Institutions of higher education in Eritrea are under the supervision of the National Commission for Higher Education (NCHE), the successor of the National Board for Higher Education (NBHE). Before 2004-2005, Eritrea had only one university: The University of Asmara with a maximum of 1,200 students per year. That changed when seven new institutions were established:
Eritrea Institute of Technology (EIT), Mai Nefhi (with 3 colleges under it);
Hamelmalo Agricultural College (HAC), Hamelmalo;
Asmara College of Health Sciences (ACHS), Asmara;
Orotta School of Medicine & Dental Medicine (OSMDM), Asmara;
College of Marine Sciences & Technology (COMSAT), Massawa;
Halhale College of Business and Economics (HCBE), Halhale;
College of Arts and Social Sciences (CASS), Adi Keih.
There is no private education, but some institutions have applied for accreditation. The last cohort graduated from the University of Asmara in 2008. The current other 7 institutions offer specialized education with over 300,000 students enrolled.
Education in the country follows a similar structure to the usual standards of the Bologna process. Bachelor’s programs can last between 4 to 6 years, Medicine and Dentistry requiring longer to complete. A Bachelor’s degree of 4 years adds up to 130-150 credits and can result in a BSc, BA, LLB, BEng or MD. Master’s programs last for 2 years: one year of coursework and one of research. At the moment, there are no PhD programs, but there is a possibility to be offered in the future in partnerships with universities outside the country. There are also Diploma programs offered of 2-3 years.
Upon completion of 12 classes and the Eritrean Secondary Education Certificate Examination (ESECE) – on condition of a GPA of at least 2.0, students can apply to institutions of higher education. If a student is not able to take the ESECE, alternative examinations are considered by the Bureau of Standards within the NCHE. Applications are sent directly to the national commission and their applications will be handled by the Admissions and Placement Committee (APC). The language of instruction is English.
In Eritrea free education is provided to its citizens in all levels of education and scholarships are provided for students who wishes to pursue their degrees overseas.
Information for International Students
For foreign students, living costs in Eritrea are relatively affordable comparable to other places. For reference, renting a 1-bedroom apartment in the city centre costs $833 per month, and outside of it $533. One single person needs approximately $1,400 in monthly costs. International students should make sure they possess a student visa before entering Eritrea. For further information, please contact your country’s embassy in Eritrea.