There are around fifteen higher education institutions in Gambia. For public establishments, the tuition is mostly funded by the state, with the country boasting some of the lowest private unit costs in the region. Enrolment, however, is conditional on payment of admission fees. The country’s private establishments charge fees for tuition as well as admission. Language of instruction is English for virtually all of the degrees, and the educational system is highly influenced by Anglo-Saxon tradition (see below).
Conditions for international students are subject to individual universities’ regulations, and to further requirements of residency. The most prominent of Gambia’s higher education institutions, the University of The Gambia follows a synthesis of North American, European and African universities’ educational frameworks and it houses approximately 6 000 students. For more information please refer to http://www.moherst.gov.gm/higher-education-directorate.
The Gambian educational system is strongly influenced by Anglo-Saxon educational tradition. It follows the ‘bachelor's master's doctorate system’; similarly to the UK, the length of Bachelor’s degree usually comprises three years. It is followed by a Master’s typically lasting two years, culminating in a Doctoral degree of two years, a shorter period than on the continent. The examination system is similar to that in the UK, but those who wish to attain more advanced degrees must either look for a scholarship overseas or pursue a degree locally at the University of The Gambia.
Enrolment into Bachelor’s programs is conditional on possession of a WASSCE and GCE Ordinary levels qualifications or recognized equivalent. To be accepted to a Master’s program, students must have a relevant Bachelor degree or equivalent. An intermediate level of proficiency in English (B2) is commonly required, as language of instruction is English for most programs.
In terms of financing the studies, most universities charge a fee for each year of enrollment. For home-based students, the annual fees vary between approximately £550 and £630; for international students, the corresponding fees are between £3 000 and £4 000 respectively.
The Gambian government also provides various scholarships for home as well as international students designed to encourage enrolment, most notably the UTG Scholarship.
Information for International Students
Gambian higher education institutions strive to create a wide network of international cooperation all around the world, with most institutional ties being maintained with Commonwealth universities and other establishments. Continuing education and final examinations for some of Gambian degrees are carried out in cooperation with UK-based institutions (e.g. Royal Society of Arts).
The admission process is usually administered by the university of one’s choice. Nonetheless requirements of proof of previous education, language capabilities and nationality form an integral part of virtually each admission process. For international citizens, relevant residency requirements also apply.
Total costs for a year of university study have been estimated at £1 600 for a home-based student, with the implied costs for life of approximately £1 000 p.a.