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Mauritania
 
             
 
         
 
  Education  
     
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History of Higher Education  

Introduction: the Islamic Republic of Mauritania has a population of over 2.5 million and a per capita income of $410.

History of Higher Education


Mauritanian higher education was launched with the National School for Administration (Ecole Nationale d’Administration, ENA), in 1966. Two other institutions--the Advanced Institute for Islamic Studies and Research (Institut Supérieur d’Etudes et de Recherche Islamiques, ISERI), and the Advanced Center for Technical Education (Centre Supérieur d’Enseignement Technique, CSET) were established in 1979 and in 1980 respectively. The government created Nouakchott University (NU) in 1981 and has two schools: the School of Law and Economics and the School of Letters and Humanities. In 1986, the Advanced Scientific Institute (Institut Supérieur Scientifique, ISS) was created to host science majors.

The ENA became the School for Technical Sciences in 1995 (Faculté des Sciences Techniques, FST). Other institutions include the Mauritanian Institute for Scientific Research in 1974, the Institute for Arab and Islamic Sciences in 1979, and the National Institute for Special Medical Studies in 1997.

Enrollment


The student population increased significantly from 1990 through 2000. Holders of baccalauréat degrees increased from 1,737 to 3,137 from 1990 to 1998. Students are concentrated mainly in the disciplines of law, economics, and literature. In 1999-2000, students in law and economics accounted for 59.5% of the total number of registered students, while students majoring in science and technology represented only 10% of the student body.
Student Enrollments in Higher Education: 1992-2000
Institution
1992-93
1993-94
1994-95
1995-96
1996-97
1997-98
1998-99
1999-00
FSJE
4,774
4,637
4,886
5,248
5,731
5,656
6,452
5,697
FLSH
2,232
2,170
2,376
2,558
2,664
2,467
2,896
2,998
FST
-
-
-
-
708
718
820
886
Total University
7,006
6,807
7,262
7,806
9,103
8,841
10,168
9,581
ENS
143
138
112
111
101
132
230
185
CSET
127
101
99
105
115
122
113
116
ISERI
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
845
Total
7,276
7,046
7,473
8,022
9,319
9,095
10,511
10,727

Faculty


The student-to-faculty ratio is particularly high for the university except for two schools. Despite the significant increase in student numbers, from 7,046 in 1992 to 10,727 in 2000, the number of faculty has barely increased, moving only from 249 in 1993 to 304 in 1999.

The number of part-time faculty, however, is more significant, particularly due to the lack of recruitment and to the concentration of faculty in specific disciplines.

After taking an examination, professors are selected and distributed into one of three categories (A1, A2, or A3). A fourth category (A4) can only be reached through seniority.

Distribution of Faculty Members by Institution: 1993-99
 
1993-94
1994-95
1995-96
1996-97
1997-98
1998-99
FT
PT
FT
PT
FT
PT
FT
PT
FT
PT
FT
PT
ENS
31
7
34
7
32
4
33
5
36
4
40
5
CSET
6
0
5
4
5
8
4
10
5
2
10
17
FLSH
79
20
80
23
84
30
88
42
88
41
88
52
FSJE
62
18
55
34
69
16
69
61
69
30
69
50
FST
57
22
67
37
83
30
83
24
83
26
83
28
ISERI
14
7
12
8
12
11
13
8
12
8
14
6
Total
249
74
253
113
285
99
290
150
293
111
304
158
Note: FT= Full-Time Faculty; PT= Part-Time Faculty

Governance and Administration


The University Assembly includes members from every university department, in addition to representatives from the student body, the external legislative body, the MEN, and the ministry of finance. Members serve for a period of three years. The assembly, led by the university president, is the deliberating organ that defines the main orientations of the institution.

NU is administered by the vice-chancellor’s office, and each of the three schools (FSJE, FLSH, and FST) are administered by deans, vice-deans, and a general secretary.

Research and Publishing


IMRS (Institut Mauritanien de Recherche Scientifique) was established in 1974 to encourage research in the field of human sciences and to supervise the conservation of the Mauritanian cultural heritage.

Funding and Resources


Mauritanian higher education is public and free. Students are only expected to pay a $2.50 registration fee. The government subsidy is the main source of internal financing in terms of operational costs.

Financial resources for institutions come from the government and external support. The classical policy of the finance ministry has been to increase the budget allocation by 10% every year. External funding comes mainly from the World Bank, the French Cooperation, national and international organizations, foundations, embassies, and inter-university cooperation programs.

Trends in Higher Education Funding: 1991-98
Year
Total Expended
Government Budget
External Funding
% External Funding
1991
180
0
180
100
1992
183
15
168
92
1993
158
0
158
100
1994
318
150
168
53
1995
235.8
9.5
226
96
1996
451.8
120.8
331
73
1997
70
0
70
100
1998
10
10
0
0
UM: Mauritanian Ouguiya (National Currency $1USD = 230 Ouguiya)

Note: For detailed account on the state of higher education in Mauritania, please consult: Ahmed Kharchi, African Higher Education: An International Reference Handbook (Damtew Teferra and Philip. G. Altbach, eds., Indiana University Press, 2003), pp. 431-439.

 
Source: bc.edu  

 
   

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