Aksum University Historical Background
Aksum University Historical Background – Check Below:
The Metropolitan City of the Axumite Kingdom, known after the Kingdom itself, was one of the earliest urban settlements in Ethiopia (ARCCH, 2017). Axum is found at Central Zone of National Regional State of Tigray, Ethiopia comprising an estimate of 75 thousand population size. Its geographical coordinates are 14° 7′ 47″ North Latitude, 38°43′24″ E 38° 42′ 57″ East Longitude with an elevation of 2,131 meters (6,991ft).
The cradle of African civilization, Axum, is known worldwide as the home of the Ark of the Covenant, in which lie the tablets of law upon which the Ten Commandments are inscribed. It is considered to be the holiest city in Ethiopia which hosts Old and New Cathedrals of St. Mary of Zion. The two cathedrals and the chapel of the Ark are an important destination of pilgrimages. Among the significant religious festivals that have a value of participatory (inclusive) tourism are the festivity of Timkat (known as Epiphany in Western Christianity) which is celebrated on 19 January (20 January in leap years), the Festival of Maryam Zion on November 24, Hosiena on mid March/April, Filseta Prayer on August and St. Yared’s Memorial Festive on May 21.
Besides, Axum emerged as a capital of the ancient civilization that extended into the northern highlands of Ethiopia and the Red Sea Coast (ARCCH, 2017). Axumite Civilization enjoyed its greatest splendor from 150 BC to 700 AD (Munro-Hay 1991 cited in ARCCH, 2017) that became pursuant to the formation of modern society. Most importantly, the Stelas in Axum demonstrate notable examples of the major Axumite monuments in the town dated from 5000-2000 BC.
Aksum is affluent in its archeological heritage sites including the Ezana Stone written in Sabaean, Geez and Ancient Greek, Bazen’s tomb, Queen of Sheba’s Bath, Ta’akha Maryam (4th century), Palace of Queen Sheba (6th century), the monasteries of Abba Pentalewon and Abba Liqanos. Aksum archeological sites registered in 1980 by UNESCO as world heritage sites due to their historic value. These are the ancient city of Axum, the Mai Koho Throne Area, the Ona Enda Aba Zewge Stelea Field, the Gual Gobodra Quarry Area and the Axumite Stele Route, and the Gobodura Stelae Quarry Area (ARCCH, 2017).
The then city center of one of the dominant ancient world civilizations, Axum, is currently the home of Aksum University too. Aksum University is a public institution commenced in May 2006 on a green field site specifically called Sofoho, four kilometers (2.45 miles) South-West from the center of the city. The name Aksum University is named after the city of Axum. The current area of the university is 107 hectares, with ample room for expansion. The inauguration ceremony was held on 16 February 2007. At the beginning of 2007, the university enrolled approximately more than 750 undergraduate students in five faculties: Social Science and Languages, Agriculture, Business and Economics, Natural and Computational Science and Engineering and Technology in the main campus. In 2011, faculty of Agriculture moved to a new campus on TVET Agriculture in Shire.
Currently, the university hosts 64 undergraduate and 30 postgraduate courses which reside the local, national and international development priorities. Aksum University has four campuses in Aksum, Shire and Adwa cities. The university encompasses 2 institutes, 5 colleges, 5 schools, and various administrative offices which are organized into Main, Referral and Shire campuses.
Main campus hosts College of Social Sciences and Languages, College of Natural and Computational Science, College of Business and Economics, Institute of Technology, School of Education and Behavioral Science and Institution of Tourism, Archeology and History. College of Health Sciences campus, which is nearest to the main campus, includes College of Health Science and Comprehensive Specialized Hospital. Finally, Shire Campus hosts College of Agriculture, School of Mining and School of Water Technology.
Enrollment is expanding so rapidly that by 2019, the university has total enrollment of 23405 students from which 12722 undergraduate students and 139 master’s students are registered in regular program, and 9142 undergraduate students and 1402 master’s students are enrolled in continuing education program. The university is also staffed with 1102 academic and 1569 administrative staffs.