Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) is a university in Kumasi, Ashanti, Ghana. 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. 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.
There are six halls of residence at the Kumasi campus, each administered by a hall council consisting of senior and junior members. The executive head is the hall master, who is assisted by a senior tutor. There is a hall bursar and other supporting staff.
- Africa Hall is the only all-female hall in the university. It was first occupied by students on 14 October 1967. Members of the hall are known as Domites. A majority of the female senior members are assigned to Africa Hall as Fellows. Dome has 192 inhabitable rooms, with a student population of about 514.
- Independence Hall was officially opened in February 1959 to commemorate the attainment of Ghana’s independence on 6 March 1957, and was the first permanent hall of residence. Women were admitted to the hall for the first time in 1991. Members are known as Spartans.
- Queen’s Hall was named in honour of Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain and was officially opened in November 1959 by the Duke of Edinburgh. The Queen visited the hall in 1961 during her state visit to Ghana. Queen’s Hall is co-educational and houses a student population of 840, with 294 rooms. Members are usually known as Royals.
- Republic Hall, nicknamed Akukɔ Repo, is a mixed hall with about 850 local and international students. It was named to commemorate Ghana’s attainment of republic status in 1960, and was officially opened in 1961. Women were admitted to the hall for the first time in 1991. The main hall has 198 rooms, and there are 96 rooms in the annex block. Residents of Republic Hall are known as Moguls.
- Unity Hall is the largest hall in West Africa with an original accommodation capacity of 432 rooms and presently with 48 extra flats housed in the building. It is an all-male hall with facilities nicknamed The Twin Towers. Members are known as Continentals. The student population is more than 1880. The hall welcomed its first residents on 16 October 1968.It is the only traditional hall on campus with a study room equipped with wireless internet connection . It is popularly known as Conti.It is currently the largest hall in Ghana and west Africa.
- University Hall.. The University Hall popularly known as Katanga .
Hostels for continuing students
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 an international student association that sees to the interests of foreign students such as accommodation and taking first years around campus.