an Entity of Abaarso Network


Barwaaqo University strives to create great professional leaders, not simply great students. It prides itself on providing a high quality university education that empowers young Somali women to develop their country.  


Barwaaqo students come from all over Somaliland, and many are the first in their family to attend school or receive a university education. 65% of our students are from outside of the capital region of Somaliland, and 67% are first generation students. 27% of our students come from families whose parents have never attended school of any sort. 

Due to the Somaliland public school system, many Barwaaqo students arrive at our campus without the study skills, English proficiency, or basic numeracy abilities needed to complete a rigorous Bachelor’s degree.  These students are enrolled in our Fundamental Program, which is designed to provide students a firm grounding in English, math and technology skills, needed to be successful in our challenging courses. 

Barwaaqo graduates have gone on to be highly successful. Over 90% of our graduates have found full time employment within 3 months of graduation, reporting high rates of job satisfaction and preparedness. We have doubled the number of qualified female teachers working in the Sahil region of Somaliland, and estimate that our graduates are already impacting the lives of over 500 children across the country.

Fundamental Education

Our fundamentals program is designed to allow any student, regardless of her educational background, to come to Barwaaqo and thrive. 


After a student has been admitted to Barwaaqo, she takes a placement test, which determines the English, math and technology courses she will take. A student who enters without speaking any English, and with only basic numeracy and technology skills, will get a full two years of fundamental education, designed to bring her to an upper intermediate English level, proficient typing speed, and to provide her with the math and technology skills needed to thrive in the workplace. 


Many students spend 2 full years in the fundamental program, while also taking electives, and Civics courses, though some students may excel and need as little as 1 semester to complete the fundamentals course.

Faculty Education

After completing her fundamental program, students may choose their faculty degrees. She may choose between the Bachelor’s of Arts in International Communication, a Bachelor’s of Education, or a Bachelor’s of Education with a Montessori Specialism. 


All of our degrees require two years of rigorous academic study, designed to prepare these young women to enter the workplace and immediately excel. Our students complete practical assignments, which send them to the workplace, or have them doing projects working with real companies in Somaliland. Education students will spend time observing schools, teaching lessons, and student teaching in our on-campus lab school. Communications students will outreach to local companies, create partnerships, and design strategic plans to support the work the university is doing. 

In addition to fundamental courses and faculty courses, all students also enroll in 4 years of civics courses, which are project-based courses, designed to support students’ research capabilities, while also deepening their knowledge of Somaliland society and history.

Research Project

In her final semester, whether she’s in the Education or Communications faculty, the student completes an independent research project. Given the dearth of research originating in Somaliland, and conducted by local Somalilanders, this capstone research project is central to the academic programming done at Barwaaqo. 


Students first complete a Research Methodologies course, which provides her a basic overview of quantitative and qualitative methods. She then submits a research proposal for a project whose research question and methodology align and whose scope is appropriate for a semester-long assignment, the student will spend four months gathering data and writing a paper. At the end of the semester, she’ll present the results of her research in a public forum, subject to Q&A from guests invited from around Somaliland.


Throughout, she’ll work closely with her supervisor, who solicits drafts at five intervals, provides feedback in accordance with a rubric, and runs mock presentations.


Past projects have included questions such as:

  • To what extent does parental involvement in education influence students’ academic achievement?
  • To what extent are women involved in household decision-making in Abaarso Village?
  • To what extent do cultural beliefs towards work impact the job search behavior of high school graduates in Hargeisa, Somaliland?



 Zamzam collecting data for Mini Research Project 3 in PROF 470 Research Methods, Fall 2023. Zamzam played the role of Interviewer. Other members of Zamzam’s group (seen only in shadow), each played a different role: Recorder, Transcriber, Translator

Research question for Mini Research Project 3 (Interviews): “To what extent do five BU soldiers remember their first day at BU, and are there similarities in what the soldiers remember doing, thinking, or feeling?”

Degrees & Certificates

Barwaaqo University currently offers four degrees and certificates for students to choose from. 

This professional degree prepares students to work in the field of education around the country. This program aims to ensure students have the knowledge and skills about teaching strategies, curriculum and lesson planning, education policy, decision-making, leadership, to create professional and passionate educators that can move forward the education of Somaliland.


This is done through rigorous courses, practical teaching experiences and other hands-on learning opportunities.

The Bachelor of Education with a Montessori specialization is a professional degree that aims to equip students with the skills necessary to be a competent education in Montessori philosophy.  Students will gain the same core education competencies from the Bachelor of Education with additional specialization in teaching the core Montessori areas, including Math, Language, Culture, Practical Life and Sensorial. They will also have job opportunities at Kaabe schools across the country. 

The Bachelor of Arts in International Communications is designed to prepare students to work within the private sector, government or with INGOs on matters pertaining to Somaliland’s development and growth. Students are required to develop a C1 proficiency in English, and take a range of classes around international development, translation, and basic data analysis.

A Certificate of English Proficiency from Barwaaqo University demonstrates that a student has the language skills necessary to communicate clearly and fluently in English. Students that have successfully earned this certificate have demonstrated that they have good reading and listening comprehension skills as well as writing and speaking capabilities at the B2 level.

Degree Requirements

Each degree has a different set of requirements that must be completed in order to receive the degree. Learn more about these specific requirements and pathways below.