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University of Hargeisa

University of Hargeisa
Motto Aqoon la'aani waa Iftiin la'aan
Knowledge is Light
Established 27 September 2000
Type Public
Chancellor Dr. Abdi H. Gass
Vice-Chancellor Dr. Deria Ereg
Location Hargeisa, Woqooyi Galbeed
, Somalia
Campus two suburban campuses
Website University of Hargeisa

The University of Hargeisa (UOH) is a public university located in Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland, a self-declared republic that is internationally recognized as an autonomous region of Somalia. The institution was founded in 2000. It has over 4,600 students, and operates on a four to six year system.


  • Campus 1
  • Faculties and centers 2
  • Academics 3
    • College of Veterinary Medicine 3.1
    • College of Education 3.2
    • College of Business and Finance 3.3
    • College of Islamic Studies 3.4
    • College of Continuing Education and Community Development 3.5
    • Center for Somali Studies 3.6
    • Institute of Rural Development and Environmental Studies 3.7
  • Partnerships 4
  • Organisational Structure 5
    • Officials 5.1
  • History and background 6
  • External links 7


The university has one campus located at south-western of Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland. It is situated about two kilometers from the center of the city. The site has a fenced area of about 3.75 hectares and consists of:

  • Sports ground
  • Two lecture halls
  • Classrooms
  • Computer centres
  • Photocopying centre
  • Library
  • Office blocks
  • Cafeteria
  • Prayers room (Mosque)

Faculties and centers

As of 2011, the University has nine faculties and institutes:

  • Faculty of science and technology
  • Faculty of architecture and urban planning
  • Faculty of Business Administration
  • Faculty of Islamic Studies
  • Faculty of Law
  • Faculty of Medicine
  • Faculty of ICT & Distance Learning
  • Faculty of Education
  • Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies
  • faculty of optometry

A legal clinic was established in November 2002 at the Faculty of Law of University of Hargeisa in collaboration with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The first students were registered in September 2000. There are 3800 pupils enrolled in the 8 colleges and 1200 in a short-term training program designed to upgrade the skills of the primary teachers, IT professionals and public civic staff in the country.

The University has a board of trustees appointed by the President of Somaliland, Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud, and a president who is accountable to the Board of Trustees and who is in charge of the day-to-day affairs of the university.


In the 2012/13 academic year, the university offered degree courses and a non-degree program in eight colleges:

  • Business Administration
  • Science & Technology
  • Law
  • Arabic & Islamic Studies
  • Economics
  • Medicine & Surgery
  • Institute of Peace
  • Mathematics & Statistics with Management

College of Veterinary Medicine

Livestock is the backbone of the nation’s economy. About 50-60% of the population are classified as pastoralists, and another 20% as agro-pastoralists. The 1997 official government statistics estimates total livestock population in the country at around 23.5 million heads. Yet there are only about three dozen qualified veterinarians in the whole country, which means a doctor/stock ratio of about 1: 653,000, and there are no training institutions (apart from a middle level technical institute recently opened in Sheikh), or research facilities to support this vital sector. The aim of this department is to prepare qualified professionals in the field of animal health and husbandry and to carry out research.

College of Education

According to the Ministry of Education statistics (see appendix 1) 106,480 students are enrolled in both public and private schools in the Scholastic Year 2003/4. The number of teachers serving is 2,590, out of which only 241 have university degrees. This means a teacher/student ratio of 1:41, and a graduate teacher/student ratio of only1:442. Both ratios are extremely low. The reason why there is such a small number of graduate teachers is that one of the few teacher-training colleges, Lafoole (Somali National University), has been closed for the past 13 years due to the civil war.

College of Business and Finance

It aims to:

  • Prepare a new corps of professionals in business and finance
  • Nurture entrepreneurship
  • Play a leading role in the development of financial institutions
  • Carry out business research
  • Provide technical support to the business community
  • Organize business seminars and conferences and exhibitions

College of Islamic Studies

Islam plays an important role in the Somali society; it is part of its heritage and culture. It provides the basis for social ethos, the code for personal conduct, the tenets of family relations, and the foundation for the nations constitution. There are no proper institutions of higher education for training and accreditation for pre-primary Qur'anic school teachers, nor for Islamic teachers in primary and secondary schools, nor for the imams who provide spiritual guidance to congregations in mosques, nor for the judges who sit on Islamic Courts, which is part of the judicial system. The aim of the Islamic college is to:

  • Further the knowledge of Islam (Qur'an, Hadith, law, ethics, thought, history, geography, economics, etc.).
  • Prepare qualified Islamic teachers, preachers and judges
  • Re-train and accredit existing teachers, preachers and judges

College of Continuing Education and Community Development

Aims to provide training and technical support to:

  • Private sector entrepreneurs and employees
  • Public sector workers
  • Voluntary sector staff and volunteers
  • Unemployed

Center for Somali Studies

Its aim is to:

  • To study and advance the Somali language and literature
  • To safeguard and preserve the Somali culture and heritage
  • To document and analyze Somali history and political development

These will be achieved by:

  • Undertaking research
  • Organizing seminars, symposia and conferences
  • Offering courses at the centre and on the internet
  • Produce regular publications
  • Establish a library and an archive for records in print, microfiche, tape, electronic and film
  • Create a museum for photographic records, paintings, memorabilia, artefacts etc.

Institute of Rural Development and Environmental Studies

The significance of this centre emerges from the fact that approximately two thirds of the population live in a rural or semi-rural setting. Their livelihood is under threat due to environmental degradation and climate changes. Large tracks of grazing land and forests have been already lost due to:

  • Overgrazing
  • Deforestation
  • Frequent droughts and
  • Lack of proper land management

The Institute aims to:

  • Carry out research into the causes of environmental degradation
  • Monitor environmental degradation and the effects of such degradation on the lives of the pastoral community
  • Raise national and international awareness of the environmental problems facing the rural population
  • Carry out a national survey of the flora and the fauna stock
  • Build and maintain a data bank on rural ecosystems
  • Publish and promote research results
  • Promote good range and forestry management
  • Provide training on rural development issues
  • Link up with similar institutions world wide

and with the regional communication


The university is keen to establish links and work in partnership with universities, colleges and research institutions. It welcomes exchange of professional staff and students and cooperation in research

Organisational Structure

The university has a charter and statutes that define its organisational structure, policies and procedures. At the top of its organisational pyramid is Togdheer Development Committee (TDC) which governs the university on behalf of the people of the Togdheer. The TDC elects a Board of trustees, which is the primary decision-making body of the university. The Board of trustees consists of 15 prominent members of the community, including businessmen, professionals, ex-officials and serving officials. The Board nominates, in turn, an executive committee, which consists of a chairman, a vice-chairman, a treasurer and a secretary.

The Board appoints a president who is responsible for the day-to-day running of the university and for carrying out decisions. Working with the president is the University Council, who is responsible for academic matters in relation to teaching, research and discipline. The university council consists of the deans of the colleges, the president, the vice president for admission and student affairs, the vice president for academic affairs and the vice president for administration and finance.

There are college and department councils: Each college is headed by a dean and each department is headed by the head of department. The Deans will be responsible for their respective colleges and will be accountable to the President. In addition the University will have a Research and Enterprise unit, charged with the coordination of research carried out by the University’s own colleges and institutes and by international research associates. (See Appendix 2.)

Abroad, the university has fundraising and technical support groups in most of the countries in the Middle East, Europe, Canada and USA.


  • Chairman: Dr.Abdi H.Gass
  • Vice-chairman: Dr. Deria Ereg

History and background

Hargeisa is the capital and largest city in the Somaliland. It has a population between 1 to 1.5 million people. It is an important commercial centre for all Somalis from all in the larger Horn of Africa region.

Like many other cities in Somaliland, it suffered from destruction and internal displacement due to a prolonged civil war in the 1980s. In 1988, almost all its buildings were destroyed through air bombardment and its residents were forced to flee for their lives, the majority of its inhabitants ending up in refugee camps in Ethiopia.

Reconstruction started in earnest as soon as people returned to the city in 1991. Primary and pre-primary schools were first repaired. Unfortunately, the process of rehabilitation was twice interrupted by local conflict: first in 1992, and then in 1994. The situation was worsened by the ban on livestock exports to the Middle East in 2000. As the principle livestock market in the country, this had a disproportionate effect on the economy of Burao, and caused its recovery to lag behind that of other main cities.

The city has now enjoyed almost nine years of fairly uninterrupted peace. There is a strong sense of community and a determination to rebuild what has been destroyed, which has created an environment conducive to investment and regeneration. As a result, the city is now going through a fervent period of renewal, rebuilding, and unprecedented expansion. The majority of the city’s primary and secondary schools have been already rebuilt, renovated or restored. According to the statistics of the Somaliland Ministry of Education, there were 31 public and private primary schools in Burao, in which 11,627 students were enrolled in the scholastic year 2003/4. The region as whole had 73 primary schools in which nearly 16,000 students were enrolled. The expansion of secondary education has been equally impressive. The city has now six secondary schools, and a seventh secondary school is under construction.

The first class graduated from Burao secondary schools in 2003, and many more will do so in the coming years. The question facing parents and educators in Burao and the region was ‘What to do with these young secondary school leavers?’ That question was answered with the establishment of the Burao University, which was set up to offer them and others an opportunity for higher education without leaving home.

External links

  • University of Hargeisa (in (English))

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