The University of Asmara (UoA) was Eritreas first university and is located in the capital city, Asmara. It was created by the Piae Madres Nigritiae (Comboni Sisters). The school was meant to provide for the local population, though its initial enrollment in the 50s was entirely Italian.
The school just limped along through the 1970s until 1979 when a new president pushed through a major reorganization of the curriculum and structure. The next years saw an increase in students from 300 to 2,700. New courses, staff, day and evening extension programs and campus buildings revived the University, together with a bilateral agreement to exchange students and faculty with the University of Addis Ababa, particularly focusing on graduate training in Addis Ababa to produce faculty for Eritrea.