FREE UNIVERSITY OF NIGERIA
The Free University of Nigeria (FUN) is under federal investigation by the Nigerian government after allegations that the ‘university’ is operating illegally as a scam. FUN is touted as Africa’s first non-profit, tuition-free, cloud-based higher education institution where students could earn a four-year degree for free online. The now defunct website for FUN stated that accreditation from Nigeria’s National Universities Commission was underway, but the commission posted a bulletin on Nov. 3 stating there are currently 57 illegal degree-awarding higher education institutions operating in Nigeria, and that eight of them are undergoing either federal investigation or court action, including FUN.
A college student identified as “Mohamed T.” was arrested last week for allegedly possessing a copy of George Orwell’s book “Nineteen Eighty-Four.” Egyptian police have denied the alleged reason for the student’s arrest, and instead have attributed the arrest to illegally filming security forces near the Cairo campus, although they did acknowledge that the student was carrying a copy of the book. The LA times reported that other sources claim “Mohamed T.” was also “in possession of literature supporting the Islamic State,” a terrorist group commonly referred to as ISIL or ISIS. Egyptian President Sisi’s government has faced criticism for what many claim are “human rights violations,” as protestors of his government are unduly arrested and sentenced to prison.
UNIVERSITY OF CAPE TOWN
Rondebosch, Cape Town, South Africa
UCT is being met with backlash from South Africa’s non-profit Higher Education Transformation Network after approving in principle a new admissions model that will no longer just take race into consideration when assessing an applicant’s “historic disadvantage.” The new model will also look at the applicant’s home language, the education level of his or her parents and grandparents, the applicant’s secondary school, and the socio-economic status of the student’s family. The network has threatened to take legal action if UCT puts the new model into practice, stating that the new model further marginalizes blacks and women in a country where racism and sexism are still great contributors to inequality.
WEST VIRGINIA UNIVERSITY
Morgantown, WV, USA
Greek life at West Virginia University (WVU) has been suspended as West Virginia authorities investigate the death of college freshman, Nolan Michael Burch, who was found unconscious last week at the Kappa Sigma fraternity house near campus. Burch was transported to a hospital where he died on Friday, with no cause given for his death. Burch’s death comes just as fraternities and sororities across the nation are facing scrutiny for hazing, substance abuse, racism and sexual assault allegations. The Kappa Sigma chapter at WVU had their charter revoked in mid-October for violations of the North American fraternity’s code of conduct.