Ashesi University (// a-shii-si') is a private, non-profit university located in Accra, Ghana. The mission of Ashesi University is to educate ethical, entrepreneurial leaders in Africa; to cultivate within students the critical thinking skills, the concern for others, and the courage it will take to transform the continent.
|President||Patrick G. Awuah, Jr.|
|Provost||Angela Owusu Ansah|
|Students||1253 (January 2021)|
In 2018, Ashesi University was awarded a Charter by the President of Ghana, granting it full independence as a nationally recognised degree-granting institution. It was the youngest university to have been granted a Presidential Charter in Ghana's history. It is a member of the Council of Independent Universities, the Association of African Universities and the Association of Commonwealth Universities.
A team of four MBA students from the University of California Berkeley's Haas School of Business travelled to Ghana to evaluate the feasibility of establishing a new university in 1998. The team administered over 3,300 surveys to students and parents; conducted interviews and focus groups with parents, teachers and business leaders; and gathered secondary information from local and international sources. The study concluded there was significant demand for a new private university in Ghana, that Ghanaian parents were willing to pay for high-quality local university education, and that the Ghanaian government supported private involvement in tertiary education.
Foundation and accreditationEdit
The Ashesi University Foundation was founded in 1999. Its name means "beginning" in Akan. The university was granted accreditation by the National Accreditation Board of Ghana in 2001 under the mentorship of the University of Cape Coast and began classes in 2002. Ashesi students elected the first female university student government president in Ghana's history in 2006 and its first Examination Honour Code in 2008. Ashesi University completed a new campus in Berekuso in 2011. In 2015, Ashesi launched its engineering programme, and its founder, Patrick Awuah, became a MacArthur fellow. In 2018, it received a Charter from the President of Ghana, allowing it to grant degrees in its own name instead of that of the University of Cape Coast.
Ashesi University's 100-acre campus in Berekuso overlooks the Ghanaian capital city of Accra. It contains the Natembea health centre, two sports courts and a sports centre with a football field, running track and gym. It also hosts the Ghana Climate innovation centre.
The architecture borrows from the Ghanaian vernacular, with echoes of traditional compound houses, as well as elements of traditional Northern dwellings. The natural contours of the site are used in concert with buildings to create exterior gathering spaces throughout campus, as well as ramps that provide wheel chair access to buildings. Buildings are designed to maximize natural views, light and ventilation. Ground water is supplemented with harvested rainwater, filtered and treated to provide potable water all year round. A community-scale sewage and organic treatment plant provides environmental and economic benefits by converting waste to biogas for some of the campus’ cooking needs and recycling treated water for landscaping. The University meets 40% of its daytime electrical needs with solar power.
Organisation and governanceEdit
Ashesi University has 78 teaching staff and approximately 75 administrative staff organised into the departments of Humanities and Social Sciences, Business Administration, Computer Science and Information Systems, and Engineering. The Ashesi University Foundation, which raises funding to support the mission of the University, is a United States 501(c)(3) organization. The Foundation is overseen by its board of trustees, while the University is overseen by its board of directors.
Academics and recognitionEdit
Ashesi offers a four-year bachelors programme grounded in a multidisciplinary core curriculum, featuring majors in Business Administration, Management Information Systems, Computer Science, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Computer Engineering and Mechanical Engineering. It runs Ashesi Innovation Experience, a two-week programme which exposes students between the ages of 15 and 19 to Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Robotics, Creativity and Engineering basics to help prepare them for transitioning into college, and oversees the curriculum development for the Next Generation Cocoa Youth Programme.
In 2012, the university was ranked by PwC as the seventh most respected organisation in Ghana, becoming the first university to make the list. Ashesi's president, Patrick Awuah, was also ranked the 4th Most Respected CEO in Ghana.[better source needed] It was ranked as one of Ghana's 50 Best Places to work by Ghanaian consulting firm Goodman AMC in 2015; it was again the only university on the list.[better source needed] Also in that year, Ashesi's president was ranked by Fortune as one of the World's 50 Greatest Leaders. In 2017, Ashesi was awarded the World Innovation Summit in Education Prize, one of the world's biggest prizes in education, for its impact on higher education in Africa. In 2020, Ashesi University ranked first in Ghana, ninth in Africa, and in the world's top 400 in the Global Times Higher Education University Impact Rankings.
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- Ghana News Agency (Ghana): "Ashesi University Re-Accredited", 10 August 2005.
- "Ashesi breaks ground on new campus", August 2009.
- "Ashesi celebrates historic milestone with inauguration of its new campus", August 2011.