Impacting society, driving innovation: 75 Years of Accra Technical University

Impacting society, driving innovation: 75 Years of Accra Technical University

Once upon a time, 75 years ago, a group of forward-thinking educators and visionaries sowed the seeds of what would grow into one of West Africa's most respected technical universities and Ghana's first.


Accra Technical University (ATU), which started as a humble technical institute in the heart of the capital city of Ghana, has blossomed into a vibrant node of education, research, and industry collaboration, moulding the intellect of generations and propelling Ghana's socioeconomic growth.

One of the critical components of human development is Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), which has gained enormous traction within Ghana's educational sphere in recent years.

Since its conversion from a polytechnic to a fully-fledged technical university in 2016, Accra Technical University has stayed true to the cause of TVET, training the heads and hands of students for employment and job creation.

From a modest beginning with a handful of students and basic infrastructure, ATU now boasts of state-of-the-art facilities, practical and experiential learning equipment, and experienced faculty.

One of the most exciting developments in ATU's journey is the increase in its degree programmes and the introduction of five Master of Science (MSc) and Master of Technology (MTech) programmes.

These new programmes represent a significant expansion of ATU's academic portfolio, allowing students to pursue advanced studies in specialised fields.

From Sustainable Electrical Power to Marketing Strategy, these programmes are designed to equip graduates with the skills and knowledge needed to thrive in today's dynamic job market.

These MSc and MTech programmes enrich ATU's academic offerings and contribute to the university's overall progress and growth. Giving students access to advanced education and training opportunities empowers them to become leaders and innovators in their respective fields.

Moreover, these programmes also strengthen ATU's research capabilities, fostering a culture of enquiry and innovation within the university community.

Achievements and impact

With a bustling community of more than 700 staff, over 23,000 students (about the seating capacity of Madison Square Garden), and two campuses at Kinbu and Mpehuasem in the Ga West Municipal District, ATU has developed a student-centric approach that equally prioritises students' social, emotional and academic needs.

 Accra Technical University graduates

 Accra Technical University graduates

By nurturing a culture of creativity and problem-solving through innovation, the university has empowered students to develop groundbreaking solutions to real-world challenges. 

In 2022, a student at ATU was adjudged the first runner-up at the World Skills Africa Competition in Namibia, showcasing his Power Systems. The following year, another student excelled, securing a bronze medal in the Neural Networks and Big Data Skill Competition held in Russia. These achievements point to the university's commitment to empowering students to achieve excellence and make a tangible impact on the world.

Furthermore, ATU has blazed a trail in championing inclusivity and diversity in education. By offering accessible routes to technical education and welcoming students from varied backgrounds, ATU has enabled many individuals to surmount obstacles and realise their dreams.

With initiatives such as seminars, scholarships and community outreach, the university continues to shape a positive perception of technical and vocational training, ensuring that the ladder of educational advancement is within everyone's reach.

ATU has been the forerunner for three-quarters of a century, producing a proficient middle-level workforce and professionals who form the bedrock of various industries.

Notably, in the prestigious Times Higher Education Sub-Saharan Africa Rankings of 2023, ATU proudly clinched the 4th-best university position, solidifying its status as the premier technical university in Ghana.

This accolade underscores ATU's unwavering dedication to academic excellence. ATU's graduates have etched an enduring legacy across various sectors, from engineering to business and health sciences.

While producing a world-class skilled workforce, a dedication to advancing innovation and entrepreneurship is at its heart. Through pioneering research, strategic academia, industry alliances nationally and internationally, and hands-on learning experiences, ATU has cultivated a fertile ground where ideas bloom, and visions take flight.

These partnerships have enabled ATU to stay up-to-date with global trends, enrich its academic programmes, and provide students with invaluable experiences that prepare them for the challenges of the modern world.


Be it in the creation of eco-friendly technologies such as biodegradable packaging materials, the advancement of healthcare solutions such as the development of a blood warmer and automated stretcher, or the creation of innovative recipes from local ingredients, ATU's influence echoes well beyond academics to sports success, clinching various laurels in the subregion.

These achievements are manifested by the university's recognition at the maiden Think Energy SDG Awards in 2023 as the best in SDG Research. This accolade highlights ATU's dedication to addressing global challenges through rigorous research and strategic partnerships. 

Reflecting on 75 years

As the university celebrates 75 years of excellence, it becomes imperative to contemplate its enduring legacy and the transformative influence of education. From its inception to the contemporary era, the institution has been a catalyst for change, fostering innovation, nurturing talents and moulding technical education. Anticipation arises for the future and the forthcoming chapter of this esteemed history.

This celebration does not centre on self-congratulation or complacency. Instead, it focuses on acknowledging achievements as proof that success is achievable when talented and determined individuals unite with ambitious goals for learners of diverse backgrounds, guided by a clear vision for the future.


In commemorating this significant milestone, ATU must not only revel in the triumphs of the past but also look forward to the potential of the future as it continues to impact society and spearhead innovation for generations to come.

Here is to a joyous 75th anniversary! May ATU continue to inspire and excel for many more years to come!  

 The writers are Director, Public Affairs and Asst. Registrar, DPA respectively

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