In Lesotho, higher education is defined, regulated and monitored by the Council on Higher Education established in 2004. Its current vision is to have achieved by 2020 an educational system which complies with the needs of the country. There are 8 public institutions and 7 private institutions accredited by the council consisting of institutes, universities, medical schools, colleges, and professional schools. For the academic year of 2017/2018, 23,223 students were enrolled in such HEIs with a slight increase than there were last year. In terms of foreign students, the number has risen to 99 from 73 in the academic year of 206/2017 and 76 in 2015/2016. Many students (82.6%) who choose to enroll have successfully earned a degree and graduated. For further information on Lesotho’s higher education, you can access the council’s website at http://www.che.ac.ls/.
In Lesotho, students can opt to pursue different degrees ranging from the usual path of Bachelor’s – Master’s – PhD to short introductory degrees and specialized diplomas to professionally-orientated degrees. In general, a Bachelor’s degree takes between 3 to 4 years to complete. Postgraduate studies take between 1 to 2 years for a Master’s degree and at least 3 years for a PhD. Students need to contact the institution directly for application. Depending on that, the application process might take place online or in person. The basic requirement for admission to undergraduate studies is evidence of 12 years of schooling. Holders of a Bachelor’s degree can apply for a Master’s course while holders of a Master’s degree can apply for a Doctorate course. There are a number of schools specialized in teaching medicine and nursing, therefore these subjects are a popular choice and are more accessible. Courses are taught in English; foreign students need to prove their capabilities in the language.
Tuition fees are bound to differ greatly between institutions and courses. For example, at the National University of Lesotho, a BA ranges between 22,440 to 33,000 LSL while a BSc ranges between 37,250 to 40,550 LSL for international students. Furthermore, a Master’s programme costs between 22,770 to 40,650 LSL and a Doctorate is 40,650 LSL. All prices are expressed in yearly costs. Tuition fees for citizen are much lower than those. Nevertheless, the majority of students in both public and private institutions are supported financially by the government through grants and sponsorships administered by the National Manpower Development Secretariat (NMDS).
Information for International Students
Foreign students that have been accepted into a place in one of Lesotho’s HEIs need to apply for a student visa. Its price is $150, and you will be given 90 days visa for a single entry. Applicants are required to have a passport valid for at least 6 months from the time of arrival in the country. Cost of living in Lesotho is considerably lower than other parts of the world like the United Kingdom. Students are able to rent a 1-bedroom apartment in the city centre for approximately $400 per month and outside of it for approximately $200 per month.