Higher Education in Burkina Faso

As of 2010 there were three main public universities in Burkina Faso: The Polytechnic University of Bobo-Dioulasso, the University of Koudougou and the University of Ouagadougou. The first private higher education institution was established in 1992 and the Université Libre de Ouagadougou began operations in 2000. The Université Catholique de l'Afrique de l'Ouest opened its Burkina campus in Bobo-Dioulasso in 2000 with a food and agriculture speciality, and the Catholic Université Saint Thomas d'Aquin in 2004 in Ouagadougou. Supervision rates are different from one university to another. At the University of Ouagadougou there is one lecturer for every 24 students, while at The Polytechnic University of Bobo-Dioulasso they have one lecturer for every three students.

Higher education provision is highly centralized in Ouagadougou. In 2010/2011 the University of Ouagadougou had around 40,000 students (83% of the national population of university students), the University of Koudougou had 5,600 students, and the Polytechnic University of Bobo-Dioulasso had 2,600. The private universities each had less than 1,000 students.

The University of Ouagadougou closed its doors for two months in 2008, following student protests about working conditions and non-payment of their grants. One outcome was the creation of University of Ouagadougou II 20km away at Saaba, to relieve pressure on overcrowded facilities. It now teaches the law, politics, economics and management students formerly at the main campus and students receive University of Ouagadougou degrees. There are also online classes through the Institut de Formation Ouverte à Distance (IFOAD).

In 2014, University of Ouagadougou received funding from OPEC for new facilities. None of the country's universities are ranked in higher education listings like the Time Higher World Universities, probably because the language of instruction is french, lecturers do not have time for much research, there is reliance on international aid to support some aspects of public education, and class sizes at the main public university are large. Nonetheless, there are opportunities to study right through to doctoral level.

The University Ouagadougou and Bobo-Dioulasso are composed of five levels of decision making: the board of directors, the university assembly, the university council, institutions, and departments.