About SNU

Who We Are

SNU, the only public higher education institution, has historically contributed to the political, scientific, technological, economic, social and human development of Somalia. Before the collapse of the Somali National University in 1991, SNU had an enrolment 15,672 students, with about 700 academic and non-academic staff, and consisted of 14 faculties.

University study consists of four-year program leading to the bachelor’s degree. At the star of the civil war, the Somali National University was beginning to offer post-graduate courses and degrees; unfortunately the civil has totally destroyed SNU. After more than 23 years, SNU was re-instated by the internationally recognized Federal Government of Somalia heralding a new era of public higher education. We believe that knowledge capability and capacity is the greatest determinant for sustainable development in Somalia.

The Somali National University’s focus is to provide quality higher learning that incorporates the local socio -economical development needs while maintaining global competitiveness. For this reason, we endeavor to restore SNU’s leadership role in national development by rebuilding SNU campuses and revitalizing its academic programs, as well as expanding its reach throughout Somalia.

SNU History

The Somali National University was established in 1954 in the Trust Territory of Somalia. It 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 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.

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 suspended.

Strategic Vision

SNU aspires to be a world class Public University that excelling in education , innovation, research ,community outreach and technology transfer and developing the world’s most promising students and most outstanding staff benefiting society as a whole Summarized core values: Quality of thought, openness and inclusiveness, integrity, equitability, credibility, innovations, commitment, transparency and professionalism

Realising our vision

We use the below:

Strategic Themes: Outstanding student experience, Lifelong community education , Regional impact, Social responsibility

Enablers: People, Infrastructure, Finance

Strategic Goals: Excellence education, Excellence research, excellence in innovation

Mission Statement

SNU strives to provide relevant education and research programs through creation, dissemination and curation of knowledge so as to produce the required professional human resource necessary for addressing the socio-economic, political, cultural, scientific, and technological needs of the country.

Faculties and Departments

The Somali National University formerly had 13 Faculties :

Department of Sharia Law

Department of Linguistics (Somali, Arabic, English, German, 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

Faculty of Economics

Faculty of Law

Department of Engineering

faculty of Political science and Journalism

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 approved a federal government plan to reopen the Somali National University. The refurbishing initiative cost $55.2 million USD. On 16 August 2014, the federal government officially re-opened the Somali National University at a meeting of the Board of the University. The event was chaired by President of Somalia Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, who serves as the head of the university’s committee in charge of the curriculum, budget dispensation and faculties. On 18 September 2014, about 480 pupils took the university’s entry exams, which were supervised by the Chairman of the Somali National University Dr. Mohamed Ahmed Jimale and the Deputy Minister of Culture and Higher Education Mohamed Ahmed Kulan. In October 2014, Speaker of the Federal Parliament Mohamed Osman Jawari and Minister of Culture and Higher Education Duale Adan Mohamed officially inaugurated the first academic year of the Somali National University.


The Somali National University had three main campuses:

Gaheyr – Mogadishu at KM 6

Digfeer – Medical school near Digfeer Hospital in Mogadishu

Lafoole Teaching College – Lafoole.

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.



Somali Natinal University Shabelle Campus

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