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 Gubrye-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 enrollment 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 Haile, 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.

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