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Haile Selassie University

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Haile Selassie University

Addis Ababa University
አዲስ አበባ ዩኒቨርስቲ
Established 1950
Type State university
President Dr Admasu Tsegaye
Students 42,497 (2009/10)[1]
Location Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Campus Addis Ababa (6 campus, including Main)
Debre Zeit campus
Former names University College of Addis Ababa (1950-1962)
Haile Selassie I University (1962-1975)

Addis Ababa University (Amharic: አዲስ አበባ ዩኒቨርሲቲ?) is a state university in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia. Originally called the University College of Addis Ababa at its founding, it was later renamed Haile Selassie I University in 1962 after the Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie I. The institution received its current name in 1975.


Addis Ababa University was founded in 1950 at the request of Haile Selassie by a Canadian Jesuit, Dr Lucien Matte, S.J. as a two-year college, and began operations the next year. Over the following two years an affiliation with the University of London was developed. The writer and theorist Richard Cummings served as a member of the Faculty of Law in the 1960s.

As part of their sweeping changes, the Derg ordered Addis Ababa University temporarily closed March 4, 1975 and dispatched its 50,000 students to the countryside to help build support for the new regime. The university offered its first master's programs in 1979 and its first PhD programs in 1987.

Three top university administrators resigned their posts in December 2002 in protest against increasing government interference in internal university matters. Government officials wanted the University to change its system of student evaluations to conform to a "gemgema" (self-criticism) system favored by the ruling party.[2]

In 2009/10 there were 20,701 enrolled undergraduate students, 7,127 graduate students, and 14,669 continuing education students, making a total student body of 42,497.[1]

Campuses and programs

Addis Ababa University has thirteen campuses. Twelve of these are situated in Addis Ababa, and one is located in Bishoftu, about 45 kilometers away. It also maintains branches in many cities throughout Ethiopia.The government assigns qualified students to these universities upon completion of secondary school.

Associated institutions include the Institute of Ethiopian Studies, founded by Richard Pankhurst.

Notable alumni

  • Yohannes Haile-Selassie, paleoanthropologist
  • Zeresenay Alemseged, paleoanthropologist
  • Birtukan Mideksa, judge and first woman opposition political leader
  • Berhane Asfaw, paleontologist who co-discovered the apparent origin of the Homo genus
  • Alemayehu Fentaw Weldemariam, a young public intellectual and human right activist
  • Michael Tsegaye, artist and photographer
  • Meles Zenawi, former Prime Minister of Ethiopia
  • Hailemariam Desalegn, Current Prime Minister of Ethiopia
  • Fesseha Gebre Mariam, nuclear physicist
  • [1] Aberra Molla - Scientist


Further reading

  • Teshome G. Wagaw. The Development of Higher Education and Social Change, an Ethiopian Experience. East Lansing, Michigan. Michigan State University Press. 1990.

External links

  • Addis Ababa University official website
  • Institute of Ethiopian Studies and the Ethnological Museum
  • Contact information for Addis Ababa University, and 28 Ethiopian institutions of higher education in the African Higher Education Database

Coordinates: 9°2′48″N 38°45′33″E / 9.04667°N 38.75917°E / 9.04667; 38.75917

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