Professor Taddese Mehari, Executive Director of the Commission of Higher Education, described the vigorous efforts that are being exerted to strengthen the institutions of Higher Education in the county to ensure provision of quality education as well as enhance their research capabilities.
Currently, the existing institutions of tertiary education are providing, in aggregate, first degree programmes in 55 fields of study and 43 diploma programs.
Furthermore, the Eritrean Institute of Technology (EIT) as well as Hamelmalo College of Agriculture have introduced post graduate programs in several fields of specialization. The number of graduates in the various programmes introduced in the past ten years exceeds 23,000.
Professor Tadesse stated that availability of lecturers was the main challenge the institutions of tertiary educations were facing in this period of expansion. The Commission of Higher Education and the individual institutions were addressing this problem through three-pronged approach.
These consist of :
i) an accelerated foreign scholarship arrangement for local graduate assistants;
ii) initiation of post-graduate studies in all the institutions; and,
iii) pursuit of distance learning arrangements in appropriate fields.
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The Commission of Higher Education and the individual Colleges and Institutes also prepare and implement rigorous programmes to provide university entrants with adequate information on the prospects and opportunities that the various degree and diploma programmes offer.
Professor Tadesse asserted that 90% of university entrants are enrolled in the areas of their primary choices and preferences.
Professor Tadesse also paid tribute to the efforts of Eritreans in the Diaspora who are raising funds to “equip each student with one tablet”. The initiative meshes well with the programme underway to introduce digital libraries in all the institutions of higher education.