Top 8 Universities in Ghana: How to Pick the Right One for You

Top 8 Universities in Ghana: How to Pick the Right One for You

Ghana is fast becoming a hub for higher education in Africa. With over 200 universities and colleges, it offers one of the continent’s most diverse and competitive university landscapes. This presents an exciting opportunity, but also a challenging dilemma – how do you pick the right university from so many options?

As a former international student who studied in Ghana, I faced the same question. I wasn’t sure what to study or which university would best prepare me for a meaningful career. I also had to consider how much I could afford to pay for tuition and living expenses.

After extensive research and campus visits, I finally found the perfect university for my needs. In this guide, I’ll draw from my firsthand experience to help you navigate Ghana’s university options. I’ll recommend the top 8 universities based on academic quality, programs offered, career outcomes, campus life, costs, and other key factors.

Top 8 Universities in Ghana

Based on global rankings, academic excellence, and student outcomes, here are the top 8 universities in Ghana that you should consider:

University of Ghana
University of Ghana

1. University of Ghana

  • Location: Legon, Accra
  • Established: 1948
  • Rankings: #1 in Ghana by Webometrics and US News. 5-Star QS rating.
  • Students: Over 37,940 (as of 2016) source –University of Ghana Official Website
  • Notable Facts: Ghana’s largest and highest-ranked university. Known for law, business, and engineering programs.
  • Website:

Strengths: High academic reputation, cosmopolitan campus, wide range of programs.

2. Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology

Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology
Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology
  • Location: Kumasi
  • Established: 1961
  • Rankings: #2 in Ghana by Webometrics. 4-Star QS rating.
  • Students: Over 23,591 (as of 2011) source KNUST Offical Website
  • Notable Facts: Highly ranked for engineering and science programs.
  • Website:

Strengths: Strong research culture, and top-tier STEM programs.

3. University of Cape Coast

University of Cape Coast
University of Cape Coast
  • Location: Cape Coast
  • Established: 1962
  • Rankings: Among the top 10 universities in Ghana.
  • Students: Over  5,785 (as of 2017)- source- UCC Official Website
  • Notable Facts: Excellence in education, arts, and social sciences programs.
  • Website:

Strengths: Affordable, specialized in education disciplines.

4. University of Professional Studies, Accra

University of Professional Studies
University of Professional Studies
  • Location: Accra
  • Established: 1965
  • Students: Over 20,000 (Source UPSA Official Website)
  • Notable Facts: Strong industry connections. High graduate employability.
  • Website:

Strengths: Career-focused programs, and professional development.

5. University of Mines and Technology

University of Mines and Technology
University of Mines and Technology
  • Location: Tarkwa
  • Established: 1952
  • Rankings: Among the top 10 universities in Ghana.
  • Students: Over 7,820 (source UMaT)
  • Notable Facts: Specialized in earth, mining, and engineering sciences.
  • Website:

Strengths: Industry-relevant engineering programs.

6. University for Development Studies

University for Development Studies
University for Development Studies
  • Location: Tamale
  • Established: 1992
  • Students: Over 19,720 (source Yellow Pages Ghana)
  • Notable Facts: Strong agriculture, health sciences, and development programs.
  • Website:

Strengths: Specialized fields, important development research.

7. University of Education, Winneba

University of Education
UEW North Campus
  • Location: Winneba
  • Established: September, 1992
  • Notable Facts: One of the top universities for teacher education in Africa.
  • Website:

Strengths: Affordable, tailored for future teachers.

8. Ashesi University

Ashesi University
Ashesi University
  • Location: Berekuso
  • Established: 2002
  • Rankings: Only African university in the Top 50 Under 50 global ranking.
  • Students: Over 1,253 ( as of 2021) source Ashesi University Official Website
  • Notable Facts: Innovative curriculum, highly employable graduates.
  • Website:

Strengths: Small classes, holistic education, careers support.

How to Choose a University in Ghana

Selecting the right university in Ghana requires careful evaluation of a few key factors:

  • Academic Reputation – Check national and global rankings, accreditation, notable alumni, research output, etc. Top schools like the University of Ghana and KNUST have excellent academic reputations.
  • Programs Offered – Browse course syllabi, and specializations and compare program strengths across different universities. Consider your career goals.
  • Costs and Scholarships – Tuition fees vary greatly so research carefully. Apply for scholarships early. Public schools like UCC tend to be more affordable.
  • Admissions Requirements – Entry criteria, exams, and interview process differ. Start early and prepare thoroughly for admissions.
  • Faculty and Facilities – Look for student-faculty ratio, professor qualifications, lab facilities, libraries, hostels, wifi, cafeterias, and more.
  • Location and Safety – Consider proximity to cities, transport options, and overall campus safety and security.
  • Career Support – Check if the university provides internships, career counseling, and job placement services. The Alumni network is also important.

Take your time to research these factors for universities you are interested in. Weigh them based on your priorities to shortlist a few options before applying.

Tips to Make the Most of University Life in Ghana

Here are my top tips to help you thrive and make the most of your university experience in Ghana:

  • Start your scholarship and visa applications early – at least 12 months before admissions. This will save you time and stress later.
  • Thoroughly research the programs offered and choose based on your career goals. Avoid picking a program just because your friends are doing it.
  • Make time to engage with professors during office hours. Their mentorship can open doors for you.
  • Join student clubs aligned with your interests to gain leadership experience and grow your network.
  • Attend campus events and participate in competitions to build your skills. You could win internships and jobs this way!
  • Study abroad for a semester if you get the chance to gain global exposure.
  • Learn a local language like Twi to ease communication and immerse yourself in the culture.
  • Budget carefully and cook some of your meals to save money. Split costs with friends when possible.
  • Be flexible and patient when faced with challenges. Ghanaians are very helpful – ask someone local how they would tackle the problem.
  • Stay positive and keep an open mind. University life in Ghana will broaden your perspective!

I hope this guide provides you clarity in shortlisting universities that align with your interests and aspirations. The next step is to visit their websites and apply to your top choices!

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