Universities in Cape Verde


Click here to see the list of universities in Cape Verde.

About universities in Cape Verde

Cape Verde is an island republic; a sovereign nation situated in the Macaronesia eco-region of the North Atlantic Ocean, very near the western coast of the African continent.  Its islands, which for thousands of years were uninhabited, were first discovered and colonized by the Portuguese in the 15th century.  The region that is now Cape Verde, meaning “Green Cape” in English, would remain a colony of Portugal until 1975, the year it attained independence.

Prior to independence, the entirety of the Cape Verdean education system, from the primary grades through higher education, was modeled after that of Portugal, and while Portuguese is still the language of instruction at most schools, the system itself is now more closely related to those found in the western region of mainland Africa.

Higher Education in Cape Verde

Students who successfully complete their primary education, which begins at age 6 and spans six years, are eligible to enroll in one of the two types of secondary education programs offered in the country:  general and technical.  Both of these educational tracks span six years and are broken down into three two-year cycles.  General education is purely academic; a program aimed at preparing students for university studies, while the technical pathway is more vocational in nature, giving students the knowledge and skills required to enter the workforce in a variety of capacities.

Students who successfully complete the general education track are awarded the Certificado da Habilitações Literárias, the Cape Verdean equivalent to a high school diploma and the most important admission requirement for entry into the country’s universities and institutes, the two types of institutions that comprise the Cape Verdean higher education system.  An alternative to this requirement is offered to a select number of students who successfully complete the technical education track, but these cases are rare and depend heavily on the course of study a student pursued through technical education and the intended course of higher-education study.

The structure of higher education in the country’s universities and institutes is very similar to the current system in Europe—a system that has now been adopted by most countries in the European Union.  The Cape Verdean higher education system is now broken down into three cycles:
  • First Cycle.  In the first cycle of higher education, Cape Verdean students can pursue one of two options:  the Bacharelato (Bachelor) or Licenciatura (Professional License).  The Bachelor program typically spans three years.  No degree is awarded at the conclusion of this program, but students who successfully earn their Bachelor are eligible to enroll in the second cycle or graduate level of education.  The Professional License is often the preferred educational track for those who do not wish to earn a graduate-level degree.  Depending on the field of study, these programs generally last 4-5 years, after which students become eligible to pursue a career in their chosen field of study.
  • Second Cycle.  The second cycle of education under the Cape Verdean system is a two-year program which leads to the Mestrado or Master’s Degree.  Only those students who have successfully completed the first cycle of education are allowed to apply for admission to this program.
  • Third Cycle.  The third and final cycle of education leads to the Doutoramento or Doctorate-level degree.  These programs may span 3-5 years depending on the complexity of the subject matter and usually involve theoretical and applied research as part of the degree requirements.
In addition to the universities and institutes in Cape Verde, there are also a handful of teacher-training colleges called Institutos Pedagogico.  Those who wish to teach the primary grades may enroll at these colleges after earning a secondary school diploma, while those wishing to teach at the secondary level must first earn a Bacharelato, Licenciatura or Mestrado from an institute or university.

Finally, there are many students in Cape Verde now taking advantage of improved technology by enrolling in Distance Education programs at universities outside the country, including a school in Portugal which offers degree programs in fields such as Management, French, English, History, Mathematics, Social Sciences and Computer Science, among others.

List of universities in Cape Verde

Below is a list of schools that match what you are searching for:

Contact: Universidade Jean Piaget de Cabo Verde

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