The first public university was established in Angola by the Portuguese authorities in 1962. It has since been renamed several times and is now called the Agostinho Neto University. It remains the largest university in the country and was the only public university in the country until 2009. The Catholic Church founded the private Catholic University of Angola in 1998. The university has four departments: social sciences, economics, law, and engineering. A number of international NGOs and private businesses made financial contributions to assist in the establishment of the university and the institution currently benefits from a law that requires petroleum companies operating in Angola to invest in educational programmes.
There are now seven public universities in Angola and about 12 private institutions, though the number of private institutions is constantly increasing. Many of the country’s private universities have links to Portuguese and other international higher education institutions. Higher education institutions in the country are concentrated in major urban centres. The demand for high-quality education and training exceeds local supply, as according to the CIA World Factbook, over 66% of the Angolan population is under 24 years old. Angolan families with the financial means may choose to send their children to study in universities abroad. The top five most popular destinations for Angolan students are Brazil, Portugal, Namibia and South Africa. For more information on Angola’s higher education institutions, please visit the official government website at http://www.med.gov.ao.
Most higher education institutions in Angola require students to take an entrance examination. Students whose native language is not Portuguese will be required to demonstrate language proficiency, as this is the language of instruction. Angola’s universities offer Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctorate degrees. Bachelor’s degrees (Bacharelato) take three years to complete, Master’s degrees (Alicenciatura) take two years to complete, while a Doctorate degree (Licenciatura) can take up to six years to complete. There are a number of informal cooperation agreements between Angolan universities and international institutions, mostly for visiting lecturers or other ad hoc programmes. The University of Aberdeen, for example, offers specialised courses on oil and gas and accepts four to five scholarship students from Angola funded by Angola’s state oil company.
Tuition at the country’s public universities is free. Tuition fees for private institutions vary by institution and programme and students are advised to contact the institution directly for more information.
Information for International Student
International students may be required to apply for a student visa to study in Angola. Students are advised to apply for a multi-entry, one-year visa at the embassy or consulate of Angola in their home country. International students should note that student visas do not allow students to work. International students may also be required to receive a number of vaccinations before travelling to the country. International students are advised to consult the website of the Education Ministry for more information on studying in Angola but should note that the information is only available in Portuguese.