Frustration among students is growing as the war between the Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Forces continues, amid fears of the loss of academic records and library holdings and laboratories of a number of universities that have been subjected to widespread burning and vandalism.
About one million students study at 155 universities and specialized colleges, most of which are located in the capital's three cities – Khartoum, Omdurman and Khartoum North – where widespread clashes have disrupted all aspects of life.
Although some universities have confirmed the integrity of their students' documents and records, more than 60 percent of government and private universities, institutes and higher specialized colleges were vandalized during the war.
When war broke out in mid-April, thousands of students were preparing to submit their graduation projects after being disrupted for more than a year due to the circumstances that accompanied the outbreak of the revolution that toppled the regime of Omar al-Bashir in April 2019.
Mohammed al-Sir, who is studying in his final year at the Faculty of Science at the University of Neelain, said the war has increased the tragedy of university students, who have suffered in recent years from frequent closures.
"We were on the verge of reaping the fatigue of many years, but the war destroyed our hopes and we no longer know when classes will resume or what happened to the records and facilities of universities, such as libraries and others," Hassan told Sky News Arabia.
While the majority of students in Sudan remained, some of them doing marginal work to help their families in light of the difficult economic conditions caused by the war, others preferred to sacrifice the years they spent in their universities and migrate to other countries such as Egypt, Uganda and Kenya to start their first-level university studies, although some were at advanced levels, in light of the difficulty of transfer, as large universities in the country lost their advanced academic rankings due to the great destruction of higher education institutions during the past three decades.
Thousands of students also face a major problem in obtaining any documents proving their enrollment in the universities where they were studying.
Ashraf Ali, who fled fighting with his family to Kenya, said he, like hundreds of others forced to flee the war, had no choice but to attend universities abroad and sacrifice three or four years of study at their home universities.
Ali told Sky News Arabia that it seems difficult for a student who has completed the third or second level, but the wait may be long in the absence of indications to stop the war in the near future and in light of the uncertainty surrounding the conditions of the universities themselves.
Many Sudanese students see their future at stake due to the prolonged closures, amid reports of the loss of hundreds of thousands of academic files and documents in a large number of universities that have been subjected to widespread looting, burning and destruction.
Specialists believe that repairing the massive destruction of universities will take many years after the end of the war, especially since most universities were already suffering from scarce resources and poor funding, which makes it difficult to compensate for the damage caused to libraries, laboratories and basic facilities, which require high costs.
Universities are also expected to face a major crisis in the recovery of faculty and other support staff, most of whom have been forced to migrate and work at universities and research institutions abroad.