Njala University is the Agricultural University of Sierra Leone and therefore the School of Agriculture is the main entity of the University. Agriculture is the main stay of the Sierra Leone economy, contributing over 36% to the GDP and employing over 70% of the rural population. Therefore the role of the School of Agriculture in national development cannot be overemphasized. The School is made up of seven Departments/Institutes
The School sees itself as a facilitating agent in the areas of agricultural and national development and seeks to contribute positively to these areas. Considering the level of under- development in the country particularly in the agricultural sector, the areas of concern in which the School is of service seem inexhaustible. Thus the School addresses itself to issues on teaching, agricultural research and technology development and transfer to farmers and other relevant bodies.
The purpose of the School based on its mission is therefore to provide higher education in agriculture through flexible admission policies to allow men and women equal opportunity regardless of tribe, belief and origin to higher education in agriculture for agricultural sector and national development.
- provide instruction in all branches of agriculture and make provision for research and the advancement and dissemination of knowledge in agriculture
- provide services in the area of agriculture for persons who are not regularly enrolled in the University
- teach courses leading to the award of degrees, diplomas and certificates in all branches of agriculture
To achieve the above objectives the School relentlessly works towards:
- the attainment of the highest academic standard competitive with regional and international agricultural institutions of higher learning
- the provision of regular supplies of highly educated agriculturalists, nutritionists, food technologists and community development experts capable of effectively and efficiently managing the affairs of state and the community they serve
- the contribution to agricultural and nutritional policies and decision making within framework of national development
- the building of teaching and research capacity of academic staff to enhance their own as well as students intellectual horizon and promoting outreach goals through appropriate extension strategies
Accreditation and Academic Links
To strengthen academic and/ or research capacity and to foster international educational cooperation, various link arrangements exit between the School and institutions in and out of Sierra Leone. The School has links with the Sierra Leone Agricultural Research Institute (SLARI) and some of its staff members are Principal Research Fellows, Senior Research Fellows or Research Fellows involved in both on-farm and on-station research to improve farmers’ productivity of rice, maize, cassava, sweet potato, yam, groundnut, soybean and cowpea. The School also collaborates with international research institutions such as International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), International Centre for Research in Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and International Potato Centre (CIP) in the development of high yielding crop varieties, tolerant/resistant to major pests and diseases. The School has strong linkage with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) at Vienna, Austria, University of Ibadan (UI) and University of Agriculture, Abeokuta in Nigeria, Illinois University, Iowa State University and Oklahoma State University in the USA.
Degree and Certificate Programmes
The School of Agriculture offers a wide range of degree (B. Sc., M. Sc., M. Phil. and PhD), certificate and diploma (OD and HD) programmes. The Bachelors degree programmes are Honours. Each Department except National Agricultural Training Centre (NATC) offers all the above degree programmes. The certificate and diploma programmes are offered at NATC.
The normal duration for Bachelors Degree in the School is four years. However, candidates with Higher National Diploma (HND) or Higher Teachers Certificate (HTC- secondary) or State Registered Nurse (SRN) are normally admitted into the second year and may complete the degree in three years. The duration for M. Sc. degree is 15 months, M. Phil. two years and PhD three years. The following certificate and diploma programmes are run by the School: Certificate in Agriculture General (two years) and OND (two years) and HND (three years) in Agronomy, Animal Science or Forestry. Candidates with OND may be admitted into the second year of the HND programme.
Requirements for undergraduate degree programmes
- Five credits at WASSCE/GCE O’ level or its equivalent including English Language with at least two credits in Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry or Biology in not more than two sittings will be admitted into the first year.
- For National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) only unit 1 to 4 will be accepted as equivalent to unit 1 to 6 credit passes at WASSCE/GCE O’ level.
- Applicants with HND, HTC or SRN from a recognised institution with four credits including English Language and at least two of the following subjects: Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry or Biology at WASSCE/GCE O’ level or its equivalent will be admitted into the second year otherwise they will be admitted into the first.
- Candidates with five credits at WASSCE/GCE O’ level or with HND, HTC or SRN but without English Language will be required to take the University Matriculation English Examination.
Requirements for certificate and diploma programmes
- Candidates wishing to enrol for Certificate in Agriculture must have two credits at WASSCE/GCE O’ level with at least a credit in a pure science subject or mathematics or at least five years of experience working in an agricultural institution.
- OND applicants must have must have three credit passes WASSCE/GCE O’ level with at least one credit in a pure science subject including English Language or a certificate in agriculture.
- Candidates wishing to pursue a HND programme must have four credit passes at WASSCE/GCE O’ level with at least two credits in pure science subjects including English Language or an OND.
- Candidates with Certificate in Agriculture wishing to pursue OND or with OND wishing to pursue HND without the required WASSCE/GCE O’ level passes must have a CGPA of 4.00 (80%).
Requirements for postgraduate degree programmes
- Candidates wishing to pursue an M. Sc. must possess 5 credits at WASSCE/GCE O’ level or its equivalent including English Language and a first degree with at least a Division 2 or Second Class Honours from a recognised University.
- M. Phil. candidates must have completed the taught M. Sc.
- PhD candidates must have an M. Phil. or M. Sc. with thesis.
- M. Phil. and PhD candidates are required to present their research proposals in a public forum and are only allowed to continue after approval from the School.