The University for Development Studies (UDS) is Ghana’s first public university in the North. It was established in May 1992 by the Government of Ghana (PNDC Law 279) to “blend the academic work with that of the community in order to provide constructive interaction between the two for the total development of Northern Ghana, in particular, and the country as a whole.

UDS was borne out of the new thinking in higher education which emphasizes the need for universities to play a more active role in addressing problems of the society, particularly in the rural areas.

The University by its mandate and constituency has a pro-poor focus. This is reflected in its methodology of teaching, research and outreach services. The specific emphasis on practically-oriented, research, and field-based training is aimed at contributing towards poverty reduction in order to accelerate national development.

It began academic work in September 1993 with the admission of forty (40) students into the Faculty of Agriculture (FoA), Nyankpala, and currently has a student population of 19,720.


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 programs.


The mission of the University is to:

  • Promote the equitable and socio-economic transformation of communities through practically-oriented, community-based, problem-solving, gender-sensitive, and interactive research, teaching, learning, and outreach activities.
  • Provide higher education to persons suitably qualified for and capable of benefiting from it.
  • Position itself as a national asset in the facilitation of lifelong learning.
  • Develop 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.



UDS Schools;

  • Graduate School
  • School of Medicine and Health Sciences
  • School of Allied Health Sciences
  • School of Business and Law
  • School of Engineering


  • Institute for Distance and Continuing Education
  • Institute for Interdisciplinary Research and Consultancy Services
  • Desert Research Institute (DRI)


  • Faculty of Agribusiness and Applied Economics
  • Faculty of Agriculture
  • Faculty of Applied Sciences
  • Faculty of Education
  • Faculty of Earth and Environmental Sciences
  • Faculty of Integrated Development Studies
  • Faculty of Mathematical Sciences
  • Faculty of Natural Resources and Environment
  • Faculty of Planning and Land Management
  • Faculty of Communication and Cultural Studies
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