Unity University’s coat of arms
President Arega Yirdaw, PhD
Unity University is the pioneer private higher education institution in Ethiopia. Since its establishment as a Language School in 1991, has made tremendous progress to become the first privately owned university in the country. The University became member of MIDROC Technology Group Companies in 2008.
Unity University started its long march by delivering certificate programs. The year 1991 marks the beginning of the first phase in the history of Unity University; a milestone that paved the way for the establishment and subsequent rapid expansion of the University.
Initially, it was established as a language school, offering courses in English, Arabic, Italian and French. Later, that same year, preparatory classes were opened for the then Ethiopian School Leaving Certificate Examination (E.S.L.C.E) in different subjects.
In fact, Unity Language School stared with few students and with a handful of part-time teachers and administrative workers. The School, however, grew rapidly over the next three years in many respects. The student population as well as the number of academic and administrative staff increased significantly. The coverage of the School also expanded through the addition of new courses; such as Certificate Program in Basic Law, in February 1993. In 1994, the Certificate Program in Basic Law was upgraded to a Diploma level.
In 1993, the School opened a new branch outside of Addis Ababa, in Adama town of Oromia Regional State. Currently, the Adama Campus offers MBA, BA and BSc Degree Programs in Business and Computational Sciences.
Furthermore, Vocational Courses in Business Administration, Food and Beverage Services, and Front Office Clerking commenced in 1997. The name of the School was changed to “Unity Law, Language and Vocational Institute” in order to reflect the continuous dynamism and changes that took place.
Thus, the second phase that started in 1997 lasted up to 1998, dduring which time Diploma Programs in Accounting, Marketing, Business, Personnel Administration and Secretarial Science were launched. At this juncture the name “Unity Law, Language and Vocational Institute” became “Unity College”.
In the year 1999 the third phase of the University’s development witnessed not only the consolidation of existing Diploma Programs but also a significant expansion in the range of programs offered; starting with the introduction of new undergraduate degree program in Accounting, Management, and Economics.
BSc Degree Program in Management Information System (MIS) and Diploma Program in Journalism and Communication were launched in the year 2000; and additional undergraduate degree programs in Law, Marketing Management, Computer Technology, English and Statistics were made available to regular and extension degree students. In August 2002, “Unity College” was officially renamed “Unity University College”. In the year 2003 College of Distance Education was established by offering Accounting, Management, Secretarial Science and Office Management, Business Administration, Marketing, Banking and Finance, and Law in Diploma Programs
The fourth phase of the development of Unity University can be traced back to February 2007, when it launched two Postgraduate Programs, namely, Master of Business Administration and Master of Development Economics.
In 2008, Unity University College became the first full-fledged University among the emerging private higher education institutions.As of November, 2008, Unity University became member of MIDROC Technology Group companies. After the University joined MIDROC Technology Group companies, its expansion increased further. In 2012, another branch campus was opened outside Addis Ababa, in Dessie town of Amhara Regional State. The campus offers undergraduate degree programs in Accounting and Finance, Business Administration and Computational Sciences.
Unity University SalaM College of Health Sciences (SCHS) was inaugurated as ‘SalaM Nurses College’, under SalaM Health Care PLC in 1998, with the objective of training professional nurses at diploma level. In 2011/12 the College was absorbed by Unity University and renamed Unity University SalaM College of Health Sciences. Currently, SCHS is one of the four Colleges of the University.
In 2016/17 in Burayu, another Campus was opened. The Geferssa Campus offers undergraduate degree programs in Animal Production and Technology and Horticulture; it also offers Management, Marketing Management at undergraduate level. The Campus also accommodates Unity Academy Burayu branch.
The latest campus along the line is Arega Campus, located around Torhailoch Hospital in Keranyo area.The campus became functional in 2017 by opening Unity Academy Branch from Ore-KG up to Grade 8. Currently, the Academy has upgraded itself up to Grade 12. the First among Unity Academy Branches to have Classes up to Grade 12. Besides this, starting from 2019 Academic year Arega Campus has been accredited by HERQA to deliver BA Degree programs: in Accounting and Finance, in Management and Marketing Management.
As one of its core functions, Unity University encourages and conducts research. Since 2001, Unity has been holding Annual Multi-Disciplinary Research Conferences; where scholars from different Universities research institutions and other establishments participate. The articles (papers) of each Annual Multidisciplinary Research Conference are published in the University’s Proceedings of the Conference, and in the University’s journal, entitled “Ethiopian Journal of Business and Development.”
Unity University is also very active in community service programs. The University had offered scholarships to several students with financial difficulties. It also gives scholarships to its employees as staff development scheme to those who wish to upgrade their academic status. In addition to this, the University offers 15% Grant, as an encouragement for employees and family members of MIDROC Technology Group Companies and sister companies under MIDROC Ethiopia Investment Group.Among the scholarship offers of the University, one was ‘Unity University Girls’ Education Project’, which was run by the University in collaboration with Sponsorship from Donner Organization. The Project extended its assistance to deserving girl students from around the country who could not peruse their tertiary education because of financial difficulties. The Project, until its closure in 2016, had helped about 200 young girls to obtain their Undergraduate Degrees in the fields of their choice.
Unity University, as it was reflected in its history, was a forward-looking private higher education institution, capable of improving and renewing itself continually. This progressive developmental trend of the institution is still continuing. To this end, the University has expanded its Postgraduate Programs in the areas of Marketing Management, Economics as well as Leadership.
span>Currently, Unity delivers six postgraduate and 14 undergraduate programs, in its different campuses in Addis Ababa and regional States, through its Regular, Extension and Distance programs; and plans to introduce PhD programs in the future. Beside the degree programs, Unity University offers Short-term ‘Executive Training Program’, and Special Trainings, Testing and Consultancy Services.
In its quest for comprehensive quality education, the University has established KG-Primary and Secondary level Unity Academy in 2005. The very idea of the Academy was is to integrate higher education institutions with students of higher academic standards. Currently, the Academy has four branches - two in Addis Ababa –, Gerji, and Keranyo, one in Burayu and a fourth one in Adama.