The primary mission of Hargeisa University is to provide appropriate training at all levels to meet the nation's immediate and long-term skill needs for reconstruction and development. With this vision in view, the University was officially inaugurated in February 2000. The business plan for the development of the university during the period between 2000 and 2015 envisages the opening of the faculties listed below:
- Faculty of Business Administration
- Faculty of science
- Faculty of law
- Faculty of languages
- Faculty of Islamic Studies
- Faculty of continuing Education
- Faculty of Medicine
- Faculty of Education
- Faculty of Engineering
- Center of Gender and Policy Studies
- Center for Rural and environmental Studies
- Center for Somali Studies and Culture
Since inception in the year 2000, six of the planned faculties were made operational, and are at different levels of development. It is universally recognized that education offers the best means for individual advancement and as the key to national development. Before the start of the civil war in 1988 in Somalia, education was available only to a small urban minority. Since the war, even this limited opportunity almost vanished as the whole educational system collapsed. Schools were destroyed, books, equipment and furniture were looted, and the only university in the country was left in ruins.
There is a colossal demand for higher education outlets. 63% of high school graduates for the academic year 2002-2003 did not find a place in the existing university systems or in any other tertiary level education. In addition to the number of students waiting for places in the university – a spill over from earlier Secondary school graduations, there is the projected increase of high school graduates in the coming years to contend with. There exists, however, a number of constraining factors that do not enhance the development process of the University, which include; among others:
That the University was formed on community initiative and that there were no sufficient funds to achieve the stated objectives. This is further illustrated by the fact that only 50% of the university premises have been rehabilitated.
The university lacks the basic and essential inputs like text-books, library building and books, laboratory buildings and laboratory equipment and chemical materials,
The required qualified lecturers are not available locally, and the university could ill-afford recruiting lecturers from abroad. Essential equipment is in short supply and is, also, not available locally. An array of small but essential things, that without them the quality of education is jeopardized, need be covered. Lack of sufficient computers, and the lack of or dearth of software is a stifling problem. Despite these challenges, the University attained appreciable achievement; first of which is that it is operating in the right direction to achieve its mission. Same as other universities in the contemporary world.
The University stakeholders are to be commended for keeping the university afloat. These include the UN and the INGO's agencies operating in Somali land– especially the United Nations development Program sub office in Hargeisa, the Somaliland Forum - a network of Somaliland intellectuals in the Diaspora, local and business communities of Hargeisa, and individuals who selflessly contributed to the university in more ways than one. It remains without saying, however, that the University of Hargeisa needs a considerable assistance to keep up with the long-term educational services it has put into motion.
Organizational objectives The two primary objectives the University has set itself to meet in the Charter areas set forth below :
To advance learning and knowledge by teaching, training and assessing and research; to contribute significantly to the development of the country. Pursuant to above, the University identified the following indicators for it self to fulfill objectives charted:
- Provide tertiary education to Secondary school graduates
- Design appropriate training packages to adults and adolescents whose education was curtailed by wars and civil strife
- Access training's and skills to civil servants who need to upgrade & enhance their skills and professions in the workplace
- Provide boarding/dormitory facilities to students from the regions and those from refugee returnee families
- Build technical and professional capacity of civil society organizations, judiciary personnel, Parliament Members, etc .
Organizational Activities (as outlined in UoH Business Plan). Re-train existing professionals such as teachers, doctors and civil servants by providing customized refreshment courses enable secondary school graduates and those whose education was interrupted receive technical and professional education in key disciplines so as to prepare the next generation of skilled professionals.
Provide flexible and lifelong learning opportunities to the community. Extend boarding facilities (dorms) to out-of-town students in order to provide equal opportunity for higher learning to returnee students, as well as those from the regions. Undertake applied research linked to production, commerce, community and government sectors. Create a modern information bank and IT center. Form close bilateral relations with sister universities in the region, particularly those in the neighboring Federal republic of Ethiopia, in view to exchange experience and know-how, and to, also, foster and promote cooperation in furthering tertiary education development at all levels between the two sides.
Presently, there are six operational faculties in the University of Hargeisa. Classroom space, however, is inadequate. Students come in shifts beginning at 8:00 am until 12:00 pm, only broken up by a three-hour break from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm local time.
The space currently available accommodates a total student body of 800 over-stretching it to the limit. • The University library needs to be extended to accommodate students at all levels, and to find adequate shelf space, too, for books in hand and books expected to arrive in the near future. The existing two Universities, Hargeisa and Amoud, have in the year 2002/03 enrolled 37.5 per cent of the total secondary school graduates. That is to say 62.5 per cent of them were left in the cold. Added to this is 2207 as projected by the Ministry of Education to graduate from the secondary schools this scholastic year 2003/04; this would require a considerable extension of existing tertiary level facilities to meet the demand. This combined with a backlog from previous years and a projected increase of secondary school graduates in the coming years, is, in reality, a recipe for social crisis. Meeting these needs will allow the University to align mission with the expectations of upcoming generations and their rightful demand/place for higher education. Failing to put up a concrete plan now for the provision of adequate space and other support facilities in order to accommodate the new intake of students come September 2004.
It is universally recognized that education offers the best means for individual advancement and as the key to national development.
Ethiopian universities The University of Hargeisa plans to form close bilateral relations with sister universities in the region to optimize performance in all of the academic, research and human/natural resources development. The University believes it has much to gain from, and much to offer to, other universities, for example, in Ethiopia. The University of Hargeisa had, thus far, made contact with Alemayu University, Hererge Region of the Federal Republic of Ethiopia. The UoH Development and International Relations office made a visit to Alemayu and touched base with its opposite number there. The two sides mutually acknowledged the need for furthering mutual relations on, particularly, exchange of students, teaching staff and the design and development of joint development-oriented plans. The UoH, also, hopes to hold talks on these and like issues with the Universities of Addis Ababa and Mekela.
Other Regional Universities: The University of Hargeisa has started three, distance learning certificate programs with the African Virtual University. The first is a Georgetown University Business English Communication of 5 modules . The Second is, also, a five-module Certificate in Journalism the Indiana University is providing. The third a New Jersey Institute of Technology IT Master Certificate of 6 modules . The plan is to simultaneously start the one-year scheduled courses in the beginning of March 2004.
The University of Hargeisa mission is to ensure the quality of the education system and to provide a career skills, talents, and aptitudes that can be appropriately matched with employment opportunities where new skills and highly educated personals are necessary. We define success in terms of the quality of our students' educational experience, their employability and contribution to society, the quality of staff and their teaching and research, in addition, success depends on how we deal with the unexpected and how we prepare ourselves to do still better in the future. More formally, the President is responsible for the proper, effective and efficient operations of all activities devoted to the University. And finally, he is the arbiter in a number of appeal procedures within the University.
The president is supported by the, University Chancellor, University Administrator, the International relations office and the senior academic staff many of whom report directly to him. The President, in turn, reports to Council , the governing body of the University.
From all that, it follows that the presidents's office performs a number of crucial functions. These include:
- being the gateway through which the University responds to many external opportunities and high level enquiries
- liaising with academic and administrative colleagues to ensure that the business of the University is transacted efficiently and that difficulties are effectively resolved
- organizing some key meetings and events where the corporate interests and external profile of the University are to be advanced
The long civil war in Somalia has lead to the collapse of the entire educational system from elementary to higher education. Fortunately, the stable political environment that prevailed in Somaliland for most of the past decade has allowed the re-building and rehabilitation of the majority of the schools and the resumption of formal learning. There are now 300 schools of which 40 are at secondary level operating in the country. But there remains a big and a growing gap between the need for and the availability of professionals, including teachers, as many of the trained and experienced people have either immigrated or have left service through natural attrition.
The University of Hargeisa was founded to fill that widening gap in human resources. It was inaugurated officially in February 2000 with the aim to provide appropriate training at all levels to meet the nation's immediate and long-term skill needs for reconstruction and development. There are presently 800 students enrolled the Degree programs and the short course programs such as, Business Administration, Information Technology, Finance, Medicine, Law and Science and Islamic studies faculties. Two new departments, including Law and three research institutes are included the University Last year. Since its inauguration only four years ago it has hosted several national and international conferences and workshops already making a mark on the country's education development pro cess...