Universities in Chad

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About universities in Chad

Chad, officially known as the Republic of Chad, is a large landlocked country in Central Africa, with a total geographic area of nearly 496,000 square miles and a population of roughly 10.3 million.  A former colony of the French, the country that is now known as Chad gained independence in the summer of 1960 under the leadership of Francois Tombalbaye.  However, resentment towards Tombalbaye’s policies in the Muslim north culminated in a protracted civil war that would last well into the 1980s, ultimately resulting in Tombalbaye’s ouster from power.  According to the United Nations, today Chad remains one of the poorest and most corrupt countries in the world.
Higher Education in Chad
Decades of civil war and corruption have affected every portion of Chadian society, including higher education.  For the first 10 years following independence from the French, there were no universities whatsoever in Chad, which meant that secondary school graduates wishing to extend their education had to travel abroad.  According to records, in the 1970-71 academic school years there were 200 students studying at universities abroad, typically in the countries of France, Belgium, Senegal and the Congo, among others.  Almost all of the higher education students at that time were male, with the primary areas of studying ranging from agriculture to education to medicine.
Pursuant to an agreement with the French, the first (and still the only) university in Chad was opened in 1971 and was financed almost exclusively by France.  It served a mere 200 students in its first year, but following the overthrow of Tombalbaye in 1975, enrollment figures grew consistently with each passing year.  Today the school boasts an enrollment of over 3,000 students and a faculty of roughly 150 teachers.  The school year runs from October to June, divided into two equal semesters, and instruction is provided in both of the country’s national languages:  Arabic and French.  The university is divided into four schools:  the Faculté des Lettres et Sciences Humaines (School of Humanities and Social Sciences); the Faculté des Sciences Exactes et Appliquées (School of Exact and Applied Sciences); the Faculté de Droit et Sciences Economiques (School of Law and Economics); and the Faculté de Médecine (Medical School).  Within each of these schools (except for the Medical School), there are several fields of study in which Chadian students can pursue a three-year undergraduate degree. Following successful completion of the first two years, students are awarded the Diplôme Universitaire d'Etudes Générales or DEUG, which is equivalent to a General Education University Certificate, and after one additional year they will earn a Licence, equivalent to a Bachelor of Arts or Sciences. Since 1998, the University has also offered graduate programs leading to a Master's degree in jurisprudence, economics, biology, history, geography, and Arabic literature.
The Medical School branch of the university is the most recent addition.  It opened in 1990 and features a six-year curriculum that is modeled after that of the French—a curriculum in which premed and medical school are combined into one continuous program.
In addition to the lone Chadian university there are also several specialized colleges in various regions of the country.  These schools tend to focus on a limited area of study, including institutions specializing in primary and secondary teacher training, civil servant positions, telecommunications, textiles, veterinary studies and research, and sociology.

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