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Ashesi was established as an independent, public benefit education institution operating on a not-for-profit basis. The university obtained accreditation from the National Accreditation Board (NAB) in September 2001 to operate under the mentorship of the University of Cape Coast (UCC), with degrees conferred by UCC. Ashesi began instruction on 4th March 2002. Ashesi University received a Presidential Charter from the President of Ghana, effective January 2018, making it an independent university that confers its own degrees.

As the leading university in Ghana, the University aims to produce the next generation of thought leaders to drive national development. Through our research institutes and other centres of learning and research, faculty members are involved in studies that support policy making for national development, often in collaboration with other international institutions.

The Act establishing the University defines its mandate, which essentially is to provide higher education, undertake research, disseminate knowledge and foster relationships with the outside persons and bodies. The strategic mandate of the University is derived from Science and Technology in its name.