State University of Zanzibar

THE VISION of this university, which was established in 1999 and became operational in September 2001, is to create a centre of excellence catering to the academic needs of Zanzibar in particular and Tanzania in general, and also to assist with the development of the East African region. The university is housed in the heart of Zanzibar’s historic Stone Town. One of the university buildings used formerly to be the home of the Civil Service Training Institute of the Zanzibar Government. The university’s library dates back to 1979 and serves 750 students and staff, as well as some outside users. Currently, the university provides its academic programmes through the Institute of Kiswahili and Foreign Languages; the Institute of Continuing Education; and the School of Education, Arts and Sciences.

Through the first-mentioned institute, students have for a number of years been taught Kiswahili, Arabic, English, Spanish, Portuguese, French and German at certificate and diploma levels. More recently, Kiswahili is being taught to degree level, and the teaching of English has been moved to the School of Education, Arts and Sciences. This school provides courses leading to BA Ed degrees, BSc Ed degrees, and a Bachelor of Computer science qualification. The university states that these degrees ‘will provide teachers and computer specialists that are badly needed for the development of Zanzibar and Tanzania’.

The Institute of Continuing Education offers training opportunities to a wide audience-including the general public, professionals and non-professionals and business people-to improve their knowledge and working skills, for example via a special computer networking course for professionals. The institute also conducts courses for school learners wishing to sit for the country’s National Certificate Examinations.

Two further institutes are planned for the State University of Zanzibar: the Institute of Marine and Environmental Studies, entirely appropriate for an island institution; and an Institute of Policy Studies and Research.