Founded in 1993, the Université du Mali in Bamako has faculties of medicine, pharmacy, and dentistry; sciences and technology; law and economics; and letters, languages, arts and humanities. It also has institutes of management, agricultural training and applied research, and training and applied research. Finally, it has schools of engineering, teacher training, and administration. The academic year runs from October to July. The baccalauréat (secondary school certificate) is required for admission. The language of instruction is French. In 1997-1998, there were 13,847 students enrolled, 20 percent of whom were females, with an academic staff of 509. This enrollment represents 1.0 percent of those aged 19 to 23.
Higher education is free, and students also receive a generous living allowance. These student scholarships, however, represent 60 percent of the higher education budget. Consequently, almost no funds are available for instructional materials and scientific equipment. As a result, science and technology students have no hands-on experience. Finally, because students have no textbooks, teachers dictate their material to students who have no other access to information.
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