KNUST: History of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology

KNUST – A Prestigious and uniquely standardized tertiary institution and pride of the Ashantis, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology has remained undefeated and a model for various contemporary tertiary institutions.

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We won’t be talking about the school’s uncountable achievements, records, and the likes, in this post. This post is about the history of the school and how it came about.

KNUST succeeded the Kumasi College of Technology which was established by a Government Ordinance on 6th October 1951. The school was officially opened on 22nd January 1952. Then, 200 Teacher Training students transferred from Achimota, to form the heart of the new College.

It remained this way until 1952 when the School of Engineering and the Department of Commerce were established and the first students were admitted. From 1952 to 1955, the School of Engineering prepared students for professional qualifications only. In 1955, the School embarked on courses leading to the University of London Bachelor of Engineering External Degree Examinations.

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January 1953 was the year when the Pharmacy Department was established. The establishment of the Pharmacy department came with the transfer of the former School of Pharmacy from Korle-Bu Hospital, Accra, to the College. The Department ran a two-year comprehensive course in Pharmacy leading to the award of the Pharmacy Board Certificate.

That same year, The Department of Agriculture was established to prepare students for the Higher School Certificate Examination in both science and arts.

Architecture, Town Planning, and Building Inaugurated – 1957

In the year 1957, the School of Architecture, Town Planning and Building was inaugurated and its first students were admitted in January 1958, for professional courses in Architecture, Town Planning, and Building.

The idea of making the school a science and technology institution came about after the school of Architecture, Town Planning was inaugurated. This plan caused authorities to transfer the Teacher Training college with the exception of the Art, to the Winneba Training College; this was in 1958.

In 1959 the Commerce Department was transferred to Achimota to form the nucleus of the present School of administration of the University of Ghana, Legon.

Surveillance University Commission 

The birth of KNUST wasn’t just enough, the Ghanaian government in December 1960 appointed a Commission to advise it on the future development university. This was in connection with the proposal to transform the University College of Ghana and the Kumasi College of Technology into an independent University of Ghana.

Following the report of the commission which came out early 1961, Government decided to establish two independent Universities in Kumasi and at Legon near Accra.

Renaming, Birth of KNUST – 1961

The Kumasi College of Technology was thus transformed into a full-fledged University and renamed Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology by an Act of Parliament on 22nd August 1961.

The University’s name was changed to University of Science and Technology after the Revolution of 24th February 1966. The University of Science and Technology was officially inaugurated on Wednesday, 20th November 1961.

However, by another act of Parliament, Act 559 of 1998, the University has been renamed Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi.

KNUST Principal officers

KNUST of today is headed by principal officers which include the chancellor, chairman of the University Council, and vice-chancellor. As of 2011, the position of chancellor was held by the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II.


Governance of the school 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

KNUST is now considered a world-class academic center of excellence for the training of Scientists, Artists, Doctors, Engineers and Architects for the whole of Africa and beyond.

Faculties and Schools include Agriculture, Engineering, Art, Science, Medicine, Architecture, Pharmacy, Renewable & Natural Resources, Mining and Mineral Engineering, Land Management and Environmental Studies.

The University also has various centers for Technology Consultancy, Cultural Studies, Distance Learning, and Collaborative Research. Campus points of interests include the Great Hall, the College of Art Gallery.