Snapshot and Services of the Tanzania Commission for Universities

Snapshot and Services of the Tanzania Commission for Universities

On 1st July 2005, Tanzania Commission for Universities alias TCU, an organization, was established by the Universities Act, 2005 in Chapter 346 of Tanzanian Law. TCU has a mandate to acknowledge, sanction, record and certify institutions of higher learning operating in the country, including local or international programmes offered by acknowledged universities. The body also organizes the appropriate working of all universities to encourage a harmonized system for higher education in Tanzania.

Tanzania Commission for Universities replaced the defunct accreditation council for higher education (HEAC) formed in 1995. The Education Act,1995 gave JEAC the legal authority to manage the country’s creation and subsequent certification of private universities. The limitation to only private universities, the mandate was deemed unfavourable in promoting a feasible public-private collaboration for higher learning stipulated by the national policy for higher education (NHEP), 1999.

So, such situations forced the government’s creation of a harmonized system for higher education in Tanzania that led to creating the Tanzania Commission for Universities. To ensure a coordinated higher education approach does not jeopardize autonomy and institutional peculiarities, every university is free to work under its sanctions.

The Tanzania Commission for Universities’ mandates and primary functions are provided in section 5 (1), Universities Act Cap. 346. The functions are clustered in three major fields including.

Tanzania Commission for Universities Regulatory Function

Conducting a consistent and impromptu occasional assessment of universities, programmes and systems to regulate systems for quality assurance for established and new universities. Leading to registering and accrediting institutions to work in Tanzania. Additionally, Tanzania Commission for Universities evaluates and validates courses to ensure credibility in recognizing university qualifications obtained from home and foreign universities in the country.

Tanzania Commission for Universities Advisory Function

Advising the state and public on issues regarding university education in the country and international matters concerning higher education, such as advice on policy and program formulation, including other good practices.

Tanzania Commission for Universities Support Function

Ensuring conducting university management and operations in an orderly manner that adheres to set benchmarks and standards. Supporting universities during coordinating of students’ admission, training and additional interventions. Sensitizing the masses in essential university management and leadership areas like resources mobilization, quality assurance and fundraising, gender mainstreaming, and entrepreneurial skills.

Services Provided by the Tanzania Commission for Universities

Accrediting Universities

Establishing a university in Tanzania is through two steps. Applying for a provisional license is the first step, then step two is to apply for an accreditation certificate. A temporary license is valid for three years, with a single renewal.

An individual or institution/organization wishing to set up a university in Tanzania has to apply formally to Tanzania Commission for Universities with a filled TCU Form No. 1 and other documents below:-

  • Three copies of the project write-ups;
  • Proof of essential amenities;
  • Title deed or offer or other evidence regarding the title of the proposed facilities;
  • Long-term development master plan;
  • Implementation plan regarding the submitted master-plan;
  • Draft curricula of the first courses, including the proposed fee structure;
  • Draft charter from the model charter from the commission;
  • Applicant’s details regarding proposed location and other information determined by the commission

Local investors have to pay a nonrefundable application fee of five million shillings only (TZS 5,000,000). In contrast, foreign investors pay $ 5,000 in advance.

After meeting the above conditions, holders of a Provisional License Holder can apply to get accredited using TCU Form 9.

Higher Education Exhibitions Annually

Tanzania Commission for Universities has organized annual exhibitions for higher education since 2006. The primary objective of this event is to create a platform to market institutions of higher learning in the country and foreign ones through publicizing their academic courses and related services.

Hubert Kairuki Memorial University (HKMU) at one of the Tanzania Commission for Universities Exhibitions - Mnazi Mmoja Dar es salaam
Hubert Kairuki Memorial University (HKMU) at one of the Tanzania Commission for Universities Exhibitions – Mnazi Mmoja Dar es salaam

Particular objectives include:

  • Demonstrating roles played by professional bodies, higher institutions of learning, and research and development towards overall development in the country;
  • Educating and informing potential students and the public about the courses. Services and products local institutions of higher learning offer and elsewhere;
  • Fostering partnerships among institutions of higher learning;
  • Providing a forum for engaging stakeholders in dialogue regarding the country’s higher education issues;
  • Enabling potential applicants in higher education and the public to connect with regulatory bodies, universities, and research institutions to make informed career choices.

Participating in the Event:

  • Applying to participate in the exhibitions is done online at
  • The public is free to attend the exhibitions.

Exhibitions Guidelines and Rules

Tanzania Commission for Universities has rules to ensure the higher education exhibitions are well-coordinated and effective.

Coordinating Admissions in Institutions of Higher Learning

Discover requirements regarding undergraduate admission and programme availability according to academic background. Learn requirements for particular program requirements, information about the transfer of credit and procedures for transfers in and across universities. There’s also access to important dates and deadlines for applications—statistics and reports regarding higher education institutions in the country.

Requirements for Admissions

The Tanzania Commission for Universities checks academic background from the options depending on the given fields of study, including reviewing the requirements for admission for preferred study programs using the Admissions Guidebooks. Apart from fulfilling general requirements for university admission, there’s a need to understand the programme capacities to make an informed decision to proceed to apply to a preferred university.

When currently enrolled in a university or have the previous admission to an institution of higher learning in the past years and re-applying, completing the re-application form is necessary before proceeding with the application to a preferred university.

Accrediting Academic Programmes

Tanzania Commission for Universities has a mandate to ensure all university programmes are validated and match required standards. A university introducing a new curriculum or planning to revise it has to submit it to Tanzania Commission for Universities to get accredited.

The Tanzania Commission for Universities has an online system, Programme Management System (PMS), for all new and revised curricula submissions. Additionally, the commission has a general framework and procedure for validating curricula every university should cover.

Recognizing and Equating Foreign Qualifications

Tanzania Commission for Universities approves appropriate examination regulations and determines equivalence to recognise awards from local and foreign universities. The commission has an online system, Foreign Awards Assessment System (FAAS), especially for assessing foreign awards.

Applicants with awards from foreign universities have to apply online to have their awards assessed. The assessment process considers locals and foreigners with awards from universities from across the world.

Tanzania Commission for Universities’ assessment depends on the structural comparison, curricula analysis, and evaluation of learning outcomes. The commission recognizes foreign qualifications after equating them to the same awards according to the University Qualifications Framework (UQF) of Tanzania.

Foreign awards are those from foreign awarding bodies. Assessing an award is verifying that the award matches the knowledge, competencies, education, and skills acquired from another country compared to the established standards for a matching award in Tanzania.

Principle 7 of the Principles and Guidelines for Evaluation of Foreign Awards and Recognition of Qualifications, 2019, a person not satisfied with the Commission decision can appeal the decision in a given from the date after getting the decision.

Tanzania Commission for Universities Information Resource Centre

In 2004, the Tanzania Commission for Universities Information Resource Centre (TCU-IRC) was established. It’s a specialized resource and reference centre for Tanzania Commission for Universities and its stakeholders. TCU-IRC’s was to offer accurate, up-to-date information on different issues regarding higher education such as governance, quality assurance, improved access, expansion and financing.

Currently, the center has volumes of information in different formats. The available resource types include e-books, printed journals and books, higher education e-journals, directories, newspapers, and university databases globally.

Apart from information resources, Tanzania Commission for Universities Information Resource Centre offers:

  • Newsletter
  • Open access resources
  • Digital repository
  • Online access to the public catalogue
  • Database for universities theses and dissertation

Tanzania Commission for Universities Customer service


Tanzania Commission for Universities always make an effort to offer quality service to everyone and welcome all feedback regarding our services.


Your opinions are essential to the Tanzania Commission for Universities. Give your views at or visit the office.


Tanzania Commission for Universities prays you will be satisfied with our service and encourage letting it know. Commenting on what Tanzania Commission for Universities does well helps understand their performance towards meeting your expectations.


When dissatisfied with Tanzania Commission for Universities service or unhappy with its staff conduct, forward your complaint. Filing your dissatisfaction allows the commission to realize why and where we were ineffective at meeting the appropriate service standards expected from us. Tanzania Commission for Universities will be able to work on its mistakes and offer better services to Tanzanians.

You can register your complaint in the suggestion box in the corridor of our offices.

Your complaint can be about:

Commission’s service delivery includes dissatisfaction with service from a staff member regarding recognizing and equating qualifications, customer service, quality assurance, accreditation, and finance.

Poor conduct of a Tanzania Commission for Universities staff member or an officer – such as thinking an officer acted unfairly or inappropriately to you.

Other Important Information About the Tanzania Commission for Universities

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