Sudan University of Science and Technology (SUST) was established since 1902 and it includes 25 colleges with about 30,000 bachelor students, more than 30,000 diploma students in various disciplines and more than 10,000 postgraduate students. We are honored to have distinguished colleges (medicine, dentistry and pharmacy) to join our university, pushing forward our pioneering career path.
The College of Medicine was established at the university in 2017-2018, with the condition that the first batch should be accepted after three years, that is, after the college completes all its requirements. However, students were accepted in the same year, which resulted in many problems faced by both the college students and the current university administration all together, and here we review some of them as follows.
First: The Curriculum Problem
There is an important piece of information that must be pointed out. When this college was authorized to be established, the Senate Council, which is the highest academic authority in the university, stipulated that students should not accepted until after completing all requirements of buildings, laboratories and qualified human resources. However, the first batch of students was accepted in the academic year 2017-2018, without public announcement through the Ministry's Admission Office, i.e, through internal admission and before the college buildings are completed. Therefore, admitted students were hosted in the main (western) campus, by the College of Medical Laboratories Sciences and the College of Science, knowing that the western campus mainly suffers from severe overcrowding.
Students were accepted on the basis of a curriculum approved on the six-year system, that is, twelve semesters by the academic institutions of the university and from the Ministry of Higher Education. Ten semesters. Whereas, the program announced in the admission guide by the Ministry of Higher Education is the five-year system, meaning ten semesters instead of twelve semesters.
Hence, the new administration found that the medicine students are receiving a curriculum that is not approved by any known academic scientific committee within the university or by the Ministry of Higher Education. Therefore, it was necessary to legalize this flawed situation in which the current administration has no hand and directly proceeded to seek remedy, and at the same time a committee was formed from the university administration to investigate the abuse that had taken place.
The administration began with institutional reform, by forming a committee of deans of medical colleges in well-known universities and the Medical Council. Indeed, the committee finished its work and submitted its report to the vice chancellor of the university, who in turn transferred the report to the university academic committee and then to the senate, where the five-year program was approved and submitted to the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research for approval.
Second: The Morgue
When the current administration took over in October 2019, they directed all their attention to the medical campus, and began to fill in the deficiencies in the College of Medicine and began to review the existing buildings and their safety. The vice chancellor has employed all his professional experience as an architectural expert by virtue of his specialization.
The administration has found great chaos in this aspect, as they spotted fifteen contractors working in this unfinished building, yet they have debts and dues from the university. The university administration paid these dues and kept one contractor to complete the buildings.
One the other hand, one of the important aspects of the medical campus is the morgue. Therefore, the administration began building and equipping the campus and it was completed in November 2020, then the administration began the task of searching for the specimens, but faced a great obstacle due to the decision of the Attorney General and the Minister of Justice to stop the disposal of unidentified bodies as a precaution for sake of the martyrs of the revolution and the missing individuals, as a result of the massacre against peaceful demonstrators during the sit-in. However, it should be noted that efforts are still underway to obtain approval from the Attorney General and the Minister of Justice to provide the bodies.
The administration sought to find alternative emergency solutions, and therefore got into partnerships with a number of universities, including, but not limited to, the University of Bahri, the National Ribat University (NRU), Ibn Sina University, and Zamzam Medical College. The administrations of all these universities have graciously agreed to host our students for training in their morgue.
Third: Shortage in laboratories
Including the Physiology Lab, where the administration has sought to accomplish the lab in terms of completing its building, in addition to requesting its devices and materials since January 2020, from which segments have been received by a contract documented by the Ministry of Finance and the rest of the devices are on their way to arrive soon.
Nevertheless, the administration sought to find solutions to this matter, by contacting Al-Neelain University, whose administration graciously agreed to accept students for training in its laboratories, which is another temporary treatment until the required devices and lab materials arrive.
Fourth: Shortage of Human Resources
The College of Medicine at Sudan University for Science and Technology is an emerging college, and has a shortage of qualified human cadres, as the college was not yet ready to receive students until three years after its establishment. However, what had happened as was indicated before, is that the college received students ahead of time and thus faced the challenge of lack of human resources.
Immediately, the new administration began to advertise jobs for staff members in various academic majors and degrees, in newspapers and various means of communication. Ten staff members were appointed and a number of academic staff were appointed from other medical colleges in 2020 to form an addition to the previously appointed staff members in the college. Furthermore, a number of new jobs were approved and announced in 2021, for which the interviews were conducted, the results of which will be announced next week for more than twenty academic staff who applied from all medical specialties who hold a doctorate, and a number of professors also applied for recruitment and transfer from Sudanese universities and were accepted directly.
Fifth: Calendar and Schedule of Lectures
Student representatives at the college of medicine demanded the stability of the academic calendar for this year as well as the schedule of lectures, knowing that the academic calendar in all Sudanese universities, including Sudan University of Science and Technology, has been affected by the health conditions in the country in general due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, a solution was found by setting a specific calendar with a schedule of lectures at a specific time and with each course the name of the instructor(s) for all three batches. The calendar and the schedule of lectures were published, but unfortunately the students refrained from entering the lectures until all their demands were fulfilled.
Sixth: University Environment
The administration is always putting effort to improve the university environment, not only for students of the college of Medicine, but for all university students and their various levels. There is a maintenance program implemented on a continuous basis to provide a suitable environment for our students.
The administration has endeavored and is still working with determination to reform the general situation in the College of Medicine. Unfortunately it did not find understanding or cooperation from the representatives of students in the college, who resorted to escalation and media campaigns, instead of dialogue, instead of helping the administration in implementing the proposed immediate solutions and patience for achieving endeavors towards radical solutions.
Despite this, the administration did not deal with reactions and continued its efforts to reach an agreement to resume the study and held a fruitful meeting with parents, and informed them of its vision.
Furthermore, not to forget the generous initiative of the University Board, who organized a committee and visited the college, stood on the general situation in the college, communicated with some students and urged them to continue studying, but the students refused all solutions and continued their sit-in. Finally, regarding all these issues, came the decision of the administration to suspend study for the students of the first, second and third batches indefinitely on Saturday 11/04/2021 after exhausting all the opportunities offered to students, in addition to the fact that they have already left school for more than a month, which necessitates activating the regulations for student behavior. We are fully confident in the ability to overcome obstacles and overcome challenges by completing the requirements with the cooperation of all (administration, students and parents) to resume studies.
Ramadan Mubarak. Wishing you a blessed and happy year!
Public Relations and Media Administration
12 April 2021