College Business in Tanzania: Health College (market, regulations and feasibility)

Highlighting the potentials, opportunities, feasibilities, risks, challenges and regulatory environment.

SUMMARY: You can start a health college, a medical college, or a medical school in Tanzania by following three steps. First, you need to prepare the requirements and mobilize resources.

Second, you need to register the college, a vital process that paves the way for its legitimacy and recognition. Lastly, the final step entails operationalizing the college by hiring the extra employees to fortify and support your vision.

But before detailing all that, is it a good business to pursue?

A health college is a college that focuses on offering programmes that lead to attainment of certificates and diplomas in various health disciplines.

In Tanzania, the main disciplines offered include Clinical Medicine, Nursing and Midwifery, Pharmaceutical Sciences and Medical Laboratory Sciences.

Others are Clinical Dentistry, Physiotherapy, Clinical Optometry, Environmental Health Sciences, Health Records Management, Health Information Sciences, Disaster Management, Counseling Psychology, and Radiology.

The direct regulation of Health Colleges in Tanzania is vested on two ministries, Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education.

Ministry of Education uses NACTVET1National Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training and the Ministry of Health uses MCT, PC, TAHPC, MRIPC, OC, TNMC, EHPRC and HLPC. There was an issue displaying the chart. Please edit the chart in the admin area for more details.

Is healthcare or medical college a good business to pursue in Tanzania?

Statistics from the NACTVET and Ministry of Health budget show that, in Tanzania, around 50,000 students are admitted to the 208 health colleges every year.

This gives an average of 240 admissions per college per annum, and since most colleges have three-year programmes cycles, this converts to an average of 720 students per college in a complete cycle.

Tanzania has 208 registered health colleges and the number of students admitted to those colleges is around 50,000 per annum giving an average of 240 admissions per college per annum.
MOH Budget Speech 2022/23, NACTVET | June 2023

The fees indicated in the NACTVET guidelines range between Tshs 1.6 million and 1.9 million, depending on the programme. Doing some calculations, a health college has a potential of generating around Tshs 1,152 – 1,368 million revenue per annum.

Potential annual revenue of a health college in Tanzania (Tshs)

Obviously, some colleges are performing above the average and some below the average depending with the marketing initiatives and several other factors.

A: Projections of revenue, costs and profits

We have included a projected income statement for a new medical college that is started in an urban town in Tanzania. The projections are based on the facts available in 2023.

Details Notes Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
Number of students 1 80 160 320
Average fee per student 2 1,600,000 1,600,000 1,600,000
Tuition fees from students 3 128,000,000 256,000,000 512,000,000
Other fees from students 4 30,000,000 45,000,000 60,000,000
Subsidies, grants & donations 5 20,000,000 20,000,000 20,000,000
Total revenues 6 178,000,000 321,000,000 592,000,000
Salaries to principal 7 7,200,000 10,800,000 12,960,000
Salaries to Finance & Adm Officer 8 4,800,000 7,200,000 9,600,000
Salaries to cashier 9 3,600,000 5,400,000 7,200,000
Salaries to office attendant 10 2,400,000 3,600,000 3,600,000
Salaries to garden boy 11 2,400,000 3,600,000 3,600,000
Salaries to watchman x 2 12 8,400,000 10,800,000 10,800,000
Salaries to teachers x 8 13 57,600,000 69,120,000 82,944,000
Books and stationeries 14 7,200,000 14,400,000 28,800,000
Legal & professional expesnes 15 900,000 900,000 900,000
Insurance 16 2,400,000 3,000,000 3,400,000
Staff meals & beverages 17 14,560,000 16,744,000 17,472,000
Licenses & regulatory authorities 18 2,800,000 2,800,000 2,800,000
Rent 19 72,000,000 72,000,000 72,000,000
Total expenses 20 186,260,000 220,364,000 256,076,000
Profit before taxes & depreciation 21 -58,260,000 35,636,000 255,924,000

The projections above have been prepared based on a number of key facts and assumptions.

The college may manage to reach the 720 students average by year 5 if it implements all of the proposed strategies in this article.

B: Gap analysis

It’s key to establish the gap that a new health college wants to fill. What is it that the business can deliver more efficiently that existing colleges in the chosen location couldn’t.

If a new health college is to succeed in this environment, it will need to address existing gaps and differentiate itself from the established institutions. Here are some potential gaps that a new college can utilize to succeed:

1. Proper business model and marketing plan

Most health colleges lack proper business model with clear revenue streams, cost structure, and resource allocation. They also lack robust marketing plan which is essential for creating brand awareness and attracting qualified students.

2. Modern Facilities and Technology

Upgrading and equipping the college with state-of-the-art facilities and technology can give it a competitive edge. Access to modern equipment, simulation labs, and e-learning resources can enhance the quality of education and attract students seeking cutting-edge training.

3. Industry Partnerships

Building strong partnerships with local healthcare providers, hospitals, clinics, and NGOs can provide students with valuable practical experiences and internships. Collaboration with established organizations can also lend credibility and support to the new college’s programs.

4. Faculty Excellence

Attracting experienced and renowned faculty members can elevate the college’s reputation and attract high-quality students. Faculty members with expertise in specific healthcare fields can contribute to the development of specialized programs and research initiatives.

5. Student Support Services

Providing comprehensive student support services, such as career counseling, mentorship programs, and financial aid assistance, can help attract and retain students. A strong support system contributes to the overall success and satisfaction of students.

6. Research and Innovation

Prioritizing research and encouraging innovation can foster a culture of continuous improvement and stay at the forefront of advancements in healthcare. This can attract students and faculty who are passionate about making a difference in the field.

7. Affordability and Accessibility

Ensuring that the college remains affordable and accessible to a diverse range of students, including those from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, can help widen the college’s reach and impact.

8. International Collaboration

Exploring partnerships with international institutions can bring global perspectives, exchange programs, and opportunities for students and faculty, enhancing the college’s overall academic environment.

C: Key Success Factors (KSF) of a health college business in Tanzania

To increase your chances of success in the health college business, you need to have a clear strategic focus, the right staff and a proper management. You also need proper marketing and financial management.

1. Having a strategic focus

A health college in Tanzania should have a clear and well-defined strategic focus. This means having a vision, mission, and specific goals that align with the needs and demands of the healthcare industry in the country.

Understanding the market, identifying the areas of specialization, and offering relevant and up-to-date courses can set the college apart and attract students who are seeking high-quality education and training.

2. Having the right people

A health college’s success heavily relies on its faculty and staff. Recruiting qualified and experienced educators, healthcare professionals, and administrative personnel is essential.

These individuals should not only possess relevant academic qualifications but also have practical experience in the healthcare field. Their expertise and passion for teaching will ensure that students receive valuable, industry-relevant knowledge and skills.

3. Operational efficiency

Efficient operations ensure that the health college can provide a seamless and conducive learning environment for its students. This involves effective management of resources, timely administrative processes, streamlined curriculum delivery, and proper facilities maintenance.

A well-organized college fosters a positive learning experience and contributes to the overall reputation of the institution.

4. Proper marketing strategies

Effective marketing is crucial for attracting prospective students and creating awareness about the health college’s programs and offerings. Utilizing various marketing channels such as social media, educational fairs, partnerships with high schools, and online advertising can help reach a wider audience.

Additionally, the college should highlight its unique selling points, such as accreditations, successful alumni, and modern facilities, to distinguish itself from competitors.

5. Proper financial management

Maintaining sound financial management practices is essential for the sustainability and growth of a health college. This includes budgeting, prudent spending, managing tuition fees, and seeking additional funding through grants or partnerships.

Sound financial management allows the college to invest in quality infrastructure, faculty development, and student support services, all of which contribute to its reputation and success.

6. Connection with key stakeholders

Building strong relationships with key stakeholders, such as hospitals, clinics, government agencies, and industry organizations, is vital. Collaborating with these entities can lead to valuable partnerships, internship opportunities, and job placements for students.

It also helps in staying updated with the latest trends and developments in the healthcare sector, ensuring that the college’s curriculum remains relevant and in sync with industry requirements.

D: Key challenges facing health colleges in Tanzania

1. Tuition fees delays

Challenge: Health colleges in Tanzania often face challenges with students’ tuition fees payments being delayed. This issue can be attributed to various factors, such as economic hardships faced by students’ families and the overall economic situation in the country.

Delays in tuition fees can result in financial strain on the colleges, making it difficult for them to maintain day-to-day operations, pay faculty and staff salaries, and invest in necessary resources.

Proposed solution:

  • Implement a more efficient and transparent payment system for tuition fees, utilizing digital payment methods to reduce delays and administrative burdens.
  • Establish a financial aid program or scholarships for students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds to help them meet their tuition obligations promptly.
  • Establish a database of parents with their contact details, especially WhatsApp numbers, and send reminders for the fees.
  • Be stern on tuition fees payment, which might even necessitate the expulsion of students who don’t pay the tuition fees. Some colleges go far by publishing names of the students who don’t pay tuition fees.

2. Lack of adequate infrastructure and resources

Challenge: Many health colleges in Tanzania suffer from a lack of proper infrastructure and resources. This includes outdated or inadequate classroom facilities, limited laboratory equipment, and insufficient learning materials like textbooks and reference materials.

Inadequate infrastructure can hinder students’ learning experiences and limit the practical training opportunities required for health professions, affecting the quality of education provided.

Proposed solution:

  • Seek partnerships with government agencies, private organizations, and international donors to secure funding for infrastructure development and resource acquisition.
  • Advocate for increased budget allocation for health colleges within the national education budget to address infrastructure and resource needs.

3. Shortage of qualified and experienced faculty

Challenge: Health colleges in Tanzania often struggle to recruit and retain qualified and experienced faculty members.

The shortage of skilled educators in specialized healthcare fields, coupled with low salaries and limited career growth opportunities, leads to many instructors seeking opportunities in other sectors or even in foreign countries. The lack of qualified faculty can impact the delivery of high-quality education to students.

Proposed solution:

  • Introduce competitive remuneration packages for faculty members, offering incentives for experienced instructors to remain in academia.
  • Establish faculty development programs, including research grants and opportunities for advanced studies, to enhance teaching and research capabilities.

4. Limited access to modern medical equipment and technology

Challenge: Health colleges in Tanzania may face challenges in accessing modern medical equipment and technology needed for practical training and research.

This is mainly due to budget constraints and the overall lack of investment in healthcare infrastructure. Outdated equipment can hinder students’ exposure to cutting-edge medical practices, limiting their preparedness for the evolving healthcare landscape.

Proposed solution:

  • Collaborate with hospitals, healthcare facilities, and private companies to gain access to modern medical equipment for practical training purposes.
  • Lobby for government support and funding to upgrade medical equipment and technology in health colleges to align with current industry standards.
  • Seek donor funds tailored towards upgrading health college infrastructures. To win donors, you might have to be willing to cut down fees or even admit students from marginalized communities for free.

5. Insufficient funding and budget constraints

Challenge: Health colleges in Tanzania often face funding challenges, with insufficient financial support from the government and other sources.

Limited budgets can impact the colleges’ ability to enhance facilities, upgrade resources, and invest in faculty development programs.

It may also lead to an increase in student fees, further affecting access to healthcare education for economically disadvantaged students.

Proposed solution:

  • Engage in advocacy efforts with government officials and stakeholders to highlight the importance of healthcare education and the need for increased funding.
  • Seek donor funds tailored towards upgrading health college infrastructures. To win donors, you might have to be willing to cut down fees or even admit students from marginalized communities for free.

6. Inadequate awareness and support for health education in the community

Challenge: Despite the importance of healthcare education, there may be a lack of awareness and support within the community for health colleges.

This can lead to a lower number of qualified applicants and limited interest in pursuing careers in healthcare fields.

Building awareness and support for health education among parents, students, and community leaders is crucial for promoting the growth and development of health colleges.

Proposed Solution:

  • Launch awareness campaigns to highlight the significance of healthcare education and its impact on community health outcomes.
  • Collaborate with local leaders, community organizations, and healthcare professionals to promote the value of health professions and education.

7. High competition from other educational institutions

Challenge: Health colleges in Tanzania face competition from other educational institutions offering a variety of courses and degrees.

Students might be drawn to other disciplines, especially those with perceived better job prospects or higher social status.

As a result, health colleges may find it challenging to attract a sufficient number of students, leading to potential financial strain and decreased institutional viability.

Proposed solution:

  • Strengthen career guidance services to showcase the potential career opportunities and rewards in healthcare professions.
  • Partner with hospitals, pharmacies, and other healthcare providers to seek internship and employment opportunities for your graduates. Given the rising unemployment rates of graduates from colleges, this will attract more youths to choose healthcare colleges, specifically your college.

8. Difficulty in recruiting and retaining skilled staff

Challenge: Along with faculty, health colleges may struggle to recruit and retain skilled administrative and support staff.

The lack of competitive remuneration packages, limited opportunities for career advancement, and challenging working conditions can discourage qualified individuals from joining or staying in the education sector.

This can lead to administrative inefficiencies and affect the overall functioning of the institutions.

Proposed solutions:

  • Conduct comprehensive salary reviews to offer competitive compensation packages for all staff categories.
  • Implement professional development opportunities and clear career paths for administrative and support staff to enhance job satisfaction and retention.
  • Implement graduates program in the best Universities like Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS).

Steps to start a health college in Tanzania

Step 1: Do research

Every business starts with a proper research. I will kindly advise you not to skip this step. We also do researches and prepare feasibility studies for health college projects in Tanzania.

Click here to see a structure of the items we cover in a feasibility study.

Content of feasibility study of a health college in Tanzania

1. Executive Summary
1.1 Overview of the Feasibility Study
1.2 Project Background
1.3 Objectives of the Feasibility Study
1.4 Key Findings and Recommendations
2. Introduction
2.1 Introduction to the Health College Project
2.2 Purpose of the Feasibility Study
2.3 Scope and Limitations
3. Country Overview
3.1 Overview of Tanzania
3.2 Demographics and Population Trends
3.3 Healthcare Landscape in Tanzania
3.4 Regulatory Environment for Education and Health Institutions
4. Market Analysis
4.1 Demand Analysis for Health Education
4.1.1 Current and Projected Demand for Healthcare Professionals
4.1.2 Analysis of Healthcare Education Providers in Tanzania
4.2 Target Market Segmentation
4.3 Competitor Analysis
4.3.1 Analysis of Existing Health Colleges in Tanzania
4.3.2 SWOT Analysis of Competitors
4.4 Potential Partnerships and Collaborations
5. Legal and Regulatory Considerations
5.1 Legal Structure and Licensing Requirements
5.2 Accreditation and Certification
5.3 Compliance with Health and Safety Regulations
5.4 Employment Laws and Labor Market Considerations
6. Financial Projections
6.1 Project Cost Estimation
6.1.1 Infrastructure and Facilities
6.1.2 Staffing and Human Resources
6.1.3 Equipment and Technology
6.1.4 Marketing and Promotion
6.2 Revenue Projections
6.3 Operating Expenses
6.4 Break-even Analysis
6.5 Financial Viability and Return on Investment (ROI)
7. Resource Assessment
7.1 Available Resources and Infrastructure
7.2 Faculty and Staffing Requirements
7.3 Identification of Potential Challenges and Mitigation Strategies
8. Curriculum and Program Development
8.1 Course Offerings and Specializations
8.2 Curriculum Design and Development
8.3 Teaching Methodologies and Facilities
8.4 Academic Partnerships and Collaborations
9. Marketing and Promotional Strategy
9.1 Branding and Positioning
9.2 Marketing Channels and Communication Strategies
9.3 Recruitment and Enrollment Plan
10. Risk Analysis
10.1 Identification of Potential Risks and Uncertainties
10.2 Risk Mitigation and Contingency Plans
11. Sustainability and Social Impact
11.1 Environmental Sustainability Initiatives
11.2 Social Impact and Community Engagement Strategies
12. Conclusion
12.1 Summary of Findings
12.2 Final Recommendation
13. Appendices
A. Detailed Financial Projections
B. Curriculum Plans and Course Outlines
C. Legal and Regulatory Documentation
D. Market Research Data and Surveys
E. Reference List

NB: To prepare such a comprehensive feasibility study requires a thorough research. Since we have done several researches on this subject, it won’t take long to complete a custom one.

The first step is to do or get a custom research that is in line with your preferences. In this article we provide a general case of a nursing college.

You may need a custom research based on your preferences. You can always contact us for a proper business research, our fees a reasonable and negotiable.

Once you have a custom research report that is in line with your preferences, the next step is to register the college. The following step details how to do that.

Step 2: Prepare requirements and mobilise resources

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Step 3: Register the college

Regulatory authorities to register with

How to Register Health College in Tanzania?

NACTVET is the council mandated to register and regulate all colleges in Tanzania (business & tourism colleges, medical & health colleges, and tech colleges).

But registration process doesn’t start directly at NACTVET. The college has to get business registrations and Tax registrations first. The follwing section talks about the steps involved.

  1. A. BRELA Registration

    Starting a health college business begins by choosing and registering the business ownership structure. In Tanzania, there are three business ownership structures you can register with BRELA. These are:

    I. Private company: Ownership of the college can be under a private company. Click here to learn more about what a private company is and how to register it.

    II. Sole proprietorship: A sole proprietor can own a nursing college. Click here to learn more about what a sole proprietorship is and how to register it.

    III. Partnership: It can also be owned by a partnership. Click here to learn more about what a partnership is and how to register it.

  2. B. TRA Registration

    After registering with BRELA, you will need to obtain a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) and Tax Clearance from TRA.
    Steps to register with TRA:

  3. C. NACTVET Registration

    NACTVET Registration Requirements
    1. Certificate of incorporation from BRELA, Memorandum and Articles of Association and BRELA official search showing current ownership structure and directors.
    2. TIN Certificate from TRA
    3. Business License
    4. Curriculum of studies for all the intended programmes.
    5. Master Plan with evidences of financial ability.
    6. Adequate infrastructure, human, physical and financial resources.
    7. Evidence of ownership or hire of building or ongoing construction.
    8. Evidence of procuring or a plan of acquiring learning equipments and materials.
    9. Organization structure.
    10. CV of the college CEO or principal.

  4. D. Business License

    Get business licence

  5. E. OSHA Registration

  6. F. FIRE Registration

  7. G. NSSF Registration

  8. H. WCF Registration

Step 4: Start operations

A: Hiring staff

B: Launch the college

C: Plan and do marketing

Let the potential students know that the college exists and the gap it fills.

D: Devise a monitoring, evaluation & reporting system

It’s very important to monitor how the business performs


1. Registered Health Colleges in Tanzania

Source: NACTVET, as of June 2023

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Published by Kessy Juma

Kessy Juma

Kessy Juma is the founder of Miamia Trading Company (miamiatz). He is a Techpreneur with roots in accountancy. He believes that any business is good as long it caters the right market using the right strategy.

miamia miamia miamia miamia

Published by Kessy Juma

Kessy Juma Kessy Juma is the founder of Miamia Trading Company (miamiatz). He is a Techpreneur with roots in accountancy. He believes that any business is good as long it caters the right market using the right strategy.

miamia miamia miamia miamia
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