University of Ghana

The University of Ghana is the oldest and largest of the thirteen Ghanaian national public universities. It was founded in 1948,[3] in the British colony of the Gold Coast, as the University College of the Gold Coast, and was originally an affiliate college of the University of London, which supervised its academic programmes and awarded degrees.[4] After independence in 1957, the college was renamed the University College of Ghana. It changed its name again to the University of Ghana in 1961, when it gained full university status.[5]

University of Ghana
Arms of the University of Ghana
MottoIntegri Procedamus[1]
Established1948; 71 years ago
ChairmanYaw Twumasi
ChancellorMary Chinery-Hesse
Vice-ChancellorEbenezer Oduro Owusu[2]
Students39,249 as at July 2016
University of Ghana
P.O. Box LG 25
Legon, Ghana
, , ,
05°39′03″N 00°11′13″W
CampusSuburban area
ColoursMidnight Blue, Lemon Yellow and Vegas Gold
AffiliationsSee below

The original emphasis was on the liberal arts, social sciences, law, basic science, agriculture and medicine. However, as part of a national educational reform program, the university's curriculum was expanded to provide more technology-based and vocational courses as well as postgraduate training.

The university is mainly based at Legon, about 12 kilometres northeast of the centre of Accra. Its medical school is in Korle Bu, with a teaching hospital and secondary campus in the city of Accra. It also has a graduate school of nuclear and Allied Sciences at the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission, making it one of the few universities on the Africa continent offering programs in nuclear physics and nuclear engineering.


The formation of the West African Commission of the Asquith Commission on Higher Education in the Colonies[6] under the chairmanship of Rt. Hon. Walter Elliot was the birth of this notable institution in 194. The commission recommended the setting up of university colleges in association with the University of London, thus the University College of the Gold Coast was founded by Ordinance on 11 August 1948 for the purpose of providing for and promoting university education, learning and research. This was made possible by the rejection of the first recommendation which stated that only one university college was feasible for the whole of British West Africa, which would be located in Nigeria by the people of Gold Coast led principally by Dr. J.B. Danquah.[6]


The Balme Library

The library is located on the main campus of the University.

College of Health Sciences

There are six schools, and one research institute under this college.[7][8]

  • School of Medicine and Dentistry
  • School of Biomedical and Allied Health Sciences
  • School of Nursing Located on the Legon campus though its students receive practical training at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital.
  • School of Pharmacy
  • School of Public Health
  • School of Education and Leadership
  • Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research
  • Centre for Tropical, Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics

Collegiate system

Starting from the 2014/2015 academic year, the University of Ghana adopted the collegiate system[9] and thus categorized all schools and departments under four colleges, which are:

  • College of Basic and Applied Sciences
  • College of Humanities
  • College of Education
  • College of Health Sciences

Other faculties

There are six faculties outside the above colleges.

  • Faculty of Arts
  • Faculty of Social Studies
  • Faculty of Science
  • Faculty of Law The Faculty of Law was first established as a department of the Faculty of Social Studies in the 1958/59 academic year and became a full-fledged faculty in the 1960/61 academic year. From the 2012/2013 academic year, the university will admit fresh S.H.S students into the LLB first-degree program but will retain the post-first degree program. Thus the university will have two entry means to the Faculty of Law.
  • Faculty of Engineering Sciences

Workers' colleges

The university has these facilities in the various regions where it runs a variety of programs, including degree courses.[10] Awudome College has residential facilities that enable short courses over weekends and other duration to be run there.

  • Accra Workers' College, (now Accra City campus) Accra
  • Awudome Residential Workers' College, Tsito
  • Bolgatanga Workers' College, Bolgatanga
  • Cape Coast Workers' College, Cape Coast
  • Ho Workers' College, Ho
  • Koforidua Workers' College, Koforidua
  • Kumasi Workers' College, Kumasi
  • Takoradi Workers' College, Sekondi-Takoradi
  • Tamale Workers' College, Tamale
  • Tema Workers' College, Tema
  • Sunyani Workers' College, Sunyani
  • Wa Workers' College, Wa


University rankings
THE World[11] 801-1000
QS World[12] 801-1000
Times Africa[11] 17
THE Emerging Economies[13] 182

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings of 2018 ranks the University of Ghana at the 800-1000th place globally and 17th in Africa (rank shared with other universities).

Research and learning centres

  • School of Nuclear and Allied Sciences
  • Center of Excellence for Global Environmental Change Research.
  • Center for Social Policy Analysis
  • Center for Remote Sensing and Geographic Information System
  • Legon Center for International Affairs and Diplomacy
  • Center for Migration
  • International Center for African Music and Dance
  • Center for Tropical Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics
  • Center for Biotechnology Research
  • Center for African Wetlands
  • Language Center
  • West African Center for Crop Improvement
  • West African Center for Cell Biology and Infectious Pathogens
  • The United Nations University for Natural Resources in Africa
  • Center for Gender Studies and Advocacy(CEGENSA)
  • Regional Training Center for Archivists
  • Ecological laboratory
  • Legon Botanical Gardens
  • The Ghana Herbarium
  • Center for African Foods
  • Center for West African foods
  • Center for International foods
  • Center for Ghana foods
  • African Regional Center for training in postgraduate insect science
  • Institute of African Studies
  • Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research(ISSER)
  • Regional Institute of Population Studies(RIPS)
  • Institute for Environment and Sanitation Studies (IESS)

Kade Agricultural Research Station

Kade Agricultural Research Station, or Kade Agricultural Research Centre, is an agricultural research center located at Kade, in the Eastern Region of Ghana is part of the University of Ghana Centers of Research and Learning.[14] It is one of the three agricultural research centers of Ghana's university. The center at Kade was established in 1957. It covers an area of 99.3 hectares and is mainly concerned with research into production of forest zone crops such as citrus, plantain, cocoyam, oil palm and rubber, with a special interest in agronomy of perennial crop plants.


Halls of residence

  • Commonwealth Hall (the university's only male hall of residence)
  • Legon Hall
  • Mensah Sarbah Hall
  • Volta Hall (the university's only female hall of residence)
  • Akuafo Hall
  • Jubilee Hall

The university has eight newly created halls of residence that were commissioned in 2011. They are:

  • Alexander Kwapong Hall, named after Professor Alexander Kwapong a former Vice-Chancellor and Chairman of Council of State.[15]
  • Jean Nelson Hall, named after an alumnus, Jean Nelson Aka. It was inaugurated in July. Its emblem shows a candle, a book and a pen to symbolize perseverance. It was designed by a final year Physics-Computer Science major student Raymond Sung-Seh Harrison. The motto of the hall, "Lux In Tenebris", which is Latin for "Light In Darkness", was suggested by Raymond's mate at the time, a lady by the name Muna Twerefour". The emblem was officially adopted on Tuesday, 2 April 2013.
  • Hilla Limann Hall, the first of the University of Ghana Enterprise Limited (UGEL) hostels to be completed. It was inaugurated in July 2010.[16] during which the Vice-Chancellor announced the decision to name it after Hilla Limann, a former President of the Republic of Ghana. Senior members of the University may be assigned as Fellows of the Hall by the Vice Chancellor. Students assigned/affiliated to the Hall form the Junior members. The Head of Hall, Senior Tutor and fellow tutors as a body helps with the governing of the Hall.
  • Elizabeth Sey Hall, the second of the newer halls built by University of Ghana Enterprise Limited (UGEL) Hostels to be completed. It was inaugurated in July 2010 and was named after the first female graduate of the university, Elizabeth Frances Baaba Sey.
  • Africa Union Hall, formerly called Pentagon, built by Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT)
  • James Topp Nelson Yankah Hall, formerly known as Teachers Fund (TF) Hostel.[17]
  • Bani Hall, initially a private hostel and later turned into a hall after the tenancy agreement with the University had elapsed.
  • Evandy Hall, formerly Evandy Hostel and this was turned into a hall after the tenancy agreement with the University elapsed and ownership transferred to University authorities,


There are ten university hostels: the International Students' Hostels (I and II), the Valco Trust Hostel, The Commonwealth Hall, The Akuafo Hall, The Mensah Sarbah Hall, The Legon Hall, The Limann Hall, The Kwapong Hall, The Elizabeth Sey Hall and the Jean Aka Nelson hall. There are also private hostels, SSNIT Hostels (Ghana Hostels also known as Pentagon).[18]

Bank, postal and other services

Ghana Commercial Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Barclays Bank, Cal Bank, HFC Bank, Access Bank, Stanbic Bank, Ecobank Ghana and Prudential Bank have branches on the Legon campus. There is a branch of the national postal service (Ghana Post) on campus. Other banks have ATMs on campus.

Roads usage and user charges

From 1 February 2014, all vehicles entering the University of Ghana's main campus, and also those using the road passing through the Staff Village of the University were required to pay charges. This was heavily criticized by public and students and has been suspended. Currently, various entry points into the campus require vehicle owners (typically staff and students) to obtain electronically scannable cards issued and authorized by the transport unit of the university.

Notable alumni

The university has appeared in several films and television advertisements. The television series Sun City has a lot of scenes of the university. The name of the university has also been referenced in the lyrics of artists in Ghana, including Sarkodie's "Legon Girls", Buk Bak's "Klu blofo", Kwadei's "Wutatami" and Okordii's "Four years in Legon".[21]


  1. "Visitors>Overview". Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 7 July 2014.
  2. "University of Ghana gets new Vice Chancellor; Prof. Ebenezer Owusu", Joy Online, 8 January 2016.
  3. Kwabena Dei Ofori-Attah. "Expansion of Higher Education in Ghana: Moving Beyond Tradition". Comparative & International Education Newsletter: Number 142. CIES, Florida International University. Archived from the original on 4 October 2006. Retrieved 9 March 2007.
  4. G. F. Daniel (17 April 1998). "THE UNIVERSITIES IN GHANA". Development of University Education in Ghana. University of Ghana. Archived from the original on 19 March 2007. Retrieved 10 March 2007.
  5. George, Betty Stein (1976). Education in Ghana. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office. p. 166.
  6. "Establishment of The University", University of Ghana.
  7. "Official Site of the College of Health Sciences". University of Ghana. Archived from the original on 8 December 2006. Retrieved 12 March 2007.
  8. "University of Ghana begins Bachelor of Education programme". Retrieved 29 June 2019.
  9. "University Of Ghana Adopts Collegiate System From 2014/2015 Academic Year", University of Ghana, 16 May 2014.
  10. "About Us: Profile of the University". University of Ghana. Archived from the original on 10 February 2007. Retrieved 10 March 2007.
  11. "Best universities in Africa". Times Higher Education. 26 October 2018.
  12. "University of Ghana". 16 July 2015.
  13. "Emerging Economies". 9 May 2018.
  14. "Research Centers". University of Ghana. Archived from the original on 28 August 2016. Retrieved 14 January 2013.
  15. "Legon Damns Coup Makers". Chronicle. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
  16. University of Ghana, Upcoming Events. "Inauguration Ceremony: Students Residential Facilities". University of Ghana. Archived from the original on 8 April 2014. Retrieved 13 April 2013.
  17. "Teachers Fund Hostel Outdoored with new name", Vibe Ghana, 14 February 2013.
  18. "Halls of Residence/Hostels". University of Ghana. Archived from the original on 8 August 2013. Retrieved 23 July 2013.
  19. "Legon Inaugurates New Hall Of Residence". Accra, Ghana: Modern Ghana. 22 January 2012. Archived from the original on 5 May 2018. Retrieved 5 May 2018.
  20. "Notable Alumni". University of Ghana Alumni Association. Archived from the original on 24 January 2015. Retrieved 22 January 2015.
  21. "University of Ghana". Archived from the original on 22 January 2015. Retrieved 22 January 2015.

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