Summary: Enrollment in the University of Sana'a grew gradually from fewer than 100 students in 1970, shortly after it opened, to about 4,500 in 1979. Government policy at first tried to balance the university enrollment with the capacity of the marketplace to absorb university graduates. University enrollment began to increase at an outstanding rate after 1985, following the heavy expansion of secondary education in the country in the late 1970s. From 1987 to 1991, total enrollment expanded from about 17,000 to 44,000 students. If the present rate of intake continues, total enrollment is projected to reach 79,000 students by the year 2000. This explosive growth has created numerous problems, including overcrowded classrooms, insufficient staff resources, deteriorating physical plant and equipment, inadequate educational materials and equipment, and a low level of absorption of graduates into the labor force. These developments threaten the quality of degree programs in several disciplines. The government should act immediately to develop a strategy to protect its investment in higher education. The policy should consider the country's medium and long-term needs, the constraints on its resources, and the growing social aspirations of its people. The goal of this assessment should be to design a strategy that will make higher education a more effective investment to serve the needs of the country and to protect its resources.
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