Two new universities in 2016 to increase student capacity

Construction is about to start on two new universities in Senegal, each with capacity for 30,000 students, President Macky Sall has announced. One will be the second public university in the capital Dakar, and the other is the University of Sine-Saloum at Kaolack.

Meanwhile Iface, a higher education institute specialising in administration and business creation, is marking its 20th anniversary.

Sall said during his New Year speech that work would begin in Dakar on ‘Unidak 2’ on 19 January, and in Kaolack in February, reported Sud Quotidien of Dakar.

“The completion of these two projects will help relieve congestion at the University of Dakar by increasing capacity in our university system,” he said.

Mary Teuw Niane, minister for higher education and research, said the World Bank was contributing FCFA34 billion [US$61 million] to Senegal’s overall programme of higher education governance and funding, reported Agence de Presse Sénégalaise, or APS.

Niane earlier said the second Dakar institution would aim to be a university of excellence that “in a decade would hope to be in the Shanghai ranking [the Academic Ranking of World Universities]. In this ranking they are mainly only South African universities. Senegal wants to be in the ranking, and the Dakar university has this ambition”, the agency reported.

Unidak 2

Professor Oumar Guèye, director and coordinator of Unidak 2, said the new university would fulfil the educational needs of high growth sectors so students could become real catalysts for development, according to APS.

The university would specialise in science and technology, with the aim of being a world-ranking university of excellence, conforming to the best international standards, said Guèye.

“We want students who attend the second university of Dakar to find an environment to build their future and ensure they leave with a project,” said Guèye. “They will either fit easily into the job market or develop their own company.”

At first it would cater for 6,000 students, rising to 30,000 at full capacity, he said. The university is due to open in October 2016.

“We will have a very important impact on provision of university education and will be able to ease the congestion at University Cheikh Anta Diop [UCAD, the existing Dakar university]. Our aim is to offer courses so Senegalese will no longer need to send their children to France or Canada to follow their studies,” said Guèye.

It would include departments of town planning, architecture and regional planning, and of advanced science and technology, as well as a school of aeronautics.

Guèye also disclosed that the new university would break with usual practice by requiring potential teaching and non-teaching staff to apply and compete for posts, and accept monitoring and evaluation, reported APS.

“We shall carry out oral examinations to choose the best who will sign individual contracts demonstrating they agree to regular assessment. We want university staff to devote all their time to their students and to research. If they want outside activities, they must do these as part of an agreement,” said Guèye.

In his New Year address Sall also confirmed work would begin in February on construction of the University of Sine-Saloum in Kaolack, with campuses at Diourbel, Kaffrine, Toubacouta and Fatick, reported Sud Quotidien.

The FCFA65 billion (US$117 million) institution will specialise in agrosciences, and is also due to open in October 2016.


Meanwhile, Iface, the Institut de Formation en Administration et en Création d’Entreprise, has celebrated its 20th anniversary.

The institute, specialising in business administration and creation, was established as part of a higher education reform by UCAD’s economics and management faculty, to offer a new approach to university education through professionally oriented courses, reported Le Soleil.

From four programmes when it started, Iface now offers 15. The number of students has risen from 800 to nearly 1,400, and the budget has grown from FCFA250 million (US$450,000) five years ago to FCFA550 million (US$990,000) now.

During the celebrations marking the anniversary the director of Iface, Professor Elhadji Faye, stressed that there was still progress for the institute to make, said Le Soleil.

“Twenty years in the life of an institution necessarily covers many good times but also moments of turbulence, successes and failures. Many advances have been recorded in the evolution of Iface; however it must be noted much remains to be done, structurally and institutionally” to face challenges that are increasingly competitive and difficult.

Professor Ibrahima Thioub, rector of UCAD, noted that Iface had trained thousands of qualified professionals in the past two decades.

* This article is drawn from local media. University World News cannot vouch for the accuracy of the original reports.