Mekelle University

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Mekelle University
መቐለ ዩኒቨርስቲ
TypePublic university
PresidentProfessor Fetien Abay[1][2]
Academic staff
Students29,617 (2013/14)[3]
Location, ,
13°28′48″N 39°29′06″E / 13.48000°N 39.48500°E / 13.48000; 39.48500Coordinates: 13°28′48″N 39°29′06″E / 13.48000°N 39.48500°E / 13.48000; 39.48500
Mekelle University (crest).png
Mekelle University is located in Ethiopia
Mekelle University
Location in Ethiopia

Mekelle University (Tigrinya: መቐለ ዩኒቨርሲቲ) is a higher education and training public institution located in Mekelle, Tigray Region, Ethiopia, 783 kilometers north of Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa. Mekelle University is one of the largest public universities in Ethiopia. It has seven colleges, eight institutes, and more than 90 undergraduate and 70 postgraduate programs.[4] The student intake capacity of Mekelle University has reached 31,000 or 10% of Mekelle's population.

Graduate students of Mekelle University standing in front of TPLF Monument in July 2009


View of the campus

The Arid Zone Agricultural College was established at the University of Asmara, but was then moved to Agarfa in southern Ethiopia in 1990. In 1993, the Arid Zone Agricultural College was moved to Mekelle and started with 42 students in 3 degree programs. After two years, the Faculty of Science and Technology was established at the same campus and, together, these two faculties were then combined into Mekelle University College. Also, a Faculty of Law started its operation by accepting diploma students through a continuing education program.

In May 2000, the Government of Ethiopia (Council of Ministers, Regulations No. 61/1999 of Article 3) formalized Mekelle University as an autonomous higher education institution. Professor Mitiku Haile became the first president.[4]




  • College of Dryland Agriculture and Natural Resources Management
  • College of Natural and Computational Sciences
  • College of Law and Governance
  • College of Social Sciences and Languages
  • College of Business and Economics
  • College of Health Sciences and Ayder Referral Hospital
  • College of Veterinary science


  • Ethiopian Institute of Technology - Mekelle (EiT-M)
  • Institute of Paleo-Environment and Heritage Conservation
  • Institute of Geo-Information and Earth Observation
  • Institute of Environment, Gender, and Development Studies
  • Institute of Water and Environment
  • Institute of Climate and Society
  • Institute of Pedagogical Sciences
  • Institute of Energy (IoE)
  • Mekelle Institute of Technology (MIT-MU)
  • Sports Science Academy and Mekelle Stadium (under construction)
  • Ethiopian mechanical engineering society (under construction)

Development of the main campus[edit]

A village existed at the edge of the escarpment overlooking Mekelle. On a nearby hill, the Iyesus church was established. The villagers fetched their water from the May Anishti spring underneath. In 1895, a fort was established on the small hill overlooking the campus, and the place served as a military stronghold, that was conquered by the Italian army in 1935. In 1938, there was a shop-restaurant, a post, telephone and telegraph office, an Italian military post and a military cemetery.[6] In 1938, the village of Inda Iyesus counted approximately 350 inhabitants (including 45 Italians).[6] After the Italian defeat in 1941, the place was taken over by the Ethiopian army, who expanded it into a large military camp. After the defeat of the Derg army in 1989, the place was used for a few years by the TPLF army after which it was transferred to the Ministry of Education for the establishment of the "Arid Zone College" that would gradually grow into Mekelle University. Popular names of the campus are taken from this history: Arid Campus and Inda Iyesus Campus.


Mekelle University main campus hosts several parks:

  • Momona Park, called after a large momona tree (Faidherbia albida) under which the first lectures were organised in the academic year 1993-1994
  • Belgium Park, in reference to the longstanding cooperation with the Belgian academic institutions (starting 1994)
  • The large May Anishti forest on the slope between campus and city.

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ a b AWARD Fellow becomes female University President in Ethiopia
  2. ^ a b Profile: Emergence of women-led universities in Ethiopia Addis Standard, 16 October 2020
  3. ^ "2013/14 Academic calendar Student Statistics". Archived from the original on 15 August 2014. Retrieved 6 June 2022.
  4. ^ a b "General Information As of January 1, 2018". Mekelle University. Retrieved 6 October 2018.
  5. ^ Mekelle University Board Approves Full Professorship Promotion of Dr. Kindeya Gebrehiwot and Dr. Gidey Yirga EthioGRI, 2/8/2017, Sandra Turner
  6. ^ a b Consociazione turistica Italiana. Guida dell'Africa orientale Italiana. Milano. p. 301.
  7. ^ "H.E. Dr Samuel Urkato". Retrieved 8 December 2020.