Higher Education in Senegal
In the country of Senegal, the constitution requires and guarantees that every child receive education. Though this is enforced at the lower levels of education, it is not dominant in higher education. Nevertheless, students have the opportunity to obtain higher education here if they would like to do so. It is common for locals to enter into apprenticeships rather than going to university or college facilities.
There are several college-level schools in Senegal. These include the following:
- Cheikh Anta Diop University, which was formally called Dakar University, is located in the capital city of Dakar. This is a public university.
- Alioune Dip University is located in the city of Thies. This is a public university.
- Ziguinchor University is located in the city of Ziguinchor. This is a public university.
- Gaston Berger University, located in the city of Saint-Louis, is a public school.
- Suffolk University Dakar Campus, located in Dakar is a private university.
- University du Sahel, also in Dakar, is a private school.
- Dakar Bourguiba University, also in the capital city, is a private university.
Without a formal educational curriculum present, the schools themselves set the terms for the school year. Students do need to apply, which is often done through formal interviews and interactions with staff. Students must meet specific academic qualifications, which are set by the school itself.
The educational system is much like western countries, with students entering in to earn their baccalaureate degree. Students can continue education towards licensor through a master and doctoral degree if they decide to do so.
International students are welcome to attend, though this is not something done frequently. The schools here are competitive, but they do not match the caliber found in most of Europe, Asia, or North America. Nevertheless, those who do choose to obtain their education in Senegal will find opportunities.
Those opportnities are one of the main reasons to obtain an education here. Since many students enter the workforce to pursue professional degrees by the middle of their teenage years, there is an educational gap present for those who have a higher education degree. For this reason, those students who arrive from international schools to study here will find plenty of economic opportunities available to them. Career fields that are in demand and growing here include tele-services, healthcare, farming, fishing, and tourism.
Courses of Study
The following are some of the most commonly sought after degree programs found here. Note that nearly all higher education in Senegal is taught in French.
- Law and political sciences
- Arts and Humanities
- Science and Technology
- Economics and Management
Career programs last between two and four years, with advanced career paths adding an additional 18-months to two years on to the degree program. However, many students work towards completion faster and some schools offer faster tracks for students as well.
Students attend university from October through July each year. The cost of education ranges widely, though it is significantly less than what would be considered normal in European or North American schools of higher education. Students pay tuition, room and board, as well as for all meals and materials. Many students run businesses out of their dorm rooms or work while going to school to pay for admission. Loans are not common for educational purposes.
Students who plan to visit and stay for just 90 days or less are not required to have a visa. To get a student visa, students will need to obtain a passport from their country of origin and will need to complete the visa application form found at Senegal.travisa.com. Requirements differ from one country to the other, though, so students need to plan in advance to meet any demands. Students must be accepted into a university in order to obtain a visa.
Students planning to study here should contact the universities as soon as possible to gain admission. It is not common for people from western countries to travel here for educational needs. Additionally, the embassy of your current country is an ideal resource for finding local transportation, living arrangements, and work for your stay. The schools can offer some aid in this way as well.
Located in Western Africa, between the countries of Mauritania and Guinea-Bissau, along the North Atlantic Ocean, Senegal compromises about 197,000 square kilometers. The country is known for its hot and humid temperatures, especially in the rainy season, which spans from May through November. During the dry season, the temperatures remain hot and dry, making for a very intense level of climate level. Nevertheless, this is a beautiful country, with the Senegal River flowing from east to north.
With a hot, tropical climate, Senegal has two main seasons. The rainy season and the dry season, as mentioned. During the rainy season, strong southeast winds sweep in.
Most people living here speak French or a dialect of it. The population of more than 13.3 million people is dominated by those who are under the age of 14 (42 percent). The country is not wealthy. Many people here grow their own food, work to sell food or other goods to earn money, and live meagerly. Even in Dakar, where you will find a more upscale level of living, it is common for people to live low-cost lifestyles.
Cost of Living
The cost of living in Senegal is low overall. You'll find that living as the natives do costs very little. However, many students spend significantly more to live in higher end apartments or eat out much more often. Taxi service can also raise the cost. Food, in its fresh form, is very affordable.
Health insurance is not readily available in the country to students. Students coming from overseas are often encouraged to purchase ample travel-related health insurance to cover their stay. This should also include medical evacuation insurance, if possible. Though the hospitals in the country are improving, the quality of care is not as high as most western countries.