The Status of Somali Higher Education: A Pressure to Expand with Limited Resource
Mustafa A. Feiruz
Director of the Institute for Somali Studies - ISOS
[affiliated with Mogadishu University]
In a brief review on the historical background of the Somali higher education, Mr. Mustafa stated that before the collapse of the Somali state in 1991, Somali has only one university with about 4600 students. The first university was established in 1993 which was Indian Ocean University located in Mogadishu and Galka’yo. In the era of higher education revolution started in 1977 with the establishment of Mogadishu University in Mogadishu followed by University of Amoud in Borama in 1988; Simad University in Mogadishu and East Africa University in Bosaso in 1999. Now the number of universities in Somali exceeds more than 110 universities.
Mr. Mustafa stated staggering statistics in the number of students in the universities which is about 106,000 students from the potential university age population of more than a million. This shows that despite the number of universities their capacity to handle large number of students is almost non-existence.
In his speech, Mr. Mustafa stated that most universities depend of student tuitions as their source of funding along limited funding from private individuals and short-termed funds as projects. The only universities funded by the government is the Somali National University. With lack of necessary resources and absence of national policy on higher education, the universities contributed in peace-building and social cohesion.
Mr. Mustafa recommended that developing university capacities in terms of material and diversification on their academic programs. Also, building effective partnerships between official authorities and university departments, develop educational policies and regulations for higher education, support university budgets and grant scholarships to students, strengthening the partnership between Somali universities and Turkish universities and enhancing cooperation in higher education and research.