• Wednesday, May 22, 2024
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BusinessDay

Navarro College in U.S rejects Nigerian applicants over Ebola

_Ebola_letter_Navarro_collA college in Texas has sent out letters to applicants from Nigeria telling them they will not be admitted to the school because of Ebola, United Kingdom’s Dailymail reports.

Kamorudeen Abidogun, a mechanical engineeer originally from Nigeria, said he received two rejection letters from Navarro College, near Dallas, saying that the school is not accepting international students from countries with confirmed Ebola cases.

Abidogun has five relatives in Nigeria who were applying to the school using his home mailing address.

A letter Mr Abidogun provided to CNBC, and that has been posted on Twitter, carries the signature of Navarro College’s international programs director, Elizabeth Pillans.

After stating that the two-year community college is unable to offer the recipient acceptance for the Spring 2015 term, it quite clearly reads: “Navarro College is not accepting international students from countries with confirmed Ebola cases.”

“I received, last weekend, two rejection letters…saying the reason why they were not giving admission was…Ebola,’ Mr Abidogun told the news channel. He said he was ‘disappointed’ in the school’s stated policy.Ebola_letter_Navarro_coll

Navarro’s vice president for Access and Accountability, Dewayne Gragg, sent an email to CNBC after repeated requests from the station for comments on the situation.

“Our college values its diverse population of international students,’ it read. ‘This fall we have almost 100 students from Africa. Unfortunately, some students received incorrect information regarding their applications to the institution.’

“As part of our new honor’s program, the college restructured the international department to include focused recruitment from certain countries each year,’ the email continued.

“Our focus for 2014-15 is on China and Indonesia. Other countries will be identified and recruitment efforts put in place once we launch our new honors program fall 2015.

“We apologize for any misinformation that may have been shared with students. Additional information regarding our progress with this new initiative will be posted on our website.’

When CNBC asked for further clarification and whether there is or had been a policy to reject students based on the presence of Ebola in their countries, Mr Gragg said in an email: ‘The prior email speaks for the college.’

Ebola has killed more than  4000 people since its outbreak in four West Africa countries, including Nigeria. However, the African largest economy has only registered 20 total cases of Ebola since the index patient in July, a response so strikingly effective that the CDC dispatched a team to the country to study their methods.

Already through the first 21-day incubation period following the initial cases, the country is now just five days away from being officially declared by the World Health Organization as Ebola-free.

Much of the response is believed to center around what WHO has declared “world-class epidemiological detective work,” which traced all 20 cases back to one passenger at the Lagos airport—ironically, an American.

Unlike its three most affected neighboring countries, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea, Nigerian citizens are under no threat of becoming infected with the disease within their borders, or at least no more than the threat we face in our country—and definitely not as much risk as an institution merely minutes away from its own outbreak.

Dailymail