Njala University College (now Njala University) was established in 1964. Since then, it has served as a major centre for training middle level agricultural extension workers and teachers at secondary school level. The Government of Sierra Leone and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) agreed on a contract to assess the needs for Sierra Leone in Agriculture and Education. Later in 1967, Njala University College became a constituent college of the University of Sierra Leone which comprised of Fourah Bay College (FBC), College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences (COMAHS), and the Institute of Public Administration and Management (IPAM). Due to the out break of the rebel war in 1991, Njala University College was relocated to Freetown in January 1995. The College operated in Freetown for close to a decade i.e. 1996-2005. With the promulgation of the University Act 2005, the college, together with the Bo Teachers College, the School of Hygiene and the Paramedical School in Bo, constituted Njala University as an autonomous body, with Bonthe Technical Training College (BONTECH) as an affiliate tertiary institution. Currently, Njala University is comprised of two campuses, the Bo Campus and Njala Campus. The University has eight Schools: Agriculture, Education, Environmental Sciences, Social Sciences, Community Health Sciences, Technology, Forestry and Horticulture, and Medical Sciences. In August 2005, six of the Schools became operational, viz: the Schools of Education, Social Sciences and Community Health Sciences at the Bo Campus, and the Schools of Agriculture, Environmental Sciences and Technology at the Njala Campus. The School of Forestry and Horticulture also became operational at the Njala Campus in October 2007. These Schools prepare sub-degree, undergraduate and postgraduate students for careers in teaching, agricultural extension and in various specialties in the environmental and community health sciences, and in information technology. The Schools also conduct basic and applied research and disseminate the results of these researches through the University’s extension services. In this way, Njala University applies in a practical manner the product of its knowledge and experiences within the country and beyond. Njala University was mandated to:
- Encourage the advancement of learning and development of educational, economic, social and ethical standards among the people of Sierra Leone;
- Endeavour to improve the health and general welfare of the population;
- Provide instruction for research and dissemination of research result;
- Grant degrees, diplomas and certificates and such other awards as the University may determine.
In addition to the two main University campuses, Njala University is host to other institutions; there is a National Agricultural Training Centre (NATC) (formally known as the Certificate Training Centre), jointly founded by the Government of Sierra Leone and the British Government; and the Njala Agricultural Research Centre (formally Institute of Agricultural Research, IAR), a wing of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security (MAFFS), founded to carryout research on root and tuber crops and maize. NATC was setup to train agricultural middle-level manpower.
Campuses of the University
Njala University operates on two campuses, namely Njala Campus and Bo Campus:
- Njala Campus is located some 125 miles east of Freetown on a generally flat landscape on the banks of River Taia in the Kori Chiefdom of Moyamba District in southern Sierra Leone. It is equidistant (7 miles) between Taiama and Mano, and 36 miles southeast of Bo City.
- Bo Campus is located just outside Bo City in the Towama and Kowama villages.
- In addition to these campuses, some programmes are also run on the University’s premises at 17, Henry Street in Freetown.
- The University Secretariat, which houses the offices of the Vice-Chancellor and Principal, the Registrar, and the Finance Director, is located on the Njala Campus.