The Unival was founded 25 years ago and had campuses in Managua, Juigalpa, Jinotega, Matagalpa and Ocotal.
HAVANA TIMES – On December 14, the Nicaraguan government, through its Interior Ministry, announced it was cancelling the operating status of the Unival, a private university that had been registered as non-profit. The resolution was reportedly in response to an administrative resolution of the National Council of Universities (CNU), and the National Council of Evaluation and Accreditation (CNEA).
The Interior Ministry explained that the two abovementioned Councils evaluated the Unival during the period from November 23 through 26, at its central site in Managua as well as the branch campuses in the cities of Juigalpa, Jinotega, Matagalpa, and Ocotal, with the aim of verifying their fulfillment of the curriculum plans for the different careers offered, as well as the number of staff, the enrollment, the graduates and other aspects.
“Twenty-five years after the Unival was created, it still doesn’t have a consistent academic offering or possess the minimum elements of the plans of study demanded by the CNEA and the CNU,” was the explanation given by Interior Minister Maria Amelia Coronel Kinloch.
Other arguments for the closure were that the University was offering 13 undergraduate careers, 27 graduate careers, 15 specialties and 29 international Master’s via online studies, although this modality hadn’t been authorized by the CNU. In addition, the Unival offered international academic studies in several countries, also without CNU authorization.
The Ministry alleged they hadn’t received information regarding the student enrollment, the files of those receiving degrees in each career, or the files of the faculty members who attend each subject area in the virtual studies that the UNIVAL offers outside of Nicaragua.
The Ministry then summarized: “there were omissions and inconsistencies in the information given to the regulating organisms” of the higher education centers in Nicaragua.
“Unival lacks a system that orders and administers the institution’s academic information,” (…) “On repeated occasions, they have refused to provide statistical information to the regulating authorities of the higher education system.”
The Interior Ministry further affirmed that the Unival had failed to comply with the Law for the Recognition of Academic Titles and Grades for Higher Education and Technical Education, by establishing additional fees.
Students to be relocated
As a result, the Ministry stated, the CNU and the CNEA emitted a resolution asking the Ministry to cancel the legal operating status of the Unival. In addition, the resolution alleged the university lacked informational systems to maintain a complete record of the institution’s academic and administrative affairs, so as to guarantee the accuracy of the data, the transaction records and the movements of the key processes of the institution.
The Ministry ordered Unival authorities to submit to the CNU all information on the students, faculty, careers, study plans, and databases of registration and grades, in an expedited and orderly manner.
They also informed that the CNU will proceed to relocate the Unival’s currently students who are in Nicaraguan territory into universities that are accredited in Nicaragua.
Last February, Nicaragua’s National Assembly, completely dominated by the Sandinista Party, created three new centers of higher education using the documents and physical plants they confiscated from six private universities that had also been stripped of their legal operating status. Among the shuttered universities was the Nicaraguan Polytechnical University, which had been a center of anti-government protests between April and June of 2018.