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Cape Verde


La Republica de Cabo Verde is an archipelago of 10 islands in the North Atlantic Ocean west of the coast of Senegal. The population is 426,998 and the literacy rate is 76.6%. Portuguese is the official language, although Crioulo (a Portuguese-based Creole) is the first language of most Cape Verdeans. More Cape Verdeans live outside of the country than in Cape Verde itself.

The islands of Cape Verde were uninhabited until they were discovered by the Portuguese in 1462. They later became a major trading center for African slaves and were also an important whaling stop and a refueling stop for transatlantic shipping. In 1951, Portugal changed Cape Verde's status from a colony to an overseas province. On July 5, 1975, Cape Verde was granted independence from Portugal.


Education is free and compulsory from ages 6 to 12. Currently, the Ministério da Educação as well as the Ministério da Educação: Direção-Geral de Ensino Superior oversee the different levels of education.

Primary Education

Educação pré-escolar (Pre-school) is 3 years beginning at age 3. Students who have not completed pre-school must wait until age 7 to begin primary school. L'Ensino básico integrado (Primary school) is 6 years beginning at age 6 and is divided into three, two-year cycles. Upon completion of primary school, students are awarded a Certificat de Fin ďEtudes de Base (CFEB).

Secondary Education

L'Enesino secundário (Secondary school) is 6 years and is divided into three, two-year cycles. The 1° Ciclo - Tronco Comum (first cycle) is a common curriculum for all students. Students are streamed into gereal (general) and técnica (technical) tracks for the final 2 cycles. Upon completion, students sit for a national examination leading to the Certificado da Habilitações Literárias.

L'ensino médio (Vocational studies) are 3 years following completion of the 5th year of secondary school. Students are awarded a Certificado do Nível Vocacional Médio upon completion.

Post-Secondary Education

First Cycle

Post-secondary studies are offered at two universities and several institutes. Three-year programs lead to the Bachelerato. Other first-level university programs are 4 - 5 years and lead to the Licenciatura.

Second Cycle

Graduate programs are 2 years and require a Licenciatura for admission. After successful defense of a thesis, students are awarded a Mestrado.

Doctoral programs are not currently offered on Cape Verde.

Teacher Training

Primary school teachers are trained in a 3-year program at the Instituto Superior de Educação leading to the Magistério Primário. Secondary school teachers must hold a Bachelerato or a Licenciatura.


Upcoming AACRAO Events

Crises as Catalysts for Transformation

Fall 2020 | virtual conference

Join us this fall for a virtual Strategic Enrollment Management Conference - Crises as Catalysts for Transformation: 2020’s Impact on Higher Education and Enrollment.

This three day, virtual conference will feature models for adapting to change, meeting challenges, and planning strategically post-pandemic.

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106th AACRAO Annual Meeting

March 28 - 31, 2021 | National Harbor, MD

AACRAO’s Annual Meeting is our largest convening of higher education professionals from around the world. Join more than 2,000 administrators in person or online as we work to address the issues facing today’s campuses, share goals and guidelines for meeting those challenges, and provide a forum for learning and sharing experiences.

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