There are 46 higher education institutions (HEIs) in Burundi, including private, public universities and academies. There are seven public higher education institutions in Burundi. Three are universities, whereas the other four are specialized institutions such as the police academy or the military academy. Public HEIs are funded by the government and partly through tuition payed by the students. There are 39 private HEIs in Burundi as well, where the students must pay the full cost to attend. In 2012, 19.9% of students enrolled in higher education in Burundi were international students. For more information, please refer to the official government website: https://mesrs.gov.bi/institutions-denseignement-superieur/.
Burundi’s higher education system is based on the traditional path of a Bachelor’s followed by a Master’s, then a Doctorate. Bachelor’s degrees last three years (Bac + 3), Master’s degrees last two years (Bac +5) and Doctorates last three years (Bac +8). However, universities in Burundi also offer an ‘Engineer’s Diploma’ (Diplôme d’Ingénieur) which lasts five years and resembles the structure of an integrated Master’s degree.
There is no centralized body of administration for applications to Burundian universities. Therefore, students must apply directly via each institution for all degree levels. Students must also pass entrance exams for certain universities such as the University of Burundi. Most qualifications are accepted by higher education institutions. The most common is the French Baccalaureate. Internationally recognized Bachelor’s degrees are required in order to qualify for a Master’s degree. The official language of instruction in Burundi are French and Kirundi. However, some private institutions offer some courses in English.
Approximately 30% of students live on campuses in public universities, and the rest live in their own homes or in rented apartments. Students living on campus pay around 7200 Burundi Francs, which is equivalent to 4 US dollars. Moreover, approximately 32% of students receive government scholarships. Tuition fees for private universities are higher as they receive no subsidy. In general, students pay between 88 to 173 dollars per trimester.