In 2009, then-President of the Saharawi Republic, Mohamed Abdelaziz, signed a decree ordering the establishment of the University of Tifariti
in the oasis town in the "liberated territories" controlled by the Polisario.
Moroccan bomb shelling in 1976 forced residents of Tifariti to evacuate, and the heavy attacks continued until the ceasefire agreement in 1991. The Polisario began reconstructing the ghost town in 1991, and it is now is the only permanent settlement in this part of
Western Sahara. With a population of around 3,000 people, Tifariti also has a hospital, a school and a museum.
The University of Tifariti has so far been able to attract 450 undergraduate students and almost 90 academics. It hosts four University Centres: the School of Nursing, the School of Administration and Computer Science, the Pedagogical Institute of Teachers and
Professors, the Institute of Information and Journalism. The Faculty of Law is also planned and will be established soon.
Learn more about the university here.
Still, despite these remarkable achievements, the stark truth remains that the Saharawi refugees have few opportunities to apply their degrees in the camps and unemployment hovers around 80%. They are a vulnerable, aid-dependent population with extremely limited
possibilities for young educated adults to develop professionally and find meaningful work.