Eleven years after the overthrow of the regime of Muammar Gaddafi, vocational education in Libya is in difficulty as a result of years of war and civil fighting.
The repercussions include the closure of dozens of vocational education institutes, the suspension of studies in some programs, and a decline in the number of students. Most of the shrinkage occurred between 2011 and 2018.
There are now about 520 higher and medium vocational institutes throughout Libya, all of them under the direct supervision of the Ministry of Technical and Vocational Education. The higher institutes have 48,679 students enrolled in disciplines such as health and safety, water affairs, transportation, medical technologies, and marine sciences. That number compares to a total university student population of over 402,000.
In an interview with Al-Fanar Media via Zoom, Issa Al-Jadi, advisor to the minister, blamed deteriorating security conditions for the closures, as well as “the weaker curricula that weakened the opportunities for graduates of these institutes to enter the labour market.”
Al-Jadi said the expansion of private universities and colleges “without specific controls” was the main reason for the drop in the number of vocational students. Official estimates indicate that there are 74 private universities in Libya, and 14 public universities.
Maritime Institute Looted
The six-year civil war which ended in 2020 disrupted the country’s ports and damaged the shipping industry. As a result, the number of students at the three maritime vocational institutes decreased.