Ardhi University

THIS SPECIALIST university is one of Tanzania’s new autonomous universities established to cope with increased demand for higher education and to deliberately align with the country’s development goals. Its speciality is expressed by its two faculties: one dealing with Architecture and Planning, the other with Lands and Environmental

The roots of Ardhi University, which is situated on Observation Hill in Dar es Salaam, can be traced back to pre-independence days when a Surveying Training School offering technician certificate courses in land surveying was established in the capital. In 1974, the name was changed to Ardhi Institute and its range of courses expanded to include ‘building design’ and ‘building economics’. In the early 1980s, the ‘public health engineering’ course (later renamed ‘environmental engineering’) was introduced. In 1996 the Ardhi Institute became a constituent college of the University of Dar es Salaam, and ten years later was granted autonomy as Ardhi University. During the decade of association with the University of Dar es Salaam, the Ardhi Institute grew dramatically: the number of academic programmes on offer increased from six to 39, while the number of students grew from 400 to 1 400.

Today, academic activities at the university are generated in six schools: Architecture and Design; Construction Economics and Management; Geospatial Sciences and Technology; Real Estates Studies; Urban and Regional Planning; and Environmental Sciences and Technology. The number of academic staff with doctoral degrees has increased from three in 1996 to 43 in 2008.

Research is not being neglected. In 1979, the Centre for Housing Studies was established as joint project between the governments of Tanzania and the Netherlands. The centre has now grown into the Institute of Human Settlement Studies, which is involved in enhancing knowledge and practical skills related to the ‘regularisation of informal settlements’ with which Dar es Salaam is plentifully endowed.

Facts and Figures at a Glance1

Ardhi University has enrolled 1,602 students in the 2007/2008 academic year, all of whom all full-time students. Of these, 1,569 are from Tanzania, 28 from other SADC countries, and five from international countries outside the SADC Region. Given the specialized focus of the institution, all students are enrolled in the Science, Engineering, and Technology Field of Study, broken down as follows:

Table 1: Ardhi University - Summary of Enrolment Numbers (Actual data, 2007/2008)


Number of students enrolled per level of study

Major Field of Study

Total Number of Students (Headcount)

Under- graduate degree/ diploma Post-graduate degree/ diploma Masters Degree Doctoral Degree
Science, Engineering & Technology 1,602 1,487 21 87 7
TOTALS 1,602 1,487 21 87 7

Source: Ardhi University questionnaire response

Table 2: Ardhi University: Academic and Research staff (Actual data, 2007)

Major Field Of Study

Total Number (headcount)

Science, Engineering & Technology 174

Source: Ardhi University questionnaire response



[1] All data presented in this section is headcount data.