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The University of Asmara 1958-1991: A short history of an institution

The University of Asmara 1958-1991: A short history of an institution Chefena Hailemariam (Visiting Fellow at the Department of Sociology at LSE) Date:                    5 March 2014  Time: 5:00 PM Finishes:               5 March 2014 

The University of Asmara 1958-1991: A short history of an institution

Chefena Hailemariam (Visiting Fellow at the Department of Sociology at LSE)

Date:                    5 March 2014  Time: 5:00 PM

Finishes:               5 March 2014  Time: 6:30 PM

Venue:                  Russell Square:  College Buildings   Room: FG01

Type of Event:       Seminar


In the annals of African higher education Eritrea sets a negative example by dismembering a forty eight year old university. While the UN Human Right Council takes this as an issue of human right and strongly recommends for the reopening of the university, the government of Eritrea contests arguing it was re-structuring the higher education system.  Also powerful nationalist narratives claim that the University under the Ethiopian occupation had been subjected to repression discrimination, and producing mediocrity . I suggest the development of the University of Asmara during the Ethiopian occupation be viewed as a trajectory of an institution with due consideration to its particular institutional arrangements and processes in its struggle to achieving some semblance institutionality. Attempt will be made at deconstructing the discursive representations of the institution and how undue focus on the broader political domination can mask the reality at an institutional level. The paper highlights how actors in specific structural location curved out spaces for themselves in shaping the turn of events throughout the pre-liberation era (1958-1991). Finally, the paper concludes by offering suggestions towards the revitalisation of the higher education system in future Eritrea.

Review overview
  • Tamrat Tamrat March 5, 2014

    For both opposition and supporters of the eri regime the discussion of higer education is very important because at least here for both who have secrate agenda have nothing to add on. And those realy occupide in the Development of eri can have plenty to contribute.

    Educated People are Dangerous if they are not used to their optimal potential. An educated farmer goes bannana if you he has to dig by his hand to cultivate his own farming. He is too restless and come up With some thing to do a better farming than his bare hands. Then if one idiot dictator like isaias decide over him to dig the Earth by his bare hand then the educated farmer either leave the land or goes creazy. That is what happning in Eritrea. Most geniuine eritreans get mad not because their country did not change to Singapour over night. No No! But they are mad the country couldnt live upto its potential due to the retarded system led by the dictators and blind nationalists.

  • Wedi Zere March 6, 2014

    This is what I have been saying all along.Either we are a nation of whiners and cowards or we seem to have reached a consensus that Eritrea is not worth the sacrifice.Although,unpredictable and immeasurable atrocities have been carried out by the regime against the people over the years,the worst of all is what it did to education.When every country in Africa is striving to restructure their educational system so that it fits the 21st century,Issaias is doing the opposite and working 24/7 to make sure that education is completely destroyed and sadly,we see it happening right before our eyes.The closure of the only university we had is one of them and we don’t seem to do anything about it.Although,there is nothing good about dictators that we witnessed in Africa,but none of them waged wars against education.Our dictator on the other hand waged a non stop war against education and produced a generation of uneducated people.He indeed despises and hate us because he knows we don’t do anything about it.Ashamed to be Eritrean.

    • wedi reality March 14, 2014

      daniel, that would be a better option at least crying of akle would not make any deference, but remember DIA is worst than akele….

  • wedi reality March 8, 2014

    He closed the university, cus the Akele people were restless, continue to blame the university which was led by successive seraye presidents. I heard so many times, the akele gudiguad were saying “if we had led it we would do better..”, even the university was opening so many opportunities and showing progress…all r devils….may god bless Hiyaway hzbbi eritrea!

  • daniel March 11, 2014

    i read a very stupid comment by wedi reality,it is so sad to see such kind of people with such unrealistic and illogical way of thinking.the question is about education and not about on earth one can believe such idiotic rumors can cause the closure of a university? it would have been so easier to change the president than to close an institution.shame on you and your dictator iseyas. please change your name from wedi reality to wedi donkoro or wedi mehayim.