The Somali National University (SNU) was established in 1954 in the Trust Territory of Somalia. It obtained official university status in 1969.
The main university grounds were situated about six kilometers from the city center. Here, during the institution’s first thirty years, the main campus was known as Jaamacada Gaheyr (“Gaheyr University”).
In 1973, under the Supreme Revolutionary Council (SRC), programs and facilities were expanded. The SNU developed over the next twenty years into an institution of higher learning, with 13 departments, 700 staff and over 15,000 students.