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Old September 6th, 2010, 02:09 PM   #1
Ayatulahi
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SOMALILAND: Higher education booms despite challenges

University World News
Sunday, September 05, 2010

Struggling to rebuild its infrastructure after years of civil war with Somalia, Somaliland saw its first university inaugurated in 1998 and has been steadily building its higher education system ever since. While significant challenges remain, higher education is booming as each year thousands of school-leavers pin their hopes on the country's universities and colleges.

By 1991 the infrastructure of Somaliland, on the eastern horn of Africa along the Red Sea, had been completely destroyed by 10 years of armed struggle with its eastern neighbour Somalia.

When the central government of that country collapsed in the same year, Somaliland broke away and re-established itself as a de facto independent republic (although its independent statehood remains unrecognised by Somalia and the international community).

With Somaliland's education system obliterated by war and anarchy, the country set about rebuilding and restoring.

Primary schools were given first priority, but seven years into this phase of its independence Somaliland's higher education system came back to life with the inauguration in November 1998 of Amoud University - the country's first post-war institution of higher learning.

There followed rapid growth in the number of universities and colleges, driven by increasing student demand for higher education.

Currently there are several colleges and more than 10 universities in Somaliland (each of the country's six governorates has at least one university). In terms of being able to offer higher education, this is a good starting point for a country with a population of 3.5 million people.

The leading universities are Amoud University in the west, Hargeisa University in the capital Hargeisa, and Burao University established in 2004 in Somaliland's second-biggest city.

These three universities' student population now exceeds 9,000, with high attendance by female students. The first medical doctors to be trained on Somaliland soil graduated in August 2007 from Amoud University.

Many of the universities are affiliated with foreign universities and examination bodies. For example, medical students at Amoud University sit for exams from England, while some of the universities receive visiting professors from foreign universities.

Admas University College (established in 1998 in Ethiopia and in 2006 in Somaliland) is regarded as the most notable of the foreign universities with a campus in Somaliland. The Ethiopian ministry of education recently accredited the institution's certificate, diploma and degree programmes.

Somaliland's universities offer vocational programmes, distance education and undergraduate degrees in diverse disciplines, but no postgraduate studies. This lack is probably due to the limited resources, including funds, of Somaliland's higher education system.

Most of the universities have been built with support from the people of Somaliland - whether within the country or in the diaspora - without significant foreign aid.

With a new government in power since July this year after free and fair elections, the country is more committed than ever to identifying funding solutions.

For, despite the growth and improvements in the higher education system, there remain myriad challenges, including limited resources, insufficient teacher and lecturer training, and low funding levels.

Among the biggest problems remains the country's lack of international recognition, which serves as a barrier to investment in higher education.

Generally, Somaliland's universities offer students a range of qualifications, and have the basic requirements in place for teaching and learning, although capacity and quality are sometimes low. For example, while universities offer students free internet and library access, libraries are for the most part short of books, reference and other educational material.

Over the past few years a number of organisations, including the African Education Trust and the European Union, have donated books and educational material to some universities, although such donations have usually fallen short in terms of the need.

Universities in Somaliland grant neither loans nor scholarships to students, and given widespread unemployment students are not able to get part-time jobs. Nonetheless, they manage to obtain the necessary fees.

Students are also not provided with residence facilities, although some universities are planning to move to the city outskirts and provide student housing.

Community engagement is emphasised, and students are expected to participate in offering HIV-Aids awareness, health care and conflict resolution programmes to communities.

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Old September 6th, 2010, 02:49 PM   #2
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Great news! Education is the only way out of poverty (and all other negative stuff that comes with it).

Quote:
Admas University College (established in 1998 in Ethiopia and in 2006 in Somaliland) is regarded as the most notable of the foreign universities with a campus in Somaliland. The Ethiopian ministry of education recently accredited the institution's certificate, diploma and degree programmes.
I didn't know that, nice to see co-operation between the countries.
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Old September 6th, 2010, 02:57 PM   #3
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double post.
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Old September 6th, 2010, 08:05 PM   #4
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Anytime Ethiopia is mention your head pops-up.
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Old September 6th, 2010, 08:11 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ja'far View Post

Anytime Ethiopia is mention your head pops-up.
isn't he ethiopian?
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Old September 6th, 2010, 08:15 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ja'far View Post

Anytime Ethiopia is mention your head pops-up.
Umm, I am relatively active in The Oasis. You on the other hand pop-up out of nowhere when a Somalia-related topic is mentioned.

So what do you think about higher education in Somaliland?
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Old September 6th, 2010, 08:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaka-M-14 View Post
isn't he ethiopian?
Yeah I am.
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Old September 6th, 2010, 08:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoniii View Post
Umm, I am relatively active in The Oasis. You on the other hand pop-up out of nowhere when a Somalia-related topic is mentioned.

So what do you think about higher education in Somaliland?
I think higher education is great idea, but when you include the situation it has limits. One great example is lack of funding, because the state budget is too small to cover all the needs of the general public.
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Old September 6th, 2010, 08:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaka-M-14 View Post
isn't he ethiopian?
And who are you?
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Old September 6th, 2010, 11:11 PM   #10
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There is also Somaliland University of Technology (SUTECH), which has partnerships with the University of Khartoum and Afhad University for Women both in Sudan.
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Old September 6th, 2010, 11:40 PM   #11
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And what city is it located? I hope they build it in Burco, because Hargeysa is looking fine as it is. Burco needs more development as far as I can see.
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Old September 6th, 2010, 11:43 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Xusein View Post
There is also Somaliland University of Technology (SUTECH), which has partnerships with the University of Khartoum and Afhad University for Women both in Sudan.
Is Somaliland recognized as a sovereign country by Sudan ?
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Old September 6th, 2010, 11:55 PM   #13
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No it does not, no countries (including Ethiopia) don't formally recognize Somaliland.

But I guess that does not matter when it comes to cultivating educational cooperation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ja'far View Post

And what city is it located? I hope they build it in Burco, because Hargeysa is looking fine as it is. Burco needs more development as far as I can see.
It's in Hargeysa.
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Old September 7th, 2010, 12:21 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xusein View Post
But I guess that does not matter when it comes to cultivating educational cooperation.
The article mentions the struggle for Somaliland to get foreign educational aid/investment, which is (for someone reason) harder since they're not recognized independent state. Why is that? Does it have to go via Mogadishu? I know that the official central government is clearly against Somaliland independence.

I think it's remarkable for Somaliland to offer this variety of higher education with very little help from the outside. The article also mentions the free access to Internet at the schools, impressive.
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Old September 7th, 2010, 12:26 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoniii View Post
The article mentions the struggle for Somaliland to get foreign educational aid/investment, which is (for someone reason) harder since they're not recognized independent state. Why is that? Does it have to go via Mogadishu? I know that the official central government is clearly against Somaliland independence.
I don't know. However since all of the universities are privately owned, that obstacle can be circumvented relatively easy. Most of the investment comes from Somalis abroad, a few went back with their foreign education to help these fledgling schools develop.
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Old September 7th, 2010, 10:47 AM   #16
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Nice work Somaliland! Education is the way forward!

Ayatullahi are you from Somaliland?
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Old September 7th, 2010, 01:17 PM   #17
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Somaliland and Somalia as a whole right now donít really need Universities; apart from engineering, business and medicine/health field courses. Peaceful regions in Somalia such as Puntland and Somaliland are plagued by relative high unemployment especially among the youth. They should look to create a manufacturing/exporting base first before having highly skilled people. Most people who finish these course end up being unemployed.

But then again, since Somaliland is unrecognized and Puntland being autonomous; itís impossible for them to exploit their own natural resources for the benefits of the people.
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