Studying for a university degree in Senegal can be quite diverse and interesting, but it also comes with some challenges. The system is based on the French equivalent and the government is, in theory, committed to ensuring access to higher education for all its population. In practice, however, this is rendered more difficult by the fact that the majority of students in Senegal attend the University of Dakar, putting pressure on the staff there. Moreover, there are many financial challenges for other institutions.
However, if you are looking for a higher education degree in Senegal, below are the cheapest universities we can recommend. Please note that all higher education in Senegal is taught in French only. Foreigners looking to enroll in university don’t have to take entrance exams, while Senegalese students do. Admission for the former is based on application documents instead.
Cheapest Universities in Senegal
1. University of Dakar
The Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar was founded in 1957 and focuses on sciences and technical studies. It is the leading public university in Senegal, funded and managed by the government. Its areas of study are split into different departments: Sciences and Technology, Political and Judicial Sciences, Medicine, Pharmacy and Dentistry, Letters and Humanities, Education, and Economics and Management. The university also has some specific vocational institutes such as a Sports institute, a Fishing, an Aquaculture institute, etc.
This cheap university in Senegal is by far the largest in the country, with c. 60,000 students enrolled in all its programs.
For international students, registration fees are c. 230 euro for the undergraduate degrees and c. 460 euro for the institutes.
2. Gaston Berger University
This public university used to be called the Université de Saint-Louis, created in 1990, and renamed in 1997. It is situated on the outskirts of Saint-Louis. Its mission statement is to promote scientific research, as well as African cultural values.
Gaston Berger University is split into four departments: Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, Applied Science and Technology, Juridical and Political Science, and Economics and Business Management. Admissions requirements vary slightly depending on the department, but all refer back to baccalaureate grades earned.
There are also Agriculture, Health, and Sports institutes.
For the purposes of fees, the university differentiates between Senegalese students and foreign students “assimilated” i.e. from specific countries (Guinea, Mauritania, Gambia, Cape Verde, Comores, Haiti, and other countries with bilateral agreements with Senegal e.g. Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, and Sudan), and completely foreign students who are not from any of these countries. Thus, Senegalese and assimilated students should pay 38 euros per year for undergraduate degrees and 78 euros per year for master’s degrees. International students should pay 305 euros per year and 610 euros, respectively.
3. Université du Sahel
This cheap university in Senegal is situated in Dakar and has been fully functioning and accredited since 2007, while parts of it have been functioning as far back as 1998. There is a Faculty of Science and Technology, a Faculty of Economics and Management, a Faculty of Judicial and Political Science, a Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, and finally, a Faculty of Letters, Languages, and Civilisations. Alongside these, the university has a number of research labs and institutes.
Here, there is no difference between international and domestic students for the purpose of tuition fees. If you sign up from your first year of undergraduate study, you should currently expect to pay: 1,220 euros for the first year, 1,370 euros for the second year, and 1,523 for the third and final year. For the Master’s degree, it’s 1,676 euros for the first year and 1,828 euros for the second year.
4. Ecole Supérieure Multinationale des Télécommunications
This institute of telecommunications was founded in Dakar in 1981 as part of the United Nations initiative for development. It offers professional qualifications and graduate programs in the telecommunications field. The cost of studying here ranges between 15 and 30 euros per year depending on the program of choice for the sign-up fees and then depends on the program for the actual tuition but all costs are very low as this is a special initiative.
5. Alioune Diop University of Bambey
A public university founded in 2004, it was converted into a full-blown university in 2009. This institution came about as part of the government’s efforts to de-centralise higher education and encourage young people to continue to stay in rural areas, rather than all flock to Dakar. The university is named after Alioune Diop, founder of the magazine “Présence africaine”, and took his name in 2011.
Here you can study for a degree in a multitude of sciences like physics, chemistry, mathematics, as well as economics, engineering, and management. This cheap university in Senegal also awards Master’s degrees in a lot of economics and science-related topics. There is no readily available information on tuition fees, however as this is a public university, they will be quite affordable.
6. Thies University
Thies University is also a public institution located in the west of the country and was founded in 2007 as part of Senegal’s decentralization efforts in higher education. It offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in Economics, Social Sciences, Engineering, Health, and Technology. It also proposes study opportunities in agriculture and rural development through a dedicated institute.
International students enrolling here are expected to pay c. 230 euros registration fee and a further 381 euros per year in tuition fees.
7. Ziguinchor University
Founded in 2007, Ziguinchor University was also started by the government in its initiative of de-centralising higher education away from Dakar. Originally, this was a regional university centre, and then grew into a standalone university. In 2013, this cheap university in Senegal has renamed the Assane Seck Ziguinchor University, in honor of a Senegalese lecturer and politician.
Here you can study for degrees in Economics, Social Sciences, Technology, Humanities, Arts and Letters and Health Sciences. As a public university, fees are very low again, but you will need to contact the admissions office directly to get your relevant amounts in the year you are planning to apply for enrollment.
I hope that this article on cheap universities in Senegal was helpful. If you are interested in studying abroad, check out the Available Programs for International Students!