University education started in The Gambia in 1999 when the country’s highest institute of learning was established by an act of the National Assembly in March of the same year, with the mandate of providing access to relevant, sustainable high quality higher education, research, science and technology. It was also required to provide relevant, sustainable, and high quality tertiary education and research in respect of socio-economic, scientific and technological advancement and development.
It was intended to be a centre of excellence which will accommodate national, regional and international requirements. The university was designed to utilise the concept of incremental improvement to maintain high standards thereby empowering students with the opportunity to fulfill national needs. It was also expected to provide students with the facility to realise their full potential both generally and in employment as outlined in both its vision and mission statements respectively.
It goes without saying that university education is the main tool for the enhancement of rapid socio-economic development in any given society; The Gambia is therefore, not an exception to this. It is also regarded as an essential service to improving people’s well-being and their capacity to better themselves and as well as improve their environment.
In ensuring this, The Gambia continues in its drive to provide education to all its citizens. Products of the university are needed in all sectors of development. They are found in the health sector, the education sector and all other government departments contributing immensely to the rapid socio-economic advancement of the country.
An institution that started with 135 students in 1999 is today having over 5,000 students in its enrollment and is graduating hundreds of academics from different fields of study in each convocation. Among the graduates are lawyers, medical doctors, teachers, political scientists, development experts, scientists, agriculturists and a whole lot of others who are all expected to serve the country in different sectors of development.
The introduction of university education in The Gambia has without doubt contributed significantly to the social regeneration of the country in terms of providing higher education and the country continues to benefit from university education. Universities all over the world are the melting pot of ideas and they manufacture the necessary human resource base of society for the attainment of meaningful and sustainable national development to which the Gambia is not an exception.
Most, if not all of this credit, goes to President Yahya Jammeh, whose vision and tenacity brought university education to the door steps of every Gambian. Kudos are in order. The Standard congratulates the graduating class of 2012/2013.]]>