Addis Ababa University (AAU) is a large, highly residential national university in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The university is the oldest school of higher education in Ethiopia. AAU has thirteen campuses. Twelve of these are situated in Addis Ababa, and one is located in Bishoftu, about 45 kilometres (28 mi) away. AAU has several associated research institutions including the Institute of Ethiopian Studies. The Ministry of Education admits qualified students to AAU based on their score on the Ethiopian Higher Education Entrance Examination (EHEEE).
The origins of AAU was a two-year college in 1950 by Dr Lucien Matte, S.J., at the appeal of Atse Haile Selassie I.It began operations the following year. Over the following two years an affiliation with the University of London was developed.
The nucleus of AAU was formed with the establishment of the University College of Addis Ababa (UCAA) in 1960.UCAA, which initially consisted of the Faculties of Arts and Science, became a fully fledged college when it was chartered in 1954. In 1955, the Building College was opened. In February 1961, these various colleges and the Theological College were brought together to form the Haile Selassie University. Atse Haile Selassie I gave his Guenete Leul Palace to serve as the administration building and main campus. He had abandoned the palace, where a number of his ministers and favorites were killed in the wake of the abortive Coup d'état in 1960, in favor of the new Jubilee Palace.Following the 1974 revolution, the university was briefly renamed University of Ethiopia (National University) before it came to assume its present designation, AAU, in 1975. In the wake of the revolution, AAU was closed for two years and students and staff were drafted into what was known as the Development through Cooperation Campaign (zemecha), designed to arise the awareness of the rural population in the spirit of the revolution.The university offered its first Master's programs in 1979 and its first PhD programs in 1987.