Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) is a university in Kumasi, Ashanti, Ghana. The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology is the public university established in the country, as well as the largest university in Kumasi Metropolis and Ashanti. 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. Second there were the 1948 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 in the Greater Accra Region. The college was affiliated to the University of London. In 1961, the college was granted full university status.
The main university campus, which is about seven square miles in area, is about eight miles (13 km) to the east of Kumasi, the Ashanti Regional capital.