Addis Ababa University is a university in Ethiopia. It was originally named "University College of Addis Ababa" at its founding, then renamed for the former Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie I in 1962, receiving its current name in 1975.
Although the university has six of its seven campuses within Addis Ababa (the seventh is located in Debre Zeit, about 45 kilometers away), it also maintains branches in many cities throughout Ethiopia, leading to the claim of being "the largest university in Africa." The government assigns qualified students to these universities upon completion of secondary school. Students also attend other private colleges, such as Unity College. The writer and theorist Richard Cummings served as a member of the Faculty of Law.
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.
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. Ironically, it was a group of former college students in Tigray Province who founded the Tigrayan Peoples' Liberation Front to resist the Derg government, which later joined a number of other groups to become the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front.
The university offered its first master's programs in 1979 and its first PhD programs in 1987.
Yohannes Haile-Selassie, paleoanthropologist
Zeresenay Alemseged, paleoanthropologist
Teshome G. Wagaw. The Development of Higher Education and Social Change, an Ethiopian Experience. East Lansing, Michigan. Michigan State University Press. 1990.