KNUST stands for Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and is located in Kumasi, Ashanti, Ghana. The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology is Ghana’s first and largest public university, as well as the largest in the Kumasi Metropolis and the Ashanti Region.
KNUST has its origins in the plans of the King Asantehene Agyeman Prempeh I to create a university in Kumasi as part of his move towards modernization of his Ashanti kingdom. This scheme never came to fruition due to the clash between British Empire expansion and the need for King Prempeh I to retain his Ashanti kingdom’s independence.
King Asantehene Agyeman Prempeh II, his younger brother and successor, persisted with this vision after rising to the Golden Stool in 1935. The events of the 1940s on the Gold Coast played right into his hands. The University College of the Gold Coast was the first to be founded.
Second, there were the riots in Accra in 1948, which led to the Watson Commission’s recommendation that a university of sciences be founded in Kumasi. Thus, in 1949, the Prempehs’ dream became a reality when construction on what was to be known as the Kumasi College of Technology began.
The Kumasi College of Technology provided admission to its first students to the engineering faculty in 1951 (they joined in 1952), and an Act of Parliament gave the university its legal foundation as the Kumasi College of Technology in 1952.
The nucleus of the college was created from 200 teacher training students transferred from Achimota College in the Greater Accra Region. The University of London was associated with the college. The college was given full university status in 1961.
The university has a total land area of 2512.96 acres, with the main campus being about seven square miles in size and located about eight miles (13 kilometers) east of Kumasi, the Ashanti Regional capital.
U.S. News & World Report named KNUST the best university in Ghana and West Africa in November 2019. With a global score of 42.4, it was also ranked 14th in Africa and 706th overall. In November 2020 it was named the best for the second time by U.S. News & World Report. This time it climbed 2 places to be 12th best in Africa.