Halls of Residence/Hostels
The University believes in community living as an essential part of student life. It is therefore primarily residential, providing accommodation in Halls of Residence for both under-graduate and post-graduate students as well as flats and guest rooms for senior members and guests. There are five halls of residence (available to all students) and several Hostels. The present Halls and Hostels in their order of seniority, are as follows:
Mensah Sarbah Hall
Valco Trust Hostel
International Students’ Hostel
SSNIT Hostels [Ghana Hostels Limited
Each Hall consists of junior members (students) and senior members (academic and senior administrative and professional staff), and is managed by a Council comprising members elected by persons belonging to the Hall. The Master (or Warden in the case of Volta Hall) is the Head of the Hall. Each Hall has Junior and Senior Common Rooms for students and Faculty, respectively. A tutorial system offers an opportunity for counseling students and ensuring their welfare at both academic and social levels. Students maintain interaction with each other and the wider community through recognized clubs and societies. Each Hall has a kitchen and a dining hall to cater for students' feeding. Chapels and a mosque are also available for use by various religious denominations. A Chaplaincy Board co-ordinates the activities of religious groups. Social life on the campus is organised mainly by the Students' Representative Council and the Junior Common Room Committees which provide various kinds of social programmes.
: Legon Hall was the first to be built on the permanent site of the University of Ghana at Legon and is, therefore, the Premier Hall of the University. Its foundation tablet was laid during the Michaelmas Term of 1951 and, in September 1952, the first undergraduates were accepted into residence. On Trinity Sunday, 31st May 1953, the first service was held in the Chapel and the first meal served in the Dining Hall. From these events, the Hall took Trinity Sunday every year as its birthday, celebrated by a common "Feast" for both its Junior and Senior Members. The Hall's motto, Cui Datum ("To whom much is given…"), was selected from St. Luke's Gospel, in recognition of the special responsibility attached to the Hall's seniority. Senior Members of the University may be assigned as Fellows of the Hall by the Vice Chancellor and they usually keep their Fellowship for as long as they remain with the University. Persons of academic distinction outside the University may be elected as Honorary Fellows at a General Meeting of Fellows. The rest of the membership of the Hall is made up of persons in statu pupillari. The governing body of the Hall is the Hall Council, members of which are Fellows of the Hall. The principal Hall Officers are: The Master, the Vice-Master, the President of the Senior Common Room, the Senior Tutor, and the Hall Bursar. The Hall was converted into a mixed Hall of Residence in October, 1991.
: Akuafo Hall was established with the appointment of Professor D.A. Taylor, a Master-designate and a Hall Council in 1953. The Hall Council in 1954 decided to name the Hall Akuafo to commemorate the generous gesture of the farmers of Ghana in giving money for the foundation of the University College. A crest which depicts a cocoa tree, an open book and a drum, designed by Professor W.J. McCallien, and a motto, laboremus et sapiamus, suggested by Professor L.H. Ofosu-Appiah, were adopted by the Council. A commemorative plaque with a Latin inscription composed by Professor L.H. Ofosu-Appiah was set up to show the gratitude of the Hall to the farmers of the country and to the British Government who gave the University College funds for the building of the Hall. The Hall was officially opened on 17 February, 1956, but the first students, numbering 131, came into residence on the 5th October, 1955. The Hall has its own statutes governing the election of officers and the administration of its affairs. Once a year, the Master has to convene a meeting of the Fellows, who form the governing body, to receive his annual report. The Senior Common Room is open to all Fellows and their guests, and the Senior Combination Room to all senior members of the University. Senior Members may also invite students to the Combination Room. The Hall was converted into a mixed Hall of Residence in October, 1991.
: The first batch of students was admitted into residence in Commonwealth Hall at the beginning of the 1956-1957 academic year. In the Lent Term of that academic year, Ghana attained its independence from Great Britain, and the Hall, hitherto known as the Third Hall, was officially christened Commonwealth Hall to commemorate Ghana's admission into the Commonwealth of Nations. The official opening of the Hall was performed in March, 1957. It is, so far, the only all-male Hall of Residence in the University. The motto of the Hall, Truth Stands, was taken from a quotation from Satyre by John Donne (1572-1631):
"On a huge hill, cragged, and steep,
Truth stands and hee that will Reach her,
about must, and about must goe"
This motto combines both the physical situation of the Hall (on a hillside overlooking most of the University and beyond) and the proper pursuit of a University education, the search for truth. It is the only Hall of Residence in the University which has a theatre and amphitheatre for lectures and plays. The Coat of Arms of the Hall depicts the strength and unity of purpose of members of the Hall deriving from the bonds of association enjoyed by the individual members of the Hall. High Commissioners of the Commonwealth countries in Ghana are accorded Honorary Membership of the Hall. There is a Hall Council which administers the affairs of the Hall, assisted by the Tutorial Board and the Senior Common Room Committee.
: Volta Hall started as the Fourth Hall in the 1959-60 academic year, on 16th November, 1960. The University College Council, on the recommendation of the Hall Council, named it Volta Hall. The Hall consists of the main hall originally designed to accommodate 82 students, and an annex with an original capacity for accommodating 198 students, the occupation of which began in January 1966. The motto of the Hall, chosen during the Hall's tenth anniversary celebrations, is in the Akan language and it is: Akokobere Nso Nyim Adekyee. This means that the secret or knowledge of life and nature is a gift to women as it is to men. The Hall has a governing Body which comprises all the Fellows assigned to it and those elected by the assigned Fellows. The government of the Hall rests with this body which delegates some of its powers to a Hall Council. The Hall Council consists of ten members, including the Warden, the Deputy Warden, the Senior Tutor and the Bursar who are ex-officio members. The day-to-day administration of the Hall is carried out by the Warden with the help of the Senior Tutor, who deals with all students' affairs, and the Bursar.
MENSAH SARBAH HALL:
Mensah Sarbah Hall, the fifth Hall of the University, stands in the southern part of the campus. The Hall consists of a main Hall built around a quadrangle and a number of Annexes standing to the north and east. The last two south annexes are attached to the Hall. Until October 1991, Mensah Sarbah was the only co-ed Hall of Residence in the University, which made it quite unique among the Halls. The governing body of the Hall is the Council, which is responsible to the full body of Fellows who form the Senate. Students' affairs are handled by students' own elected government headed by a President, while the general administration of the Hall is under the Master who is assisted by the Senior Tutor and Tutors on the one hand and the Bursar on the other. Other Hall Officers are the Chaplain, who is responsible for the Roman Catholic Chapel, the Prayer Room Warden, who is responsible for the Protestant Chapel, and the Librarian. Senior Common Room affairs are managed by an elected committee under the President of the Senior Common Room. The Hall is named after the famous Ghanaian jurist, writer and statesman, John Mensah Sarbah of Cape Coast. It has been customary for the Hall to celebrate the birthday anniversary of this great man every year. This anniversary is known as Sarbah Day and is highlighted by a dinner and a get-together. The Hall has a crest designed to bring out the principal features of Mensah Sarbah's life. It consists of three elements: a pair of scales, a stool with a book resting upon it, and a hill surmounted by a castle. The scale signifies the legal profession, the stool and the book symbolise culture while the hill and the castle are intended to depict the familiar landscape of Cape Coast with its many hills and forts. At the same time, the castle is intended to symbolise strength and honour. The Hall's motto is: Knowledge, Honour, Service - three words which aptly summarise the guiding principles of Mensah Sarbah's life.
VALCO TRUST HOSTELS
: The idea to build a graduate hostel was first nurtured when Legon Hall Annex C was prepared exclusively for graduate students of the Hall. The quest for a suitable accommodation for graduate students gained attention when Valco Trust Fund offered to finance the construction of a graduate hostel. As a further boost to this course, Legon Hall Annex C was converted into an Annex of the Hostel. The Valco Trust Hostel, donated to the University by the Valco Trust Fund to ease pressure on student accommodation, is a block of purpose-built, self contained flats for 190 students. The Hostel, which was completed in June 1997, is the University’s first hostel for graduate students. A second block with similar facilities was opened in January 2006. Located behind Mensah Sarbah Hall on the southern part of the campus, the flats are arranged in single and double study bedrooms with en suite shower and toilet. There is a shared kitchen for every twelve rooms. Facilities in the hostels include common rooms, washrooms and a restaurant.
INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS’ HOSTELS:
The International Student’s Hostels are located on the southern part of the campus off the road to the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research. For a long time, it had been the dream of the University of Ghana to create and strengthen links with other universities in order to enhance the international student presence on campus. The first phase was commissioned in June 1999 and the second in January 2006. The Hostels are co-educational and each has 43 single rooms and 85 double rooms. In addition, there are facilities such as a well-fortified security system, kitchenettes and restaurants.
Jubilee Hall, located on the southern part of the campus, adjacent to the International Students’ Hostel, was built to commemorate the University’s Golden Jubilee celebration in 1998. Modeled after Akuafo Hall, one of the traditional Halls of the University, and funded mainly by alumni of the University, the Hall is a group of 4 (four) multi-purpose blocks containing single study bedrooms, self-contained flats and double rooms. Facilities in the Hall include common rooms, libraries and restaurants. There are rooms suitable for disabled students.
The first phase of a new hostel complex, which upon completion will house 7,120 students, is expected to be ready for occupancy by the beginning of the 2010/2011 academic year. The project was financed by the University through a loan secured by a consortium of six financial institutions. A number of new hostels are located close to the annexes of Akuafo and Mensah Sarbah Halls. There are also a number of hostels situated close to the Legon Campus. A list of these can be obtained from the Office of the Dean of Students.