MASERU – Students at Limkokwing University went on strike on Monday to protest against the recruitment of ‘under-qualified’ lecturers by the institution.
The students said they were not happy that some lecturers at the university only held first degrees raising fears that they were not qualified enough to hold their teaching posts.
The students said they expected university lecturers to hold post-graduate qualifications as is normal practice at most universities.
The students said lecturers who hold first degrees only should teach at high schools and not at a university.
The students said most universities around the world require lecturers and teaching assistants to have post-graduate qualifications.
“They (under-qualified lecturers) should have no place at this university and we want them out now.
“There are many teaching vacancies in high schools and they should apply and get jobs there,” said one of the students who refused to be named.
Limkokwing University was officially opened last October.
The university, which is privately run, has over 1 200 students studying at its campus in Maseru.
The students also complained over the constant cutting off of water and electricity supplies at their Malunga residence in the southern part of Maseru.
“Sometimes when we wake up in the morning we find that there is no electricity and we have to use cold water to bath.
“We often have to wear our clothes without ironing them because of these constant electricity cuts,” said one student who identified himself as Ts’eli.
Some students also complained that the university had changed their course content without notifying them.
For instance, students who had been enrolled for the fashion design programme said they were surprised when they were told that they would now study professional designing.
They said the new course had no market in Lesotho.
“I do not know what I am going to do with the professional designing skills once I graduate from this university.
“With fashion design I can start work even before I complete my studies because there is a wide market for it in Lesotho and throughout the region,” said a female student who refused to give out her name.
The students said most of the problems at the university were due to the fact that there was no student representative council (SRC) to champion their concerns.
They accused management of working hard to “ensure there was no SRC” at the campus.
The communications and marketing manager at Limkokwing University, Marcia Maangadi, said no strike had taken place at the university.
She however admitted that there had been “a little misunderstanding” between the university authorities and students which had been resolved on the same day.
“I cannot say there was a strike or an attempted strike,” Maangadi said. “There was only a little misunderstanding between the students and the management.”
Limkokwing is Lesotho’s second university after the National University of Lesotho (NUL).