The Government of Ethiopia has announced plans to construct eleven new universities during the second growth and transformation plan period, which will begin by the end of this year and last until 2020. Construction of the universities is expected to be completed within two years and priority will be given to science fields.

Currently there are a total of 35 public universities in Ethiopia with double that amount of accredited private higher institutions. Ethiopia’s three most populous regional states will be the main beneficiaries of the new plan that aims to increase access to higher education, according to the State Minister Dr Kaba Urgessa. The three regions are Oromiya, Amhara and Southern regional state respectively.

Upon completion the government expects the enrollment capacity to increase to 600,000 in regular program alone and raise number of higher learning institutions to 42. Kaba further stated that selecting specific areas for construction, Design of the buildings, and conducting surveys on the selected areas are being currently undertaken.

Between the early 1950s and the mid-1980s, Ethiopia had only two universities and no graduate studies had begun in earnest till 1979, according official statistics.

During the reign of the Derg, sometime in 1984 Alemaya College of Agriculture, which was part of Addis Ababa University, was elevated to a university. Between the mid 1990s and the turn of the century several universities such as Mekelle, Bahir Dar, Debub, Jimma as well as colleges such as Ambo and the Civil Service College, Addis Ababa College of Commerce were added.

Source: New Business Ethiopia

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