Université de Lubumbashi

SITUATED IN the copper-rich Katanga province in the south of the DRC, this large university (second in size only to the University of Kinshasa) was originally established by the colonial authorities in the mid-1950s. After a process of nationalisation and amalgamation into a single national institution, 15 the university emerged once more as autonomous and with its current name, the University of Lubumbashi, in 1981.

In response to the nearby mining activity, nearly 200 of the 769 academic and research staff employed at the university are active in the science, engineering and technology fields. There are active geology, engineering and information science departments. Other academic options for students include languages (Latin, French, and Congolese languages), linguistics, history, philosophy, sociology, anthropology, and law. In total, there are 194 professors on the staff. However, research at the university hardly exists, with only 13 publications (including the  publication of five books) appearing in 2007.

Nevertheless, it is hoped that new international contacts will help to improve the situation. Co-operative partnerships with institutions in Belgium, France, the USA, and South Africa have been established.

An example is the tripartite co-operation agreement between the University of Lubumbashi, the University of Liege in Belgium, and the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. The aim of the agreement is to reinforce scientific and academic co-operation between the three institutions by facilitating direct contacts through exchanges involving professors, researchers, technicians and students; by the setting up joint research activities; by jointly organising conferences and seminars; by information and equipment exchanges; and by sustained fundraising in each institution to support the exchange programmes.

The research activities listed for the Tripartite programme are ambitious. They include: mining and metallurgy, as well as HIV/Aids and blood transfusions. These activities should improve the weak research base at University of Lubumbashi.

Facts and Figures  at a Glance1

The Université de Lubumbashi is a contact institution. In 2007 the university had a total enrolment of 20,898 students. The majority of students are DRC nationals (99.9%) with ten SADC nationals and ten students from other international, non-SADC, countries.

Table 1: Université de Lubumbashi - Summary of Enrolment Numbers (Actual data, 2007) 2


Number of students enrolled per level of study

Major Field of Study

Total Number of Students (Headcount)

Under- graduate degree/ diploma Post-graduate degree/ diploma Masters Degree Doctoral Degree
Science, Engineering & Technology 2,972 1,9723 0 17 11
Business, Management & Law 5,892 3,892 0 8 9
Humanities and Social Sciences 6,623 2,440 0 30 34
Health Sciences 6,411 5,594 0 49 14
TOTALS 21,898 13,898 0 104 68

Source: Université de Lubumbashi questionnaire response

Table 2: Université de Lubumbashi: Academic and Research staff (Actual data, 2007)

Major Field Of Study

Total Number (headcount)

Science, Engineering & Technology 184
Business, Management & Law 80
Humanities and Social Sciences 288
Health Sciences 217

Source: Université de Lubumbashi questionnaire response


[1] All data presented in this section is headcount data.
[2] Total numbers of students by faculty do not tally accurately in all instances.
[3] These numbers are for first and second cycle.