The first university in Cameroon was opened in 1962 and is called the University of Yaoundé. Currently, there are 16 higher education institutions in Cameroon, including both public and private universities. Half of these are private, and the other half are public. Public universities are funded by the government and tuition, whereas private universities are solely funded on tuition, making them more expensive. In addition, some of these universities are also vocational or technical training institutes for students who wish to specialize in a certain field early on. For more information, please refer to the official government website: http://www.minesup.gov.cm/.
Since 2007, Cameroon has converted its higher education system to follow the traditional Bachelor’s, Master’s, Doctorate path. There are two types of programs in the Cameroonian higher education system, the Anglophone and the Francophone systems. In the Anglophone system, Bachelor’s degrees last three years, and Master’s programs last one or two years. Doctoral degrees require three years of study to complete. The Francophone system is similar but is called the License (Bachelor), Master and Doctorat system which has now been adopted as opposed to the previous French system. The License lasts three years, and the Master’s program takes a year to complete. However, students may choose to complete a Maîtrise Professionelle (Professional Master’s), which does not allow students to later pursue a Doctoral degree. The Doctoral programs take three years to complete.
In order for students, both local and international, to apply to universities in Cameroon, they must do so via the university itself as there is no centralized body of administration for applications. In order to be admitted into the Francophone system, students are required to have a Baccalauréat de l’Enseignment Secondaire (Secondary School Baccalaureate) or a Baccalauréat Téchnique (Technical Baccalaureate). For students applying to the Anglophone system, they must have a General Certificate of Education at an advanced level such as the A levels. Moreover, most high school diplomas are also accepted. The official language of tuition in Cameroon is English and French, depending on which pathway the student chooses.
Information for International Students
International students must obtain a student visa from the Cameroonian embassy in order to study there. However, students from Mali, Chad, the Central African Republic and Nigeria are exempt from this requirement. Moreover, students must acquire health insurance before moving to Cameroon. In order for students to obtain accommodation at their university, as most universities are urban, they should contact the local branches for student accommodation who will direct them towards housing.
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