The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology(KNUST) is the public university established in the country, as well as the largest university in the Kumasi Metropolis and in the Ashanti Region.
KNUST has its roots in the plans of the King Asantehene Agyeman Prempeh I to establish a university in Kumasi as part of his drive towards modernization of his Ashanti kingdom.
This plan never came to fruition due to the clash between British empire expansion and the desire for King Prempeh I to preserve his Ashanti kingdom’s independence.
However, his younger brother and successor, King Asantehene Agyeman Prempeh II, upon ascending to the Golden Stool in 1935, continued with this vision.Events in the Gold Coast in the 1940s played into his hands.
First there was the establishment of the University College of the Gold Coast.
Secondly, there were the 1948 Accra riots and the consequent Watson Commission report which recommended that a university of sciences be established in Kumasi.
Thus, in 1949, the dream of the Prempehs became a reality when building started on what was to be called the Kumasi College of Technology.
The Kumasi College of Technology offered admission to its first students to the engineering faculty in 1951 (they entered in 1952), and an Act of Parliament gave the university its legal basis as the Kumasi College of Technology in 1952.
The nucleus of the college was formed from 200 teacher training students transferred from Achimota College in the Greater Accra Region. The college was affiliated to the University of London.
In 1961, the college was granted full university status.
The university covers a total land area of 2512.96 acres.
The main campus which is about seven square miles in area, is about eight miles (13 km) to the east of Kumasi, the Ashanti Regional capital.
In November 2019, KNUST was ranked as the best university in Ghana and West Africa by U.S. News & World Report.
It was also ranked 14th in Africa and 706th in the world, with a global score of 42.4.
In November 2020 it was ranked the best for the second time by U.S. News & World Report. This time it climbed 2 positions to be 12th best in Africa.
The principal officers of the university are the chancellor, chairman of the University Council and vice-chancellor.
As of 2018, the position of chancellor was held by the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II.
Governance is carried out by the University Council, primarily through the Academic Board, which is responsible for:
- formulating and carrying out the academic policy of the university
- devising and regulating the courses of instruction and study, and supervising research
- regulating the conduct of examinations and the award of degrees, diplomas and certificates
- advising the University Council on the admission of students and the award of scholarships
- reporting on such matters as may be referred to it by the University Council
Student participation in university administration
Students through the KNUST Students’ Representative Council (KNUST SRC) participate in the administration of the university through their representatives serving on the University Council, Academic Board, the Welfare Services Board, Faculty and Departmental Boards, Residence Committee, Library Committee and on the Hall Councils.
The university had been administered on the faculty-based system. This led to administrative difficulties as new faculties and institutes were created to meet the ever-growing academic pursuits of students.
To solve this problem, a collegiate system was officially adopted on 29 November 2004. On 5 April 2005, the pioneering provosts were inducted and invested into office at the Great Hall of the KNUST.
The colleges are semi-autonomous, which means that they are given the power to largely run on their own without much dependence on the central administration for financial support.
A college registrar, finance officer and librarian assist the provosts. Under them are the faculties, centres and institutes, headed by deans and directors.
As heads of the colleges, the provosts provide academic and administrative leadership for the colleges and oversee their overall running.
Housing and accommodation
There are numerous KNUST approved hostels, mostly in close proximity to the main campus.
Students of all financial backgrounds have their accommodation needs catered for. There are six halls of residence at the Kumasi campus, each administered by a hall council consisting of senior and junior members.
There are few hostels on campus like the GUSS hostel, Brunei, and Tek credit hostel. The executive head is the hall master, who is assisted by a senior tutor. There is a hall bursar and other supporting staff.
Halls of residence
- University Hall (Katanga)
- Unity Hall (Conti)
- Independence Hall
- Queens Hall
- Republic Hall
- Africa Hall
About 60% of the student population is non-resident.
There are private hostels around the campus and in Kumasi for students who, as a result of the limited facilities/rooms, could not be admitted as resident students.
There are facilities on campus where non-resident students can rest between lectures and study before they leave for their homes and hostels.
In January 2014, the top floor of the Crystal Rose Hostel caught fire while most students were on vacation. The cause of the fire is still not known.
There is a large multinational international community at KNUST as a result of the high standards of education.
There is an international student association that sees to the interests of foreign students such as accommodation, orientation and campus tours.
From the 2010/11 academic year some of the colleges operate a two-tier system, while others maintain their three-tier system.
College of Agriculture and Natural Resources CANR
- Faculty of Agriculture
- Department of Agricultural Economics, Agribusiness and Extension
- Department of Animal Sciences
- Department of Crop and Soil Sciences
- Department of Horticulture
- Faculty of Renewable Natural Resources
- Department of Agroforestry
- Department of Fisheries and Watershed Management
- Department of Silviculture and Forest Management
- Department of Wildlife and Range Management
- Department of Wood Science and Technology
- Faculty of Forest Resources Technology
- Department of Ecotourism and Forest Recreation
- Department of Land Reclamation and Rehabilitation
- Department of Social Forestry
- Department of Wood Processing and Marketing
College of Health Sciences
- Faculty of Allied Health Sciences
- Department of Medical Laboratory Technology
- Department of Nursing
- Department of Sonography
- Department of Sports and Exercise Science
- Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
- Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry
- Department of Pharmacology
- Department of Pharmacognosy
- Department of Pharmacy Practice
- Department of Pharmaceutics
- Department of Herbal Medicine
- Dental School
- School of Medical Sciences
- School of Veterinary Medicine
College of Humanities and Social Sciences
- Faculty of Law
- Faculty of Social Sciences
- Department of Economics
- Department of English
- Department of Geography and Rural Development
- Department of History and Political Studies
- Department of Modern Languages
- Department of Religious Studies
- Department of Sociology and Social Work
- School of Business
Colleges under the two-tier system (Provost/Head of Department):
- The College of Art and Built Environment formerly known as College of Architecture and Planning came into existence in January 2005 as part of the restructuring of the University into a Collegiate System.
- In the restructuring, the Faculty of Environmental and Development studies (FEDS) and the Institute of Land Management and Development (ILMAD) were merged to form the College.
- FEDS comprised three teaching departments: Department of Architecture, department of Building Technology and Department of Housing and Planning Research.
- ILMAD comprised two departments, Department of Land Economy and the Land Resources Centre. The college currently comprises two faculties, ten teaching departments and one research institute:
- Department of Communication Design
- Department of General Art Studies
- Department of Painting and Sculpture
- Department of Integrated Rural Art/Industry
- Department of Industrial Art
- Department of Educational Innovations in Science and Technology
- Department of Publishing Studies
- Department of Architecture
- Department of Building Technology
- Department of Land Economy
- Department of Planning
- Centre for Settlements Studies
- Centre for Land Studies
College of Engineering
- Department of Agricultural Engineering
- Department of Aerospace Engineering
- Department of Chemical Engineering
- Department of Civil Engineering
- Department of Computer Engineering
- Department of Electrical Engineering/Electronic Engineering & Telecommunication Engineering
- Department of Geological Engineering
- Department of Geodetic Engineering
- Department of Geomatic Engineering
- Department of Materials Engineering
- Department of Mechanical Engineering
- Department of Petroleum Engineering
- Department of Reproductive Engineering
College of Science
- Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology
- Department of Chemistry
- Department of Computer Science
- Department of Environmental Science
- Department of Food Science and Technology
- Department of Mathematics
- Department of Optometry and Visual Science
- Department of Physics
- Department of Theoretical and Applied Biology
- Department of Statistics and Actuarial Sciences
Institute of Distance Learning
In the year 2005, the KNUST adopted distance learning as a viable complement to the conventional face-to-face system of education.
This decision was made to offer opportunity for people to pursue academic programmes with the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, while still on full-time employment.
In October 2007, the Academic Board changed the status of the Faculty of Distance Learning to the Institute of Distance Learning.
Library and digital resources
The KNUST Library provides information in electronic and print formats to staff and students mainly to support teaching, learning and research in science and technology for national development.
It is a depository library for all materials published in Ghana and for international institutions and organisations like the World Bank and other United Nations Agencies.
Digital services are available through the Open Educational Resource (OER) as well as the DSpace repository.
- The Open Educational Resources (OER)component of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology fosters collaboration on curricula, course materials, and content; generates connections between disciplines, teachers, and learners; and inspires use of educational materials in a more effective way.
- KNUST Online Repository is the university’s digital repository. Data for the repository is still being added.
- Accra Institute of Technology
- Akim State University College
- All Nations University College
- Central University College
- DataLink University College(DLUC)
- Garden City University College
- Ghana Telecom University College
- Ho Polytechnic
- Osei Tutu II Institute for Advanced ICT Studies
- Regent University College
- Spiritan Institute / Spiritan University College
In December 2019, an agreement was signed between the Gambian government and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology to set up Science, Technology and Engineering University in The Gambia.
In the accord, the administrative and teaching faculties will be set up, coached by and affiliated to KNUST.
- Bureau of Integrated Research and Development
- Centre for Biodiversity Utilisation and Development (CBUD)
- Centre for Cultural and African Studies
- Centre for Human Studies
- Dairy/Beef Research Station
- The Brew-Hammond Energy Centre, College Of Engineering
- Kumasi Center For Collaborative Research(KCCR) in collaboration with the German Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine
- National Institute for Mathematical Sciences (NIMS)
- Technology Consultancy Centre (TCC)
- Laboratory For Interdisciplinary Statistical Analysis (LISA)
Focus FM (94.3 FM) is the university’s official radio station. Among its notable programmes are Morning Show, Drive Time, Teknokrat and Community Watch.
TEK TV is the official television station of the university.
Awards and recognition
In November 2019, KNUST was ranked as the best university in Ghana and West Africa by U.S. News & World Report and still holds the record in 2020.
It was also ranked 14th in Africa and 706th in the world, with a global score of 42.4.
KNUST was the first university in West Africa to have won the 2018, 2019 and 2020 Pan African Universities Debate Championship consecutively.
KNUST is the first university in Ghana to win the Ghana national rounds of the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition.
The university has also won the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition a record three consecutive times.
In December 2020 KNUST became the first university in Africa to have won the Pan African Universities Debating Championship for 3 consecutive times.
In government and diplomacy, Aliu Mahama Vice-President of Ghana between 2001 and 2008, studied at KNUST.
Edward Kwame Wiredu, former Chief Justice of Ghana, was also a student at KNUST. Former first lady of Ghana Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings is an alumnus. Samira Bawumia, current second lady of Ghana, also is an alumnus.
UN Secretary-General and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Kofi Annan had a part of his education at KNUST.
Kwaku Aning and Hackman Owusu-Agyeman are other diplomats who graduated from KNUST.
Notable graduates from KNUST College of Engineering include the chemical engineer Thomas Mensah, former CEO of GNPC Alex Mould, CEO of Ghana Gas Benjamin Asante, and former CEO of Tullow Ghana Limited Charles Darku.
The novelist Amma Darko attended KNUST. Actor Chris Attoh attended KNUST.
Nana Otuo Siriboe, the Juabenhene who is also Chairman of Council of State, and economist and former Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana Ernest Aryeetey, graduated from the institution.
Senior Minister Yaw Osafo-Maafo graduated from the institution. Chairperson of the Uganda Planning Authority Pamela Mbabazi was also a student at KNUST.
- Francis Allotey, mathematician
- Aba Andam, physicist
- Ablade Glover, artist
- Thomas Mensah, chemical engineer
- Letitia Obeng, research scientist