Today, more than ever before in human history, the wealth of nations depends on the quality of its population. Global wealth is concentrated less and less in factories, land, tools and machinery and more on the knowledge, skills and resourcefulness of capable human beings. High quality human capital is developed in high quality education systems, with tertiary education providing the advanced skills commanding a premium in today’s workforce. Aware of these trends, the Ethiopian Government gives great emphasis to the expansion of higher education institution in the country. The government recognizes that the growth of higher education institution is not only the responsibility of the government, but also that of the private sectors. It is to share this responsibility that Rift Valley University, formerly Rift Valley College, was founded in 2000. Rift Valley University prepares students for work, life and citizenship in a rapidly growing country and changing world.

The introduction of a free market economy has created an environment which is conducive for the overall development of the country. Furthermore, the new Education Policy, which encourages the private sector to invest in education in general and higher education in particular, has prompted investors to actively participate in the expansion of higher education institution in the country to meet the ever-increasing demand for qualified and skilled manpower. RVU takes advantage of this opportunity and envisions to become one of the leading private universities in East Africa and beyond.

Rift Valley University is the largest private University in Ethiopia, with campuses in all region of the country. The University was founded on the belief that delivering quality education plays a crucial role in boosting the human and economic development of the country. We believe university graduates play leading roles in realizing the goal of becoming a middle income nation in the coming two decades. This direction is believed to alleviate the holds of poverty and free the country from long-prevailing economic dependency syndrome. Hence, Rift Valley University was conceived with the core values of Excellence, service, integrity, professionalism and innovation parallel with the nation’s developmental goals. As a leading academic institution, the University is tasked with producing competent, ethical and skilled manpower without making any distinction among people of different ethnic, religious, social, economic and political backgrounds. It aspires to serve the country as a whole in equipping graduates with knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in various contexts.

When the first eager students set foot on the campus in Adama in October 2000, they beheld a very different setting from the spacious and forested compound with one modern building and a number of blocks that house administrative offices, laboratories, libraries and quite a number of classrooms we see today. Ato Dinku Deyasa, a popular investor in Oromia and Addis Ababa (Finfinne) envisaged the necessity of founding a private higher education institution mainly aimed at curbing the country’s dearth of qualified human resources. Needs assessment was conducted to identify the fields of study most desired by the community in and around Adama and Asella towns. On the basis of the findings, the founder made all the necessary preparations that would enable him to begin academic programs at a diploma level in five fields of study namely: Accounting, Computer Science, Law, Marketing Management, and Secretarial Science and Office Management.

The Oromia Justice Bureau officially registered RVC as a PLC under Registration No. W/D/0001/93 on August 10, 2000. The Institution’s validity was publicized in the Addis Zemen Gazetta, August 10, 2000 (GC) issue, by the Oromia Bureau of Trade and Tourism, which issued a Trade License No. 13/W/D/DH/YE/002/93 and a Registration ID No. 13/D/DH/I/093/93 to the Institution. The first accreditation by the Ministry of Education in five diploma level programs of study was earned in the year of 2000. The Higher Education Relevance and Quality Agency and TVET Commissions/Bureaus /or Agencies of Regional States accredit RVU.

Rift Valley University began to operate with a total number of 154 evening program students, and five part-time faculty staff. The Asella satellite campus was begun three months later with Accounting, Law and Marketing Management being the fields of study. This new “learning community” was housed in just one rented block that consisted of a single administrative office and a few classrooms. By the end of the year 2000/2001 academic year, total enrolment at the two locations was about 250 students in the five diploma programs of study.

In September 2003 and 2004, Gotera (situated in Addis Ababa (Finfinne) city) and Batu (situated in Oromia National Regional State) branch campuses came into being respectively. Bishoftu campus which is located on the distance of 45Kms from Addis Ababa (Finfinne) to the East was opened two years later followed by two other branch campuses namely: Dire Dawa and Chiro, which began to operate in August/September 2005. Bole and Gullele campuses came into being in October 2005. Harar campus was created in October 2006.  When the institution was empowered to grant a bachelor’s degree in accounting, business management and law were the first academic programs on offer in Adama Campus. Rift Valley University now has the following regular campuses besides the Center for Distance Education:

S.N.CampusLocation S.N.CampusLocation
1.AbichuFinfinne27.Lebu LaftoFinfinne
2.AdamaAdama28.Lega TafoLega Tafo
4.AsellaAsella30.Meri GoroFinfinne
5.Bahir DarBahir Dar31.MettuMettu
6.Bale RobeRobe32.MojjoMojjo
10.BurayuBurayu36.Sidist KiloFinfinne
12.ChiroChiro38.Walaita SoddoSoddo
13.Dambi DolloDambi Dollo39.WolisoWoliso
14.Dire DawaDire Dawa40.YekaFinfinne
15.Dire GefersaDire Gefersa41.AssosaAssosa*
16.GelanGelan42.Bule HoraBule Hora*
19. HararHarar45.HolotaHolota*
22. JigjigaJigjiga48.SebataSebata*
25.KemiseKemise51.Tullu BolloTullu Bollo*

*Planned and accreditation request was submitted to Higher Education Relevance and Quality Agency (HERQA).


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