, he says, it has become necessary to suspend opening new programs until the existing ones’ compatibility with the universities’ mission and area of focus is confirmed.

The minister has told universities that are preparing new programs to put their plan on hold. Institutions that received the Ministry’s approval for a new program are also directed not to enroll students under the scheme.

Board chairs and administrators are urged to ensure the strict implementation of the direction in their respective universities.