Sister University of abaarso school



Barwaaqo opened its doors to its first students in October 2017. Barwaaqo was started by the original founder of the Abaarso School and Abaarso’s former Assistant Headmaster with the vision of building new career opportunities for young Somali women.

Barwaaqo University is located in Baliga-Cas village, 23km north of Hargeisa.

Barwaaqo does not currently have an office in Hargeisa. We do use a number of different venues in Hargeisa (and in Berbera and Burco) for events that we hold throughout the academic year.

The university provides transport to new students who have been accepted on the second stage of applications to attend Open House (typically mid-September). Thereafter, students arrange their own transport, typically by hiring a bus, between Barwaaqo and Hargeisa for weekend return trips and single trips at the end of the mid-semester or semester.

Barwaaqo has a 9-month school year that includes roughly 30 hours of classwork per week. Barwaaqo’s School of Education includes four years of study and practical training, and prepares graduates to teach Kindergarten through 6th grade levels.  Graduates will receive a bachelor’s degree in Education.

In addition to a competent and conceptual grasp of mathematics, the Barwaaqo School of Education curriculum focuses on a complete English education — all classes are conducted in English with additional focus on grammar, writing and reading.

Student Information

In its first year, 2017-2018, Barwaaqo took in just 25 students. In its second year, 2018-2019, this number expanded to 50 new students. Over the last few years, about 50 students have been enrolled annually. Maintaining small cohorts allows for more personalized learning opportunities which have enabled our students to make steady progress through their courses.

Students interested in applying to Barwaaqo must fill out an application form and submit proof of their high school diploma. Applicants can submit all information online or drop off the required documents at the Barwaaqo office temporarily located on the Abaarso School campus outside Hargeisa in the village of Abaarso.  Top candidates will be selected based on their application form information and invited for an in-person interview which will determine final student selection.

Barwaaqo University currently only serves female students since there is the greatest need for well-educated female teachers in the country, with 97% of teaching jobs in Somaliland being occupied by men. We also believe that the all-female environment enables young women to grow in confidence and to flourish inside and outside of the classroom, becoming prepared to be leaders and to teach the next generation of girls and boys.

As students near graduation from Barwaaqo, they are invited to apply to our sister Kaabe Schools (, where there are a number of positions reserved for Barwaaqo’s graduating students. Barwaaqo University also has a career readiness and professionalism coaching programme that prepares students for the job market upon graduation.


Barwaaqo University offers a range of fundamental and elective courses, as well as those specialized in education. When students join Barwaaqo, they first take fundamental courses which include English, Maths, Computers and Spoken English as well as General Electives including Wellbeing, Anatomy, Ethics, Human Geography and Leadership. In the second phase of their university education, students take education classes, for example, Education Psychology, Education Knowledge, Exceptional Education, Teaching Methodologies, etc. and Education Electives, including Critical Issues in Education, Community Development, Education Seminar and Education Policy/Law. An Internship element is the final requirement for obtaining either a Bachelor of Education or an Associate’s Degree in Education.

See the Academics page for a comprehensive course guide and to learn more about  Barwaaqo’s  graduation pathways system.

Barwaaqo University currently only offers the Faculty of Education. This faculty provides foundational courses, followed by specialized courses in education. 

The Faculty of Education is the most in demand in Somaliland and there is great need for teacher education in the country. Thus the Faculty of Education is the first of Barwaaqo University’s Faculties. Barwaaqo University hopes to expand to include different faculties in the upcoming years.

Barwaaqo University employs a competency-based system. This means that each student takes a placement test during Open House before they might be admitted into the university. This placement test determines which level of fundamental classes (English, Maths, Computers and Spoken English) she starts at. During Open House, Barwaaqo’s Director of Academics and her team meets with the new student to discuss which level she is entering Barwaaqo’s classes and, based on that, how many years it will take for her to complete her fundamental courses and thus to complete her degree. It will typically take between 3-5 years for a student to complete her degree. This depends on the level at which she enters Barwaaqo as well as how quickly she is able to progress through her competency-based courses.

Placement tests do not determine whether a student is accepted or not. This test only determines which level the new student will start her classes at. Admission to Barwaaqo University is determined, first, by the student’s enthusiasm to study at Barwaaqo, and second, how well she fits Barwaaqo’s expectations.

See Our Mission page for more information about Student Expectations at Barwaaqo University students.

Transfer from and to other universities is currently not possible at Barwaaqo University. It is, however, an opportunity that Barwaaqo is investigating.

Barwaaqo University currently only offers undergraduate programs.

Finance & Fees

The cost of tuition for one student is $1,500 USD for the academic year. The tuition per semester is $750.


New students have to pay before their classes start at the beginning of each semester.

Students pay through ZAAD in monthly, quarterly, biannually or annually installments.

Barwaaqo does offer certain scholarships to students. Individual meetings will be organised between the new student and the Director of Operations and Logistics and her/his team at Open House during the second stage of applications to Barwaaqo.

For online donations, a donation receipt will be sent to you at the email address provided on our donation form shortly after submitting your donation.

For donations by check, you will receive a receipt by mail or email.


The easiest way to donate to Barwaaqo is through an online donation. Click here to securely donate now.


The security and confidentiality of your information is our highest priority. We use industry standard SSL (secure socket layer) technology to protect your information.  We also will not sell, trade or share your personal information with anyone else.

Donations to Barwaaqo are made through the US-based non profit entity, Horn of Africa Education Development (HED) Fund, which is a 501(c)3 charitable organization. Gifts to HED are fully tax-deductible, and we affirm that no goods or services were provided in return for any contribution. HED’s federal tax ID number (EIN) is 20-7245709.

Absolutely.  Please make checks out to “Horn of Africa Education Development Fund,” Barwaaqo’s US-based non profit entity. Checks can be mailed to:

Horn of Africa Education Development Fund
P.O. Box 60722
Worcester, MA  01606


For online donations, a donation receipt will be sent to you at the email address provided on our donation form shortly after submitting your donation.

For donations by check, you will receive a receipt by mail or email.