Somali National University
|Somali National University
الجامعة الوطنية الصومالية
|Location||Mogadishu, Banaadir, Somalia
|Former names||Gaheyr University|
The Somali National University (SNU) (Somali: Jaamacada Ummada Soomaaliyeed, Arabic: الجامعة الوطنية الصومالية) was a national university in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia. Its campus grounds were located four kilometers from the Mogadishu International Airport. In November 2013, the Cabinet unanimously approved a federal government plan to reopen the university.
The Somali National University was established in 1954 in the Trust Territory of Somalia. It later obtained official university status in 1969. The main university grounds were situated about six kilometers from the city center. Here, during the institution's first thirty years, the main campus was known as Jaamacada Gaheyr ("Gaheyr University").
In 1973, under the Supreme Revolutionary Council (SRC), programs and facilities were expanded. The SNU developed over the next twenty years into an expansive institution of higher learning, with 13 departments, 700 staff and over 15,000 students.
Under the Somali revolutionary government, the Ministry of Higher Learning and Culture established research centers in a number of cities, with the goal of developing regional economies. These learning centers were earmarked for employees from such ministries as the Ministry of Agriculture, and the Ministry of Livestock and Forestry Management. Skilled and knowledgeable staff graduated from these centers.
In the mid-1970s, the teaching college of Lafoole University, one of SNU's remote campuses, was made a stand-alone institution ("Lafoole Teacher's College"). The language of instruction was English.
Due to extensive damage to its facilities as well as the difficulty of holding classes and acquiring books and other necessities in the wake of the civil war in the early 1990s, classes at the university were indefinitely suspended.
Language of instruction
Italian was the Somali National University's primary language of instruction. The university's main campus was situated in Mogadishu, where residents were already familiar with the Italian language.
From 1973 onward, Somali and English were introduced as additional languages of instruction. All programs at Lafoole College were taught in English. Across the country, there were programs in Af Soomaali run by the Ministry of Culture and Higher Education, the government ministry responsible for scholastic instruction.
When the Somali linguist Shire Jama Ahmed's modified Latin script was chosen by the Siad Barre administration as the nation's official orthography, Somali language courses began to spring up throughout the country. The language of instruction in primary and secondary schools also became Somali.
On 14 November 2013, the Cabinet unanimously approved a federal government plan to reopen the Somali National University. The refurbishing initiative is expected to cost $3.6 million USD.
The Somali National University had three main campuses. The first campus, Gaheyr, opened in 1954 and was located at KM 6 (on the Afgooye Road, 6 km from downtown Mogadishu). There were also new expansion buildings across from Gaheyr Campus. The new buildings took some years to complete and were situated on the other side of the Afgoi road, facing Gaheyr.
Most of the new buildings had some sort of circular design to them, and the engineer who designed them was unofficially nicknamed "Engineer O" by the students. The lights from the lamp posts on the Somali National University's campus grounds added to the bright lights of Mogadishu.
The SNU campuses were:
- Gaheyr – Mogadishu at KM 6
- Digfeer – Medical school near Digfeer Hospital in Mogadishu
- Lafoole Teaching College – Lafoole
Faculties and departments
The fifteen departments of the Somali National University were:
- Department of Sharia Law
- Department of Linguistics (Somali, Arabic, English, German, and Italian)
- Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Husbandry
- Department of Education (Teaching College at Lafoole; 20 km west of Mogadishu)
- Department of Agriculture
- Department of Geology and Mining
- Department of Medicine (College of Medicine; near Digfeer Hospital)
- Department of Chemical/Industrial Engineering
- Department of History
- Department of Geography
- Department of Science
- Department of Mathematics
- Department of Public Health
- Department of Engineering
- Department of Political Science
- Department of Journalism
Notable alumni of the Somali National University include:
- Abdi Farah Shirdon – former Prime Minister of Somalia
- Abdirahman Mohamud Farole – former President of Puntland
- Abdiweli Mohamed Ali – President of Puntland, and former Prime Minister of Somalia
- Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed – Prime Minister of Somalia
- Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed – former President of Somalia, President of Puntland and leader in the Somali Salvation Democratic Front, and one of the founders of the Puntland State of Somalia and the Somali Salvation Democratic Front
- Abdulqawi Yusuf – international lawyer and judge with the International Court of Justice
- Ali Mohammed Ghedi – former Prime Minister of Somalia
- Ali Said Faqi – scientist and leading researcher in toxicology
- Asha Gelle Dirie – former Minister of Women Development and Family Affairs of Puntland
- Asha Haji Elmi – peace activist and MP
- Asha Jama – Somali-Canadian activist
- Hawa Abdi – humanitarian and physician
- Hassan Abshir Farah – former Prime Minister of Somalia
- Hassan Sheikh Mohamud – President of Somalia
- Jama Musse Jama – ethnomathematician and author
- Mohamed Osman Jawari – Speaker of the Federal Parliament of Somalia
- Nur Hassan Hussein – former Prime Minister of Somalia
- Warsame Ali – scientist and co-founder of the Somali Development Foundation
- Yusuf Garaad Omar – former journalist and head of BBC Somali Service
- Jawed, Mohammed Nasir (1996). Year Book of the Muslim World. Medialine. p. 368.
- Country Higher Education Profiles - Somalia
- "Cabinet endorses plans to reopen Somali National University". Horseed Media. 14 November 2013. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
- "Somali National University, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and animal Husbandry". World Veterinary Association. Retrieved 2013-02-17.