Fourah Bay College

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Fourah Bay College
Fourah Bay College (Old building, 1930s)
Established February 18, 1827 [1]
Type Public
Students 3,465 total
Location PO Box 87 Mount Aureol, Freetown, Sierra Leone
Campus Freetown campus (urban)
Affiliations University of Sierra Leone

Fourah Bay College is a public university in the neighborhood of Mount Aureol in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Founded on February 18, 1827,[1] is the oldest university in West Africa and the first western-style university built in West Africa.[2] It is a constituent college of the University of Sierra Leone and was formerly affiliated with Durham University (1876-1967).


Established in 1827 as an Anglican missionary school (by the Church Missionary Society), Fourah Bay College soon became a magnet for Krio and other Africans seeking higher education in British West Africa. These included Nigerians, Ghanains, Ivorians and many more, especially in the fields of theology and education. It was the first western-style university in West Africa. Under colonialism, Freetown was known as the "Athens of Africa" as an homage to the college.

The first black principal of the university was an African American missionary, Reverend Edward Jones from South Carolina in the United States. Lamina Sankoh was a prominent early academic; Francis Heiser was principal from 1920 to 1922. Abioseh Nicol was the first Sierra Leonean administrator in 1966.


The old building of Fourah Bay College


  • Faculty of Arts
  • Faculty of Engineering
  • Faculty of Pure and Applied Sciences
  • Faculty of Social Sciences and Law


  • Institute of Adult Education and Extra-Mural Studies
  • Institute of African Studies
  • Institute of Marine Biology and Oceanography
  • Institute of Population Studies
  • Institute of Library and Archive Studies and Mass Communications


As of 1998/1999, the student enrollment was around 2,000 in four faculties and five institutes. It had consistently expanded the 10 years previous.

Notable alumni[edit]

See also Category:Fourah Bay College alumni


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 8°28′37.9″N 13°13′16.3″W / 8.477194°N 13.221194°W / 8.477194; -13.221194