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University of Ghana

Region: Legon Country: Ghana

About The University
THE UNIVERSITY OF GHANA was founded in 1948 as the University College of the Gold Coast on the recommendation of the Asquith Commission, on Higher Education in the then British colonies. The Asquith Commission, which was set up in 1943 to investigate Higher Education, recommended among other things, the setting up of University Colleges in association with the University of London. This was followed up by a number of separate Commissions in different regions. The West Africa Commission was under the Chairmanship of the Rt. Hon. Walter Elliot.

The Elliot Commission published a majority report which recommended the establishment of two University Colleges in the Gold Coast (Ghana) and Nigeria, and a minority report which held that only one University College for the whole of British West Africa was feasible. The British Government at first accepted the minority report of the Elliot Commission and decided that a University College for the whole of British West Africa should be established at Ibadan in Nigeria. But the people of the Gold Coast could not accept this recommendation. Led by the scholar and politician, the late Dr. J.B. Danquah, they urged the Gold Coast Government to inform the British Government that the Gold Coast could support a University College. The British Government accordingly reviewed its decision and agreed to the establishment of the University College of the Gold Coast.

The University College of the Gold Coast was founded by Ordinance on August 11, 1948 for the purpose of providing for and promoting university education, learning and research. Its first Principal was the late Mr. David Mowbray Balme. Mr. Balme was far-sighted, courageous and dedicated to the promotion of scholarship. By his vision, industry and single-mindedness of purpose, he built a college and laid the foundations for a sound University which is now a source of pride. In his ten years of Principalship, he created an institution whose key-note was orderly living with dignity in a community of scholars.

One of the recommendations of the Asquith Commission was that the British Government should set up an Inter-Universities Council to advise on all matters relating to Higher Education in the new British Colonies. The Inter-Universities Council served the new University College of the Gold Coast in an advisory capacity, but it approved all academic appointments. This arrangement helped the College to maintain the high academic standards associated with the Universities in Britain. Also, it enabled the College to seek support of the Council in obtaining funds from the United Kingdom Government sources.

From its inception, the University College of the Gold Coast was admitted to the Scheme of Special Relationship extended by the University of London to certain English and overseas University Colleges. Under this scheme, the University College was allowed to teach for the external degree examinations of London University. It also allowed the College to modify the London syllabuses to suit local conditions and to take part in the setting and marking of examinations.

But London University gave final approval to courses and examinations since the degrees given were those of the University of London. For thirteen years, therefore, the University College looked up to two separate institutions in Great Britain: to the Inter-Universities Council for guidance on its broad policy, and to the University of London for approval and control of details of degree regulations. The University College benefitted greatly from this arrangement which certainly helped to maintain its high academic standards.

In the 1960-61 academic year, the College Council made a request to the Government of Ghana for legislation to constitute the University College into a University with the power to award its own degrees. The Government appointed an International Commission to examine the problem. On the recommendations of that Commission, the University of Ghana was set up by an Act of Parliament on October 1, 1961 (Act 79). The then President of the Republic of Ghana, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, became the first Chancellor of the University, with Nana Kobina Nketsia IV, BLitt DPhil (Oxon), Omanhene of Essikado, as the (Interim) Vice Chancellor.

Enrolment and Graduation Statistics
With a current student population of about 29754 (representing male/female ratio of about 2:1) the University of Ghana is the oldest and largest of the six public Universities in Ghana. Breakdown in terms of programmes are as follows: Post-Graduate students 1,816; Bachelors Degrees 26,154; Sub-Degrees 1,784. International students currently enrolled in the University are also 1142. Senior Members engaged in research and teaching number 865. Senior Administrative and Professional staff also number 128.

Associations and Links
The University of Ghana is a member of the International Association of Universities (IAU), the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) and the Association of African Universities (AAU). The University is also a member the League of World Universities (which comprise 47 renowned research universities all over the world). The University has also established academic and research links with several Universities and Research Institutions worldwide.

In addition, the University has also been linked to the Norwegian Universities Committee for Development Research and Education (NUFU), the Council for International Educational Exchange (CIEE) based in New York, International Student Exchange Programmes (ISEP) and the Commonwealth Universities Student Exchange Consortium (CUSAC), among others.

The campus of the University lies about 13 kilometres north-east of Accra, the capital of Ghana, at an altitude of between 300 and 400 feet. From the Main University Gate on the Dodowa Road, the University Avenue extends to Commonwealth Hall on Legon Hill.

Along it are grouped other Halls of Residence, Departments, lecture theatres and laboratories. Mid-way, an open space - the University Square - with an ornamental pool is over-looked by the Balme Library (named after David Mowbray Balme, the first Principal of the University College). Across from the University Square are sports fields, a central cafeteria and halls of residence. Behind Commonwealth Hall is an open-air theatre with a Grecian style auditorium built into the slope of Legon Hill. On the summit of Legon Hill is the Convocation Group of Buildings which houses the University administration offices, the Great Hall, with a seating capacity of 1,500 and a Tower donated by the Government of Ghana in 1957 to commemorate Ghana Independence.

On the southern side of the campus are residential accommodation for staff, the University Primary School, the Manciples Organisation and the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, while on the Northern side are teaching departments, lecture theatres and laboratories. Across the Accra-Dodowa road from the Main University Gate is a Police Station, and behind it is a University Hospital with 100 beds, 20 cots and houses for members of the Junior Staff.

The College of Health Sciences has its administration as well as the Medical/Dental/Allied Health Sciences Schools located at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, which is about three kilometres west of the centre of Accra, and about 18 kilometres from the main University campus.


There is a College of Health Sciences, which is presently constituted by five Schools, four of which are of the status of Faculty, a non-departmentalized school and one research institute. These are:

Anaesthetics, Anatomy, Medical Biochemistry, Centre for Tropical Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Chemical Pathology, Child Health, Community Health, Haematology, Medicine and Therapeutics, Microbiology, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Pathology, Pharmacology, Physiology, Psychiatry, Radiology, Surgery.

Oral Biology (Dental Anatomy and Oral Physiology); Bio-material Science; Restorative Dentistry; Paedodontics; Preventive and Community Dentistry; Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Radiology; Oral Pathology and Oral Medicine; Orthodontics.

Medical Laboratory Sciences, Radiography and Physiotheraphy.

(non-departmentalized) currently offering degrees at Post-graduate levels only. In addition, the School runs a short course (6 weeks) in Social Mobilization in Health and Development.

An institute for research into Medical and paramedical issues.

Community Health, Maternal & Child Health, Mental Health, Adult Health, Research, Education and Administration.


Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness, Agricultural Extension, Animal Science, Crop Science, Home Science and Soil Science.

There are three Agricultural Research Centres at Legon (about 12 kilometres outside the main campus), Kpong on the Accra plains (about 90 kilometres north-east of Legon), and Kade in the Forest Zone, in the Eastern Region (approximately 175 kilometres from Legon), under the supervision of the Faculty of Agriculture. Apart from research, the centres provide technical and practical experience for students of agriculture and extension and training facilities for farmers and other interested persons.

Research Institutes
INSTITUTE OF AFRICAN STUDIES: Established in 1961, it conducts fundamental research in areas of African Languages, history and culture, and runs interdisciplinary courses leading to MPhil and PhD degrees in African Studies. The Institute also organizes introductory courses in African Studies for all Level 200 students in the undergraduate degree programme of the University.

These courses, which cover two semesters, are compulsory. A pass in African Studies is required for the award of a bachelors degree of the University. Orientation courses are available for special admission students from other institutions and agencies. Interdisciplinary seminars and symposia are organized regularly. There is a Visual Arts Section with cultural exhibits for teaching and research. The Institutes library supplements the Africana collection of the Balme Library. Attached to the Institute is the Ghana Dance Ensemble a resident professional dance company which was started in 1962 by the then Ghana Institute of Arts and Culture to link the University of Ghana with the national theatre movement.

INSTITUTE OF ADULT EDUCATION: Established originally as the Department of Extra-Mural Studies in 1948, the Institute provides university-based adult education through its branches and workers colleges throughout the country. It provides both formal and non-formal programmes. The formal programmes consist of Diploma, Graduate Diploma and Masters and Doctoral degree courses in Adult Education; external degree courses in the Humanities, and Management and Accounting, remedial courses for Senior Secondary School Certificate Examinations (SSCE).

The non-formal programmes comprise community education programmes in health, family life education, nutrition, civic education, community initiative and adult literacy. The Institute is directly involved with the organisation of a Peoples Education Association to support its work. Public lectures, seminars and workshops form a vital part of the Institutes activities. The most popular and national of these is the Annual New Year School which has been held regularly since 1948.

It was established in 1966 as the Institute of Statistics. In addition to its original concern with problems related to statistics, the Institute has expanded into the field of social and economic studies. The Institute offers Certificate and Diploma courses in Statistics as well as a Master of Arts degree in Development Studies.

The Institute was established in 1979 in a building funded by the Government of Japan to serve as a monument in memory of Dr. Hideyo Noguchi, a Japanese medical scientist who died in Accra in May, 1928 while investigating yellow fever. The Institute provides a base for medical co-operation programmes between Ghanaian and Japanese scientists, and a centre for conducting medical research relevant to Ghanas needs.

Research is conducted into problems of communicable diseases while graduate students are trained in medical research. Facilities at the Institute include specialized laboratories and services in support of public programmes. From January 1, 2000, the Institute became one of the health-related institutions grouped under the newly established College of Health Sciences.

Established jointly in 1972 by the United Nations Organisation and the Government of Ghana, it promotes and strengthens research and training in demography for students from English-speaking countries in Africa. The Institute offers MA, MPhil and PhD degree courses. The Institute organizes seminars, workshops, ad hoc courses of study and in-service training in Demography and related fields at the request of governments and institutions mainly in English-speaking African countries. Given its regional and international character, a significant number of the Institutes students come from other African countries.

LANGUAGE CENTRE: The Language Centre was founded in 1970 as a Centre for research in Language use in Ghana, having the status of a department in the Faculty of Arts. For the first ten years of its existence, it was supported by a grant from the Carnegie Corporation, which funded the building it occupies. It later received Ford Foundation support, especially for staff development.

The British Council supplied its Language Laboratory in 1980 and has provided small sums at various times. The focus of the Centre is on research and teaching related to the improvement of performance in the languages used in Ghana as vectors of education, culture and community interaction - English, the official language, and various Ghanaian languages.

The Balme Library
is the main library of the University of Ghana Library System. It coordinates from the main Legon Campus a large number of libraries attached to the various Schools, Institutes, Faculties, Departments and Halls of Residence of the University, most of which are autonomous. The Library is the nerve centre for academic work in the University. All academic related functions such as teaching, research and learning find their support-base in the library where all types of documents, are organised for easy access to members of the University community.

The Library started as the "College Library" when the parent institution the then University College of the Gold Coast was set up in 1948 as a College of the University of London; located at Achimota college, about 8 kilometres from the present Legon campus. In 1959, the "College Library" moved into its brand new buildings on Legon campus with its parent institutions and was named after the latter's first Principal, David Mowbrary Balme, a British expatriate.

University of Ghana Degree Programs :


  • Bachelor Degree
  • MBBS
  • Master Degree
  • MD Anaesthesiology
  • MD Anatomy
  • MD Biochemistry
  • MD Community Medicine
  • MD Dermatology
  • MD Emergency Medicine
  • MD General Medicine
  • MD Microbiology
  • MD Paediatrics
  • MD Pathology
  • MD Pharmacology
  • MD Physiology
  • MD Psychiatry
  • MD Radiodiagnosis
  • MD Skin & V.D
  • MD TB & Chest Diseases
  • MS Anatomy
  • MS ENT
  • MS General Surgery
  • MS Ophthalmology
  • MS Orthopaedics


  • Bachelor Degree
  • BDS
  • Master Degree
  • Master of Science Degree in Dentistry
  • Restorative Dentistry
  • Oral Radiology
  • Oral and Maxillofacial surgery
  • Oral Pathology and radiology
  • Oral Medicine
  • Orthodontics
  • Child Dental Health
  • Restorative dentistry
  • Periodontics
  • Community Dentistry
  • MDS


  • Bachelor Degree
  • Bachelor of Science (Nursing)
  • Master Degree
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • Doctorate/PhD
  • Ph.D. Nursing


  • Master Degree
  • M.Pharm
  • Diploma Programmes
  • D.Pharm
  • Doctorate/PhD
  • Ph.D. (Pharmaceutics)

Public Health

  • Bachelor Degree
  • Bachelor of Public Health
  • Master Degree
  • Master of Public Health (MPH)
  • Master of Science in Health Informatics
  • Master of Applied Health Social Sciences
  • Master of Science in Epidemiology and Disease Control
  • Master of Science (MSc) in Health Informatics
  • Doctorate/PhD
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Health Informatics
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Public Health

Video Presentation


Established in 1948, the University is the oldest and largest of the six public universities in Ghana.

With a mission to develop world-class human resources to meet global development challenges, the University offers unique courses in arts, business, physical and biological sciences, law, agriculture, nuclear and allied sciences, and engineering sciences.

Within our College of Health Sciences, we also offer courses in medicine, nursing, dentistry, pharmacy, and allied health sciences.

Welcome to the University of Ghana, the premier University in Ghana and one of the most prestigious universities in Africa.

Contact Details

Address: P. O. Box LG 25
Legon, Accra



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