The National Commission on Higher Education (NCHE) is responsible for monitoring the education system and assuring quality in tertiary education in the country. There are 15 private institutions, 8 community colleges, 1 distance-learning centers, 18 faith-based HEIs, 8 health institutions, 2 national teachers’ colleges, and 2 public universities in Liberia. For the academic year of 2015/2016, approximately 55,500 students were enrolled in such institutions. The number almost doubled since 2008 which highlights the country’s rapid developments in education after the civil war from 20 years ago which took a real toll on the country. Currently, with the Getting to Best Education Sector Plan 2017-2021, the government promises to improve the governing, the framework and financing policies in education. For further information on Liberia’s higher education, you can access the official website of the NCHE at http://ncheliberia.org/.
In Liberia, students can apply for courses at all three cycles: Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD. It takes generally 4 years to complete a Bachelor’s degree programme. If you wish to apply for such a course, you are required to provide evidence of a secondary school leaving certificate. Other types of examinations might be required such as entrance exams or interviews. For postgraduate studies, a Master’s degree is awarded after 1 to 2 years while a Doctorate degree requires at least 3 years of studying and research. PhD and Master’s courses are almost inexistent. The main admission requirement for entry to postgraduate education is evidence of previous relevant studies in higher education. All applications need to be directly made at the institution. Other types of degrees are available at HEIs in Liberia such as preparatory courses, short-cycle diplomas and certificates, or professional degrees. The official language of the country is English, so prospective foreign students will need evidence of language capabilities to be accepted into a course.
Since 2018, all undergraduate courses in public institutions are free for all students. Otherwise, tuition fees vary, especially in the private sector. Students are expected to contact the institution for this matter as most of the prices are not available to the public.
Information for International Students
Prospective foreign students need to apply for a student visa at a Liberian consulate in their country. Required documents include a valid passport, a visa cover letter, an acceptance letter from the institution, copies of parents’ passports and immigration status, and, for postgraduate students especially, evidence of financial stability for the duration of the course. In terms of living costs, one person needs around $600 in monthly living expenses. Students can rent a small apartment for $252 per month in the city center. Therefore, the country is fairly affordable when compared to other European cities acclaimed for their higher education institutions.