19.03.2012 - UNESCO Office in Dakar

Improving the quality of higher education in Senegal

The University Cheikh Anta Diop in Dakar, Senegal.

The Ministry of Higher Education in Senegal and UNESCO's Regional Office in Dakar are launching a project to improve the quality of higher education in Senegal.

The project is financed by UNESCO and the aim is to technically support the Senegalese Minister of Higher Education to establish quality assurance mechanisms for higher education.

The project will be launched during a workshop on 21-23 March 2012 in Dakar, organized by UNESCO’s Regional Office for Education in Africa.

Major challenges in Senegal

Project activities will include the establishment of a directory of training opportunities, preparation of a guide for foreign students, research on existing mechanisms in Quality Assurance as well as assessment of the employment needs of the private sector. "Despite some improvements since 2000, the higher education system in Senegal struggles to cope with several challenges,” says Hassana Alidou, chief of the Basic to Higher Education Section a UNESCO Dakar.

Hassana Alidou highlights the following challenges in the Senegalese higher education system:

  1. The abundance of students at the University of Dakar (UCAD)
  2. The proliferation of private institutions in higher education
  3. The quality of results due to faulty system (low performance and the inadequacy of training in relation to national needs)
  4. The inequality of access between men and women
  5. Fraud to obtain university degrees

Building capacities

The workshop will also provide an opportunity to build capacities among stakeholders in higher education in Senegal, including within the Directorate General of Higher Education (DGES), Universities, Institutions of Public Higher Education (EPES) and the National Authority of quality assurance (ANAQ).

Participants will discuss and learn through exchanges with experts working with quality assurance frameworks in higher education in other African countries and in other parts of the world.

UNESCO and DAAD co-sponsor

Senegal is not the only country stuggling to assure the quality of higher education programmes. Virtually all African country are facing the same challenges.

UNESCO Dakar is therefore bringing together a broad range of partners to enhance the quality of African higher education institutions.

A meeting will take place on 19-20 March 2012 in Dakar. It is co-organized with DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst, German Academic Exchange Office). The following partners are participating: AfDB, ADEA, CAMES, CIEP Sevres-France, World Bank, USAID and the Ministry of Higher Education Senegal.

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