Addressing Problems in Higher Education in Haiti

Crumbling school room

The Consortium addresses a variety of systemic problems in higher education in Haiti. These identified problems are consistent with the higher education recommendations of the Presidential Commission (GTEF), the vision for higher education reform presented by the Minister of Education, and issues articulated by the Rector of the State University of Haiti. These system-wide problems (which are not specific to any individual institution) are in four general categories: Governance and Structure; Resources; Partnerships; and Curriculum.
In each category, short and long-term problems are identified.

Governance and Structure

Short Term

  • Lack of regulations and policy that hinders the university from functioning in an effective way to foster quality student learning
  • Government resources to support public higher education in Haiti are insufficient

Long Term

  • Proliferation of private for-profit universities due to the absence of regulation contributes to poor quality of education for students
  • Absence of a system for accreditation leads to poor quality control
  • Confusion about the role of public universities in a democracy


Short Term

  • Inadequate resources: particularly technology, laboratories and libraries for students and faculty to seek knowledge and conduct research
  • Lack of regular student access to faculty for advising and learning
  • Lack of current and accurate data to determine the real needs of the higher education system to guide reform
  • Absence of logistical arrangements; particularly accommodations, for members of the Diaspora (retired or graduate students) to offer service to institutions of higher education

Long Term

  • Lack of access to permanent physical space for students to pursue higher education
  • Shortage of qualified teachers
  • Persistent brain drain (students who graduate from institutions of higher education do not enter the Haitian workforce – they go to other countries)
  • Inadequate funding to carry out the basic functions of the university (teaching, research, and service)
  • Lack of teacher preparation and professional development contributes to lack of quality learning
  • Too few institutions of higher education located outside of the three major cities to provide students with access and choice
  • Inadequate financial resources for students to access higher education institutions


Long Term

  • Absence of communication and coordination between institutions of higher education and various sectors of the society.


Long Term

Outdated and inflexible traditional curriculum system which hinders student choice

  • Mismatch between the curriculum of the university and the changing demands of the workplace