The South Sudan National Higher Education Policy Framework 2021-2025 validated by stakeholders

Hon. Gabriel Changson Chang, Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology Strategy  addressing participants at the Higher Education policy validation meeting © UNESCO/Viola Muhangi

The Ministry of Higher Education, Sciences and Technology (MoHEST) validated the Higher Education Policy Framework 2021-2025 in Juba. The validation meeting was attended by government officials, higher education institutions and development partners.

The vision of the Higher Education Policy Framework 2021-2025 is to provide accessible quality, relevant, inclusive education, training, and research for prosperous, productive, and innovative nation. This will ensure that higher education institutions meet the knowledge, competencies, skills, quality, innovation, and creativity required to nurture South Sudanese values, promote peaceful coexistence among ethnicities and enable sustainable development.

Hon. Gabriel Changson Chang, the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology, said that the policy is one of the significant aspects that aim to transform the higher education sector in South Sudan. He emphasized that there is no country has succeeded to achieve meaningful development for its people without building their capacities via accessible quality higher education. South Sudan will fail to achieve much in the development field if it does not develop its human resources through education. Ministry of Higher Education, Sciences & Technology (MoHEST) will strive to do all it can to support all efforts to ensure that the governance structure, National Council of Higher Education is functional and strengthened to approve and implemented the policy.  He pledged to expand partnership for higher education delivery and will focus on improving ICTs in Higher Education.

The UNESCO Country Representative and Head of Office, Mr. Julius Banda, addressed the meeting and accentuated that higher education is one of the key drivers of economic growth, prosperity, and competitiveness in national and global development. Universities and other institutions not only deliver tertiary education and ongoing skills training, but also provide a bustling research environment that produces innovations with valuable commercial applications.  He further urged the government to undertake quality improvements in higher education institutions through ICTs. Apparently, the role of ICTs in education is becoming more and more critical.

UNESCO provided technical and financial support for the review of the Higher Education Policy framework and will continue to support MOHEST and national efforts to enhance quality assured higher education provision in favor of equity and access for all learners. This is in line with Target 4.3 of SDG 4 which aims, by 2030, “to ensure equal access for all women and men to affordable quality technical, vocational and tertiary education, including university”.