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Historical Background of the University

Wolkite University (WKU) is one of the third generation higher institutions that have been founded in 2012. It is established for the purpose of providing and promoting higher education learning, research, and outreach programs in the country to ensure the realization of the national vision of reaching the level of middle income countries by 2020. The University is located in the Southern Nation Nationalities Regional State, in Guraghe zone, 158 km southwest of the capital city, Addis Ababa, on the way to Jima. In November 2009 the late prime minister, his Excellency Mr. Meles Zenawi, laid the foundation stone of the University in a plain landscape which is quite ideal for academic pursuit. It is situated at Gubreye sub-city, 14 km away from Wolkite town, of the gubreye-butajira road. The major link road to the University is a direct route to Wolkite-Jimma, Wolkite-Hossana and wolkite-Butajira.

The University began its formal activities at Wolkite town with the appointment of the first president, Dr. Admasu Shibru, in February 2012, while other key officials of the University were appointed later. Thanks to the local community who agreed to give away their lands (196 hectares) to the University without any form of exchange for compensation, the main campus’s preparations had begun as early as 2010 the first phase of construction (36 blocks) that includes buildings for cafeterias, student dormitories, various academic buildings and other infrastructures were began in may 2010. During the establishment phase, the construction was administered by Wolkite town housing development project office. After July 2012 administration of the construction was fully transferred to the University project office. Since then, construction of additional facilities and various academic buildings has been conducted in rapid succession.

The University’s command-post was stationed at Wolkite town until September 2013 but moved to the main campus then. The University commenced the learning-teaching activities on the promises of the Wolkite polytechnic college at Wolkite town. The first543 students joined the University in 2011/12 academic year. Enrolling the assigned students, the University started its academic journey with 13 academic programs under three Colleges of Engineering and Technology, College of Computing and Informatics, and College of Natural and Computational science. Currently, the number of colleges has reached seven with one additional school in which a total of 32 academic programs are running. It is the intention of the University to gradually increase the number of students to a target of 15,000 total enrolment at the end of the first 5 years and 40000 to 50000 total enrollments by the end of the third 5 years.

Wolkite University board is the University‘s governing body whose broad responsibilities are supervising, coordinating, managing and regulating the university as provided by ministry of education. Currently, the board is chaired by his excellence Mr. Mekuria Hiale, state minister for ministry of urban development and construction.  The president and three vice presidents of the University, along with the college/school deans, directors/department heads and other staff, ensure that the university meets its goals and targets as outlined in the university’s strategic concept paper.

WKU logo is the official graphic symbol representation of the university. The logo expresses the aspiration and the vision of the vision of the university that the university shall be an in strumental institution for the development and transformation of Ethiopia’s social economic and political systems. The logo shall express these as follows:

  1. The university mainly focuses on fields like natural science with an emphasis on biotechnology as indicted with the smallest cellular structural symbol at the center of the left outer ring, and engineering and agro-processing sciences as expressed with the smallest engineering symbol at the center of the right outer ring. Other business and social science academic programs are expressed with the opened knowledge book that is placed at the southern central part in the circle.
  2. The university community in the accomplishment of the institution’s mission, is an organized army working on a plane field just as in the villages of the Guraghe people, where the university is located, who construct fenced, strong, and long living houses lining in two opposite sides facing each other with a social and cultural plane field (locally called jefuer) in between. The communal settlement provides the community an opportunity to explore the collaborative effort of all members for a common goal as that of a development army after clearing the play field and the road. The enset’ plant is also shown to reflect the most important crop in the region.
  3. The collaborative efforts in the academic, research and the community linkage programs produce knowledge that is expressed as the candle light symbol placed in the most canters in the circle that is sourced from the knowledge book that lightens the development process in the region and nation at large.
  4. Crossing ups and downs in between with a picture of new asphalt road, the candle is supposed to lighten the totality of the development path towards Ethiopia’s renaissance in the end. The Asphalt road refers to the new road that is built by the government to link the brotherly communities of the eastern and the western Guraghe Zebidar mountain terrain. This also is to generalize for the nations, nationalities and the peoples in the country who have stayed for generations without proper understanding and respect among themselves due to outrageous attitudinal complexities of the previous leaders in the history of the country, which had been a cause for the shortfall of developmental cooperation among them in the past.
  5. The blue color surrounding the outer most rings is to remind the alarm due to the forthcoming potential scarcity of water resource and the need to prepare for this with a hope to prevent or abate the associated risks.
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