The University of Dar es Salaam was established in 1961 as an affiliate college of the University of London. It then became an affiliate of the University of East Africa (UEA) in 1963, shortly after Tanzania gained independence from the United Kingdom.
In 1970, UEA was split into three different independent universities: Makerere University in Uganda, the University of Nairobi in Kenya and the University of Dar es Salaam.
The public university has grown to accommodate 19,650 students, 17,098 of whom are undergraduates, with some 2,550 postgraduates. There are 1,045 academics staff and 1,023 administrative staff.
The university has five campuses in and around the city of Dar es Salaam and operates academically through 10 faculties, some of which are exclusive to specific campuses.
The main campus, called Mlimani (meaning "on the hill" in Swahili), is located 13km west of Dar es Salaam city centre and is home to the basic faculties of education, arts and social science, and science. The Nkrumah Hall, a building on the Mlimani campus, is featured on the back of the Tanzanian 500 shilling bill.
The Institute of Journalism and Mass Communication provides the university with its fifth campus.
The university has a three-tier organisational structure in the form of the central administration; colleges/schools/institutes; and departments. The university’s aim is to become a leading centre of intellectual wealth, spearheading Tanzania’s and Africa’s quest for sustainable and inclusive development.
Notable alumni include multiple former presidents and prime ministers of Tanzania and many other politicians of other African nations, as well as Asha-Rose Migiro, former deputy secretary general of the United Nations.