The University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) started in 1961 as a College of the University of London. In 1963 it became a Constituent College of the University of East Africa. It was formerly established in August 1970, as a National University, through the University of Dar es Salaam Act number 12 of 1970. It was established with three main objectives, namely:
- To transmit knowledge as a basis of action, from one generation to another;
- To act as a centre for advancing frontiers of knowledge through scientific research; and
- To meet the high level human resource needs of the Tanzanian society.
In 1961, the University started with the Faculty of Law. It expanded over the years with the establishment of the numerous Faculties and Institutes. It established a number of Colleges, some of which were later evolved into independent fully-fledged universities.
In 1963, a School of Medicine was established within the premises of the then Princess Margaret Hospital. In 1968 the School became a Faculty of Medicine of the University College of Dar es Salaam, a constituent college of the University of East Africa. With the creation of the University of Dar es Salaam in 1970, the Faculty became the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Dar es Salaam. In July 1991 the Faculty of Medicine was upgraded into a constituent collegeof the University of Dar es Salaam – the Muhimbili University College of Health Sciences (MUCHS). The umbrella act for universities – The Universities Act number 7 of 2005 paved the way in 2007 for the elevation of MUCHS into a fully-fledged university – theMuhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS).
The University of Dar es Salaam Act number 12 of 1970 provided an enabling setting in 1996 for the transformation of former Ardhi Institute into a constituent college of the University of Dar es Salaam under the name the University College of Lands and Architectural Studies (UCLAS). Over a decade UCLAS was nurtured and its programs and infrastructureexpanded. The umbrella act for universities – The Universities Act number 7 of 2005 paved the way in 2007 for the elevation of UCLAS into an independent institution – theArdhi University (ARU).
Further developments have been witnessed with the establishment of two new Constituent Colleges, namelythe Dar es Salaam University College of Education (DUCE) and the Mkwawa University College of Education (MUCE).DUCE was established in September 2005 by upgrading the former Dar es Salaam Teachers College. It admitted its first batch of students in the academic year 2005/06. MUCEwas established by upgrading the former Mkwawa High School. The College started admitting students in the academic year 2006/07. The two Colleges focus on the training of teachers for secondary schools in response to the needs of the Primary Education Development Programme (PEDP) and Secondary Education Development Programme (SEDP).