Copyright © Soko-Tanzania 2008-2011. All rights reserved.   Terms of use | Privacy policy
Tanzania: The facts.

Higher education in Tanzania




In Tanzania, higher education is defined as that proportion of tertiary education that leads to an advanced diploma or degree. The last decade or so has seen a significant expansion of higher education in Tanzania. Whilst up to the mid 1980s there were only two universities and a handful of other specialist higher education colleges, by 2005 there were a total 30 universities, the majority of these being private. In addition, there were 15 additional public Institutions of Higher Education including 6 professional institutes, 2 institutes of technology, a wildlife college and a business college.


Enrolment in higher education:

Enrolment into higher education is still quite low. In a country of over 40 million people, the gross enrolment ratio remains around 1%. Whilst the expansion of private higher education enrolment has had a significant impact in boosting access, these universities are relatively small and as of 2005, almost 90% of students were in Public universities and other institutes of higher learning. The Private higher education sector is, however, continually expanding and its proportion of intake can only go up.


Studying abroad

Accurate statistics are not immediately available. However, figures from Unesco show that sub-Saharan Africa, of which Tanzania is part, sends proportionately more of its higher education students abroad than any other part of the world. On average, 5.6% of these students go abroad for their studies. That is 1 in 16 of all higher education students. In 2005, Tanzania had just over 51,000 enrolled students within its local universities and other institutions of higher learning.


The gender gap in higher education

Like many developing countries, there is a wide gender gap when it comes to higher education. Whilst there are no real problems of access to primary education, the trend towards fewer girls in education starts to appear at secondary school level and accelerates markedly in institutions of higher learning. This problem was historically quite pronounced but there has been significant improvement over the last 15 -20 years. Among adults, 1.1% of the male population have completed higher education. The proportion among women is less than a fifth of that at 0.2%.


This historical skew in access is getting rapidly corrected. As of 2006, 32% of students in universities and other institutions of higher learning were female, still inequitable but a marked improvement from before. At a post-graduate level, the problem remains more pronounced with only 21% and 19% of Masters and PhD students in public universities being women. Interestingly, the proportion in private universities is higher though still far off the expected 50%.


The overall enrolment in higher education in Tanzania is still far below that of many countries in the world, even including countries with similar economic abilities such as neighbouring Uganda or Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean. The chart below is demonstrative (hover to see larger image)


























































Next Page: University of Dar es Salaam

University of Dar es Salaam graduands

Young graduands at the official ceremony at the University of  Dar es Salaam. Tanzania still lags significantly behind similar sized economies in the area of higher education