Initially an affiliate college of the University of London, The University of Ghana was founded in 1948 as the University College of the Gold Coast. It gained full university status in 1961 and now has nearly forty-two thousand students supervised by nine hundred and fifty research and teaching staff. The university has three campuses: the Legon Campus (main), the Accra City Campus and the Korle-bu Campus. Legon, a suburb of Accra, is situated about thirteen kilometers away from the capital. It is also adjacent to East Legon, one of the most prestigious residential suburbs of Accra, and only about 20 minutes drive from the Kotoka International Airport. The academic year runs from August to May.
From the main gate, the University Avenue extends to Commonwealth Hall on Legon Hill. Along it are grouped halls of residence, departments, lecture theatres and laboratories. Mid-way, an open space - the University Square - with an ornamental pool is over-looked by the Balme Library (named after David Mowbray Balme, the first Principal of the University College). It is the main library of the University holding about three hundred thousand volumes, including a notable section on Africana, and about five thousand periodicals. Across from the University Square are sports fields, a central cafeteria and more halls of residence. Behind Commonwealth Hall is an open-air theatre with a Greek-style auditorium. On the summit of Legon Hill is the Convocation Group of Buildings, which houses the University’s administration offices, and the Great Hall, which can seat fifteen hundred people.