Higher education in Ghana is very competitive and there is often a scramble for the best universities in Ghana. With the masses of students moving from senior high schools to tertiary institutions, there are a lot of options to explore in Ghana. Ghana is one of the best places to study for any degree whether first degree, a master’s degree, or a Ph.D. Recently, the University of Cape Coast was ranked number one worldwide for research influence by the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings.
Apart from the thirteen (13) public universities, there are lots of “University Colleges” with affiliations to the public universities and “Technical Universities” in the country. These institutions are championing education in the country and over the years have gained recognition for their addition to knowledge and helping build industry leaders and champions.
In this article, we take a look at some of the best universities in Ghana which anyone considering tertiary education in the country. Note that these are not ordered in any particular way as they are considered together as the best tertiary education schools in the country.
Top 10 Best Universities in Ghana
1. University of Ghana
The University of Ghana is not only the largest but also the oldest. The university was established in 1948 during British rule in Ghana. It is one of the thirteen public universities in the country. The University of Ghana has 3 major campuses with the main campus at Legon, 10 workers colleges, and lots of affiliated universities in Ghana and all over the world. The university has constantly been ranked as the best university in Ghana but was toppled by the University of Cape Coast in the 2022 university rankings as released by the Times Higher Education (THE) World Unversity Rankings.
2. Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology
Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) is the largest University in the Ashanti Region and started as a commerce and engineering teaching institution on 22nd January 1952. Its first batch of students was teacher training students transferred from Achimota to form the new institution. The students were 200 in number. Upon commencement, 1952, the School of Engineering and the Department of Commerce were established in October of the same year. Since then, more departments and colleges have been introduced to have the present-day Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. The institution started as the University of Science and Technology which was a successor to the Kumasi College of Technology.
Today, KNUST takes 64,187 (2020) students with 21,285 undergraduates and 2,306 postgraduates. The University is famed for its science and technology-related programs even though it has a wide range of humanities and agricultural programs. KNUST was ranked the best university in Ghana and West African in the year 2019. The report was created by the U.S News & World Report.
3. University of Cape Coast
Starting as a University college with 155 students, the University of Cape Coast has risen over the past 59 years to become a full-fledged university with a worldwide reputation for academic excellence and taking on over 70,000 students. With “Truth, Our Guide” UCC or Cape Vars as the institution is reputed as one of the best Universities in the world. In the Times Higher Education (THE) world university rankings, UCC was ranked the number one university globally for research influence, the number one tertiary institution in Ghana, the number one university in west Africa, and ranked one of the top five (5) universities in Africa. The University of Cape Coast was started in 1962 as a University College affiliated to the then fully-fledged university of ghana (UG). It would later gain independent status from UG as it gained the status of a full university in 1971.
4. University of Education, Winneba
UEW, The University of Education, Winneba is one of the universities championing the training of teachers in the country. Established in 1992 by a PNDC Law (Government Ordinance), the University of Education, Winneba, was affiliated to the University of Cape Coast with the mandate to develop and train professional teachers for the Ghana education sector with a focus on escalating economic development in the country through the development of the solid education system. After 29 years of existence, the University has twenty-nine (29) departments and 18 distance learning campuses making teacher education accessible to anyone in Ghana no matter their location. The University of Education, Winneba was awarded the Special Education (SPED) Ghana Disability Excellence Awards this year, 2021.
5. Ashesi University
For a relatively young University, it has achieved a lot and one can only imagine what the future holds for a University that was created to meet the deficit for quality education in Ghana. Ashesi is an Akan word that means “beginning”.
The University was established in 2002 after some preliminary studies and feasibility of the tertiary educational space in Ghana. A team from the University of California Haas School of business journeyed to conduct the studies that would create Ashesi in 1998. The findings were overwhelmingly positive. There was demand, parents were willing to pay and students needed more solutions in the sector. In 2001, the University received accreditation from the Ghana Accreditation Board to commence operations. It was affiliated to the University of Cape Coast and gained full university status in 2018 by the President of Ghana. It is the youngest University to gain such status in a short time of existence. Ashesi is located in Berekuso, which watches over the capital city of Ghana from the Eastern Region.
The University was founded by Patrick Awuah Jnr who is currently the University’s president. Over its 19 years of existence, Ashesi has been honored among various world-renowned Universities. In 2012, PwC ranked Ashesi as the seventh (7th) most respected organisations in the country. Patrick Awuah also got recognized as the fourth (4th) most respected CEO in the country in the same year. The University was given the World Innovation Summit in Education Prize in 2017 among other prestigious rankings from the Times Higher Education World University Rankings as the best university in Ghana in 2020. ninth (9th) in Africa and among the top 400 universities in the world.
6. Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration
The Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) is one of the oldest tertiary institutions in the country. It was established in 1961 and now has four (4) major campuses in Accra, Tema, Kumasi, and Takoradi. GIMPA has about ten (10) research centers at Greenhill, its main campus at Legon. The institution has various bachelor’s, master’s, and executive master’s degree programs in business administration, entrepreneurship, law, public administration, and more.
7. University for Development Studies
The University for Development Studies or UDS was a three (3) campus university consisting of campuses in Tamale serving as the main campus, and satellite campuses in Wa in the Upper West Region and Navrongo in the Upper East Region. The satellite campuses have since been made independent institutions with their administrations and names. UDS was established in 1992 by the then J. J. Rawlings government. The President played a central part in its founding having used $50,000 which was his prize money for the World Food Prize. With the motto, Knowledge for service, the university has the mandate to train students for community service for the development of the areas they are involved in. Due to this, students are required to engage in community programs to identify and propose solutions to the problems of communities they are assigned as part of their academic work.
8. Valley View University
The Valley View University (VVU) is one of the most prominent private universities in the country. It was started in 1979, forty-two (42) years ago, VVU is located at Oyibi in the Greater Accra region. The University is an initiative of the Seventh-day Adventist education system which is reputed as one of the largest Christian-based school systems in the world. The institution was accredited by the Accrediting Association of Adventist Schools, Colleges, and Universities and also accredited by the National Accreditation Board of the Government of Ghana for the various programs allowing the institution to issue certificates, diplomas, and degrees. It was the very first private university t be granted the presidential charter to operate as a full-fledged university by President Kufuor’s administration.
9. University of Mines and Technology
The University of Mines and Technology also known as UMaT is was established in 1952 as the Trakwa Technical Insitute and upgraded to a full-fledged university in 1961 after a decade of operating as a technical institute. It was established by the government to tackle the deficit in trained professionals in the mining industry considering that Tarkwa is one of the prominent mining locations in Ghana, it was the perfect place to start.
10. The University of Health and Allied Sciences
The University of Health and Allied Sciences also known as UHAS was started in September 2012 after being established by the Act of Parliament(Act 828) in 2011. Its core mandate is to teach, research and train health service professionals in the country. Its initial student count was 154 which has now risen to the thousands of students graduating each year. The institution has eight (8) schools and two institutes and several health-based centers.
Ghanaian university education has come a long way. Some of them like Ashesi are painting the picture of what tertiary education could be in the future, others like the University of Cape Coast leading in research and overall academic excellence, the University of Ghana also in academic excellence the sustainable development, KNUST championing STEM education and more. Studying in these educational establishments has become very competitive due to the high demand for tertiary education with lots of competition and lots of international students. If you are thinking of pursuing your tertiary education in Ghana, then these top 10 universities in Ghana would be a good place to start.
FAQs About The Best Universities in Ghana
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