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Profile of the University

The University for Development Studies (UDS) was established in May 1992 by PNDC Law 279 to blend the academic world with that of the community in order to provide constructive and meaningful interaction between the two for the total Development of Northern Ghana, in particular, and Ghana as whole. It began academic work in September 1993 with the first batch of thirty-nine (39) students admitted into the Faculty of Agriculture, (FOA), Nyankpala.

The University’s principal objective is to address and find solutions to the environmental problems and socio-economic deprivations that have characterized northern Ghana in particular and are also found in some rural areas throughout the rest of the country.

Accordingly, UDS consciously and systematically run programmes that are targeted to prepare the individuals to establish their own careers in specialized areas. Further it equips these practitioners with requisite knowledge to enable them to live and function in any deprived community in the country.

Although the University is still in need of physical infrastructure and teaching aids, it has steadily grown over the years, and now operates four (4) satellite campuses spread out in the three (3) Northern Regions of Ghana. That is Wa Campus (Upper West Region), Navrongo campus (Upper East Region) and, Tamale and Nyankpala Campuses (Northern Region).

The Faculty of Integrated Development Studies, (FIDS), Faculty of Planning and Land Management (FPLM) and Faculty of Education (FOA), School of Business, Wa, School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS), Tamale, Faculty of Renewable Natural Resources (FRNR), Nyankpala, Faculty of Applied Sciences (FAS), Faculty of Mathematical Sciences (FMS), Navrongo and the Graduate School now in Tamale were phased in from 1994 to date.

Presently there are Masters programmes in the Social Sciences and Sciences run by the University. Equally the University offers doctorate degree programmes.

As stated in the vision of the university, “to be a home of world-class pro-poor scholarship”; the University strives to ensure that there are intellectual and pragmatic inputs into the developmental processes of the poor, disadvantaged and the marginalized areas and peoples of the country and beyond.

Accordingly, the combination of its location and its vision makes the University for Development Studies ideally placed to be partnered with any organization (s) in addressing environmental challenges. The University also equips its products with requisite knowledge to enable them to live and function in any deprived community.

The University now has four (4) campuses, seven (7) Faculties, a Business School, a Medical School, a Graduate School and three (3) centres. The current student population stands at about twenty thousand.


The University is envisaged to be a Home of World Class Pro-Poor Scholarship. This is reflected in its motto: “Knowledge for Service” as well as its methodology of teaching, research and outreach programmes.


The UDS seeks to achieve its vision by:

  1. Promoting equitable and socio-economic transformation of communities through practically oriented, community based, problem solving, gender sensitive and interactive research, teaching, learning and outreach activities.
  2. Providing higher education to persons suitably qualified for and capable of benefiting from it.
  3. Positioning itself as a national asset in the facilitation of lifelong learning.
  4. Developing its information and communication technology infrastructure as the driving force for the education of more people, more rapidly and the improvement of efficiency and academic quality in order to advance community and national development

Distinguishing features of UDS

UDS is unique compared to other public  Universities in the following ways:

  1. Its location, Northern Ghana, which is the poorest part of Ghana.
  2. Its Multi campus nature, that is, the campuses are spread out in rural Northern Ghana where the incidence and depth of poverty is high.
  3. Its vision is pro-poor aimed at addressing the conditions and structural causes of poverty.
  4. The third Trimester Field Practical Programme ran by the University as integral part of the curriculum ensures that both students and staff work closely with disadvantaged marginalized and hard to reach people in the communities with a focus on poverty reduction.
  5. It has an innovative admission policy geared towards solving gender unbalance and general inequity of access to tertiary education
  6. The curriculum and pedagogical style are structured in a manner that provide students with the requisite academic and practical knowledge, tools and skills to effectively deal with development and poverty-related issues at the grassroots level.


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