Niger is currently the lowest-ranked country in the world on the Human Development Index (HDI). Education in Niger is in crisis—especially higher education. The curriculum is based on the former French colonial system, which had a goal of producing civil servants. The national university system is dysfunctional. Due to student, faculty, and administrator strikes, it takes an average of five years for a university student to graduate with a three-year bachelor’s degree. This failure paved the way for hundreds of for-profit private companies to open colleges and universities which trade academic degrees for dollars.
To gain access to a quality higher education, the most talented students with the financial means to do so migrate to foreign countries and rarely return to Niger. Since the tertiary education options in Niger are so mediocre, graduates from these universities are completely unprepared to enter the workforce. Employers in Niger consistently report receiving hundreds of resumes for employment vacancies but finding themselves unable to identify a single qualified local candidate among the applicants. As a result, these companies hire expatriates even for mid-level positions.