National, News

Egypt exempts South Sudanese Students from university age limit

By Charles K Mark


Egypt has exempted South Sudanese students from the University entry age limit for undergraduates.

National Minister of Foreign Affairs, Amb. James Pitia Morgan told the media on Monday that the exemption followed a resolution between the two countries.

Government of Egypt recently passed an educational policy that only allows students aged 19 to enroll in undergraduate studies on scholarship.

The policy directed all institutions of higher learning in Egypt to implement the policy and to disallow any candidate beyond or under the stipulated age from qualifying for the program.

However, South Sudan, among other African countries has been a beneficiary of many academic scholarships offered by the Arab Republic of Egypt.

Minister Morgan said President Kiir had earlier planned to send the minister of higher education to talk to his Egyptian counterpart about the same.

“But when something has become a policy, it is now above a minister to resolve,” Amb. Morgan said.

He added that that is the reason why President Kiir had to fly to Cairo himself to meet President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and resolve the issue.

The Foreign Minister said the policy would affect South Sudan the most since beneficiaries of the scholarships include government officials and diplomats.

“Since the Egyptian government grants scholarships to South Sudan, this policy would affect our students who intend to join Egyptian universities,” Morgan said.

He lamented that the policy was not only going to be hard for South Sudanese students.

“This is not because it is a policy for South Sudan, but it was a policy that affects everybody going to any institution of high learning in Egypt,” he lamented.

The minister further explained that talks between the two heads of state over the matter were not an argument about contradicting Egyptian policy with the intent to promote South Sudanese who are beyond the legal age.

“No, it was because we have problems in our country where sometimes students are affected and they cannot go to the university when they are 19 years old,” the minister justified.

As most of the learners in South Sudan join universities above the age of 19, Amb. Morgan thinks it was a noble step that the president took to discuss some changes in the provision with his counterpart in Egypt.

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