The KNUST has, since January 2005, transformed from its previous centralized system of administration into significantly decentralized one called the Collegiate system. Under this system, the various faculties have been condensed into six colleges. Since its inception, the University has been administered on the Faculty-based system. This naturally led to a situation where new Faculties and Institutes were created to meet the ever-growing academic pursuits of students.
The resultant collection of Faculties largely hampered efficient administrative and academic operations, as duplication of efforts and long administrative processes were rampant. The need to deal with these complexities and harmonize the operation of the existing structures became apparent and unavoidable. This was more so, with the ever-increasing numbers in student population. True to the vision to make KNUST the model for technological education in Africa and the Vice-Chancellor's commitment to academic excellence, the Collegiate System came into being with the promulgation of the statutes on November 29, 2004.
The University is situated approximately on a sixteen square-kilometre campus of undulating land and pleasant surroundings, about seven kilometres away from the central business district of the city of Kumasi. The campus presents a panorama of beautiful and modern buildings interspersed with verdant lawns and tropical flora, which provide a cool and refreshing atmosphere congenial to academic studies. It has within the short period of its existence become an important centre for the training of scientists and technologists not only for Ghana, but also for other African countries as well as from other parts of the world.
There are six Halls of residence and a number of hostels in the University. They are Queen Elizabeth II, Unity, Independence, Republic, University, and Africa. Three of the Halls of residence are mixed, two for males only and one for females only. Of the five hostels, two are for postgraduate students, one for both undergraduate and graduate students and managed by the Ghana Universities Staff Superannuation Scheme (GUSSS).
Medical students of Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital inhabit one of the hostels, while the last one is under the management of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT).The Halls are self-contained, each with its kitchen, dining hall and separate junior and senior common rooms for students and senior members of the hall. The Halls of Residence, the Administration Block, the Library and the Great Hall occupy the central portion of the grounds.
The University started awarding its degrees in June 1964. All degree examinations are reviewed by external examiners and moderators to ensure that high academic standards are maintained.
The University of Science and Technology succeeded the Kumasi College of Technology which was established by a Government Ordinance on 6th October, 1951. It was however, opened officially on 22nd January, 1952 with 200 Teacher Training students transferred from Achimota, to form the nucleus of the new College.
In October, 1952, the School of Engineering and the Department of Commerce were established and the first students were admitted. From 1952 to 1955, the School of Engineering prepared students for professional qualifications only. In 1955, the School embarked on courses leading to the University of London Bachelor of Engineering External Degree Examinations.
A Pharmacy Department was established in January, 1953, with the transfer of the former School of Pharmacy from Korle-Bu Hospital, Accra, to the College. The Department ran a two-year comprehensive course in Pharmacy leading to the award of the Pharmacy Board Certificate.
A Department of Agriculture was opened in the same year to provide a number of ad hoc courses of varying duration, from a few terms to three years, for the Ministry of Agriculture. A Department of General Studies was also instituted to prepare students for the Higher School Certificate Examinations in both Science and Arts subjects and to give instruction in such subjects as were requested by the other departments.
Once established, the College began to grow and in 1957, the School of Architecture, Town Planning and Building was inaugurated and its first students were admitted in January, 1958, for professional courses in Architecture, Town Planning and Building. As the College expanded, it was decided to make the Kumasi College of Technology a purely science and technology institution. In pursuit of this policy, the Teacher Training College, with the exception of the Art School, was transferred in January, 1958, to the Winneba Training College, and in 1959 the Commerce Department was transferred to Achimota to form the nucleus of the present School of administration of the University of Ghana, Legon.
In December, 1960, the Government of Ghana appointed a University Commission to advise it on the future development of University Education in Ghana, in connection with the proposal to transform the University College of Ghana and the Kumasi College of Technology into an independent University of Ghana.
Following the report of the commission which came out early 1961, Government decided to establish two independent Universities in Kumasi and at Legon near Accra.
The Kumasi College of Technology was thus transformed into a full-fledged University and renamed Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology by an Act of Parliament on 22nd August, 1961.
The University's name was changed to University of Science and Technology after the Revolution of 24th February, 1966. The University of Science and Technology was officially inaugurated on Wednesday, 20th November, 1961. However, by another act of Parliament, Act 559 of 1998, the University has been renamed Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi.