Hawassa University (HU) is one of the first-generation universities in Ethiopia whose establishment was laid as Awassa College of Agriculture (ACA) in 1976 with the admission of 217 students. It was later restructured and promoted to a university in 2000, named “Debub University” with the merger of ACA and two other colleges in southern Ethiopia: Wondogenet College of Forestry and Natural Resources, established in 1978; and Dilla College of Teachers’ Education and Health Sciences, established in 1996. In 2006, it was renamed “Hawassa University” with the addition of its main campus in Hawassa, and Dilla College of Teacher’s Education and Health Sciences evolved to a separate university on its own.
At the moment, Hawassa University (HU) is one of the first-generation universities in Ethiopia encompassing 9 colleges, 3 institutes, and 7 campuses set in and outside of Hawassa City. Four of its seven campuses (the Main campus, Institute of Technology, College of Agriculture, and College of Medicine and Health Sciences) are situated in Hawassa City while College of Forestry and Natural Resources, College of Business and Economics, and Daye Campus are located in Wondogenet, Yirgalem and Bensa Daye, respectively.
In terms of academic capacity, HU hosts more than 32,000 students enrolled in 309 academic programs: 103 undergraduate; 195 graduate (141 Masters, 54 PhD); and 11 Medical Specialty (10 specialty and 1 sub-specialty) programs in the regular and continuing education programs. Moreover, HU has 10,988 staff out of which 2,213 are academic (20 expatriates and 460 female) staff. It has been recently differentiated by MoSHE/MoE as one of the 8 Research Universities in Ethiopia, so it is working towards becoming one of the top ten research universities in East Africa by 2030. With this vision, HU is engaged in: advanced level multidisciplinary teaching and learning; conducting problem-solving research, and delivering research-informed services to the community.
HU has established a long-standing collaboration with different national and international partners working closely on teaching, research and community services towards its goals. Hence, HU runs 63 collaborative projects (53 international and 10 local) involving 101 global and 91 local partners. Multiple collaborative projects in HU are predominantly financed by countries such as the USA, Norway, Germany and UK, and other countries and global institutions such as the Netherlands, Italy, Japan, Sweden, Australia, Belgium, the UN and EU are also financing one or two collaborative projects in HU.
HU has been largely contributing its part to the overall development of the country through teaching, training, research and community services over the last 46 years by establishing and improving different centers of excellence at colleges, institutes and university levels.