University College of Rhodesia & Nyasaland

University College of Rhodesia & Nyasaland



In 1945, Manfred Hodson formed the Rhodesia University Association, inspired by the promise of £20,000 by J.F. Kapnek for establishing a university. The following year, the Legislative Assembly of Southern Rhodesia adopted a motion proposed by Hodson for the establishment of a university college to serve the needs of Rhodesia and neighbouring territories.

In 1947, the Governor of Southern Rhodesia established the Rhodesia University Foundation Fund. The Legislative Assembly accepted an offer of land in Mount Pleasant from the City of Salisbury for the construction of the campus in 1948 and four years later a bill was enacted for the incorporation and constitution of the university.

In 1952, the first classes began for some 68 students on a temporary site at 147 Baker Avenue. Independent of the initiatives of Hodson and the Legislative Assembly, the Central African Council’s commission on higher education, led by Sir Alexander Carr-Saunders recommended the establishment of a university college to serve Rhodesia and Nyasaland, with its first preference being to integrate with the Southern Rhodesian initiative.

The university college was funded by grants from the British and Federation of Rhodesia & Nyasaland Governments, Anglo American Corporation, the British South Africa Company, the Rhodesia Selection Trust, the Beit Trust, the Ford Foundation and the Dulverton Trust. During the 1953 Royal Tour, Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, laid the foundation stone.

In 1955 the British government formally adopted the institution, establishing the University College of Rhodesia and Nyasaland by Royal Charter. By 1956, the college was admitted to the privilege of Special Relation with the University of London and in 1957 all activities were transferred to the Mount Pleasant campus. In 1958 the college was granted pieces of land upon which the college farm and the Lake Kariba Research Station were constructed.

A Medical School was opened in 1963 and was affiliated to the University of Birmingham. After the dissolution of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, the university became the University College of Rhodesia.

Stamp Issues


  • James Gavin