Structure of Ghana’s Education System
Schooling is mandatory from ages 6 to 15 with a 1st cycle curriculum covering 6 years of basic education and 3 years of Junior High School. The Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) certifies the 1st cycle of education.
Three years of secondary education (Senior High School) follow culminating with school candidates taking the West African Senior School Certificate Examinations (WASSCE). Since the start of the 2017 academic year, secondary education has been free of charge.
Successful candidates of the WASSCE—which is also administered in five other English-speaking countries in West Africa— then apply for admission into university for the following academic year. About 50% of eligible candidates are absorbed by the public universities. The rest are enrolled in private universities, colleges of education and polytechnics.
The undergraduate/bachelors level (BA, BSc or others depending on the discipline) is done in four years. Some language courses offer an extra year abroad for language immersion. The Masters level is completed in one year for MA/MSc programmes and two years for research-oriented MPhil programmes. A doctorate/PhD degree takes three years to complete.
Technical universities offer professional training courses in three years, leading to a Higher National Diploma (HND). This HND can then be completed with a “top-up” 18-month course leading to a Bachelor of Technology (BTech).
The Ghanaian grading system is based off the Anglo-Saxon model but may differ from one institution to another; particularly final grade point systems used to rank 1st, 2nd or 3rd class students.
Mandatory National Service
At the end of their undergraduate studies, Ghanaian students are required to complete one year of National Service in a public or private institution.