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Ebola Scare: American College Rejects Students From West Africa

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An institution in Texas, Navarro College, has rejected admission applications from students in West African countries affected by the Ebola Virus Disease, EVD.

The decision, which came on the heels of global move towards eradication of discrimination against people affected by the virus, has already affected two Nigerians.

A Nigerian who resides in Texas, Kamorudeen Abidogun, said he got two rejection letters from Navarro, a two-year community college with a campus about 93 kilometres from Dallas.

Abidogun said he has family members in Nigeria who applied to the school and used his house in Richmond, Texas, as a US mailing address.

The college was said to have refused granting admission to applicants from the affected countries due to confirmed Ebola cases in the US.

The letters sent to applicants reads: “With sincere regret, I must report that Navarro College is not able to offer you acceptance for the spring 2015 term. Unfortunately, Navarro College is not accepting international students from countries with confirmed Ebola cases.”

The institution, however, dismissed the claim, stating it only changed its ongoing foreign student admission catchment in favour of China and Indonesia.

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The college talks about the disease on the section of its website dedicated to admission information for international students, but it does not state any policy regarding its role in the admission procedure.

Another Nigerian who lives in East Texas, Idris Bello, tweeted a photo of the letter to bring the attention of the world to the situation, which he described as embarrassing.

After frequent requests for comments on the situation, Navarro’s Vice President for Access and Accountability, Dewayne Gragg, sent an email, which read “Our college values its diverse population of international students. 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 honours programme, the college restructured the international department to include focused recruitment from certain countries each year. Our focus for 2014-15 is on China and Indonesia.

It further read “Other countries will be identified and recruitment efforts put in place once we launch our new honours program fall 2015. We apologise 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.”

There have been no new reported cases of Ebola in Nigeria since Sept. 8 and the country is to be certified free from Ebola in a few days.

Out of 20 people infected with the virus as a result of contact with the Liberia-American, Patrick Sawyer, who brought the disease into the country, eight died.

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