Since 2002, the dos Santos administration has dedicated much time, money and effort to rebuilding the teaching system, recognising that it’s an essential part of any country’s social, economic and cultural fabric. “The plan that the Government developed to reconstruct the country embraces all sectors, including education,” says Dr Zakeu Zengo, rector of the Metropolitan University of Angola, or UniMetro for short. “The Government’s plans for general and higher education are sufficiently daring to accomplish respectable success in the medium and long run.”
Established in 2007, the founding premise of UniMetro is to provide Angolans with the education and training they need to become active and relevant participants in the country’s rapidly growing economy.
In Angola, 70 per cent of doctors and 40 per cent of mining and oil engineers are foreigners. Universities such as UniMetro are working diligently to reduce these figures by creating a talented, entrepreneurial local workforce that will meet the hiring needs of foreign companies operating in Angola, and be able to compete on a global level.
UniMetro’s curriculum combines Government priorities with the real needs of the country’s economy as expressed by public and private sector companies. Currently, the university offers degrees in human resources, science, engineering, arts, literature, business and management.
UniMetro’s campus occupies a square kilometre and is located in a fast-growing Luanda neighbourhood called Morro Bento II. The university consists of two modern multi-storey buildings that contain the school’s various teaching facilities, an IT centre, administration offices and the library.
The school has plans to construct two more buildings. One will house additional classrooms, laboratories and offices for teaching staff. The other aims to provide for students’ spiritual and health needs and will include space for a chapel, more labs and a gymnasium.
“Each step, each phase and each aspect involved in the development project of this university was planned to function as a piece of our vision, to be an entirely dedicated university, not only to dignify superior education in the country, but also to be a real and capable partner to its pupils,” Dr Zengo boasts.
The efforts by UniMetro to improve its educational offerings and facilities also include actively seeking out investment and exchanges with British institutions. Such cooperation has the potential to benefit both sides, Dr Zengo explains.
“We hope we can find UK universities that are interested in and capable of contributing to Angola as partners in educational projects,” Dr Zengo says. “Investments in Angola hold ample possibilities of development, expansion and success.”