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Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar

Created on 24 February 1957, the University of Dakar was officially inaugurated on 9 December 1959 after a long evolution marked by:

  • The creation of an African School of Medicine
  • The first draft of higher education in Africa in 1918 (decree of 14 January 1918)
  • The creation of the French Institute of Black Africa (IFAN) in 1936
  • The creation of a Certificate of Physics, Chemistry and Biology (PCB), preparatory to medical studies
  • The opening in the early 1950s of higher schools academically attached to the University of Bordeaux within the framework of what was called the Institute of Higher Studies of Dakar

The following years witnessed:

  • The establishment of independent faculties in place of these higher schools to form the 18th French University, academically attached to the Universities of Paris and Bordeaux, in 1957
  • A change of name of the University of Dakar, which became Cheikh Anta Diop University of Dakar on 30 March 1987
  • The pedagogical reform resulting from the National Concertation on Higher Education and the creation of the Faculty of Economic Sciences and Management (FASEG) in 1994
  • The introduction of the LMD reform in 2003
  • The creation of the Faculty of Science and Technology of Education and Training (FASTEF) in 2004
  • The reform of doctoral studies in 2005

The University of Dakar is oriented towards fundamental and applied research and is open to various fields of study. It is, with no doubt, the biggest French-speaking university in West Africa with nearly 90 000 students. Its main missions are to provide training adapted to the needs of society; to develop research to foster the economic, social and cultural development of Senegal and Africa; to provide service to the community in order to participate in the management of environmental, socio-economic, national and continental political issues. It is located on the West coast, in Dakar, the capital of Senegal. It is composed of higher education and research establishments as follows:

  • 48 institutions
  • 12 institutions with faculty rank
  • 22 university institutes
  • 14 faculty institutes
  • 73 departments
  • seven doctoral schools (1957 PhD Students)
  • the Interstate School of Veterinary Sciences and Medicine which is scientifically dependent on the university.

The research system at UCAD is structured around a Research Directorate, which is the steering body, a Scientific Council, the Cooperation Directorate, the Intellectual Property and Research Results Valorisation Service, and the Research Ethics Committee.

The UCAD has three (3) centres of excellence:

  • CEA-SAMEF (Mother and Child Health)
  • CEA-AGRISAN (Agriculture for Food and Nutritional Security)
  • CEA-AGIR (Environment, Health, Societies)

Research fields encompass every field with different faculties and one of the main objectives is to respond to the general needs of society. Thus, the University Cheikh Anta Diop is very rooted and socially engaged. The mission of the Centre des Œuvres Universitaires de Dakar (COUD) for example is to promote the improvement of the living and working conditions of students and pupils of the establishments under the authority of the university, under the conditions determined by decree.

The University Cheikh Anta Diop of Dakar is both an African university and open to the world. UCAD cooperates with partner universities worldwide, and is a member of international mixed structures of training and research:

  • International Mixed Unit (UMMISCO): UCAD-IRD-UGB-Université Pierre et Marie Curie-Université Yaoundé 1- Université Cadi Ayyad Marrakech- Institut de la Francophonie pour l'Informatique Hanoï
  • International Joint Unit "Environment-Society-Health": UCAD-CNRS France- CNRST Burkina Faso-University of Bamako
  • Partnership Research Unit Pastoral Drylands (PPZS): CIRAD-UCAD-ISRA-CSE-ESEA

It counts also more than 90 ongoing research projects funded by various partners (USAID, H3 Africa, IDRC, European Commission) and more than 100 cooperation agreements (47% Europe; 36% Africa; 10% America and 7% Asia). The Directorate of Cooperation is responsible for the management of research projects. Competitive funds are made available to the University in the framework of national and international cooperation. They are intended to finance research activities but also to pay for mobility grants.

Country: Senegal
City: Dakar
University's name: Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar
Date of creation: 24 February 1957

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Useful links

Few figures

Number of students 


Number of staff


Number and names of faculties and/or schools

  • Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences
  • Faculty of Arts and Human Sciences
  • Faculty of Science and Technology
  • Faculty of Medicine, Pharmacy and Odontostomatology
  • Faculty of Legal and Political Sciences
  • Faculty of Science and Technology of Education and Training