University of Nigeria

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The University of Nigeria was established as a land-grant university on the eve of Nigeria’s independence in October 1960, making it Nigeria’s first indigenous and autonomous university. Its mandate, as prescribed by its founder and Nigeria’s first president, Rt. Hon. Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, was to provide the manpower needed to build the newly independent black nation.

Benefitting from the mentorship and technical assistance of Michigan State University, USA and the University of Exeter, UK, the University of Nigeria built a reputation for excellence – and breakthroughs soon followed. Remarkable among these were the production of a cholera vaccine in 1970 and the successful conduct of an open heart surgery – one of the first in Africa – by staff at the University’s College of Medicine.

The University has since grown in leaps and bounds to become one of Nigeria’s most reputable universities and, with a student enrolment of nearly 40,000, is also one of the largest. As a comprehensive university, degrees are offered in courses under 16 faculties including Agriculture, Arts, Biological Sciences, Business Administration, Dentistry, Education, Engineering, Environmental Sciences, Health Sciences, Law, Medicine and Surgery, Pharmacy, Physical Sciences, Social Sciences and Veterinary Medicine.

Annual graduation figures currently stand at over 10,000 and 2,500 for Bachelors and postgraduate degrees, respectively. The University enjoys a reputation of excellence and is credited with many inventions and discoveries while its graduates often excel, even in the diaspora.

The priorities of the administration include upgrading of infrastructure, staff development and internationalisation through collaborations with reputable institutions across the globe. Recent developments at the University include the establishment of a UNESCO Category II Biotechnology Institute, a new Centre for Financial and Capital Market Studies, an International Centre for Environmental Management and Control and a new Centre for Maritime Studies and Oceanography. Other developments include the Centre for Research on Climate Change Adaptation funded by agrant from the Open Society Institute, a grant from the World Bank, African Development Bank and Tetfund for the Centre of Excellence in Vocational Technical Education, and the upgrading of the Institute of African Studies and a Centre for Igbo Studies.

At the helm of affairs of the University of Nigeria is its 14th Vice-Chancellor, Professor Benjamin Chukwuma Ozumba. An astute administrator, Prof Ozumba has an enviable record of accomplishment of achievements within the academic and administrative circles of his career as a Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology as well as Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and former Provost of the University’s College of Medicine. Within weeks of taking the office of Vice-Chancellor, he restored peace and tranquility within the campuses as well as improved relationships among the students.

This move has led to the seamless appointment of Heads of Department and Units as well as conducting successful elections of Deans into the various faculties of the University.

This served as a prelude to his visionary mission of a stable pedestal towards achieving his priorities:

  • Enhanced research capabilities and re-equipped laboratories
  • Expanded external contacts in favour of UNN
  • Enhanced knowledge and usage of ICT by staff
  • Improved standards in ethics utilisation orientation
  • Infrastructural development
  • Improved internet services
  • Maintained and improved upon on-going projects
  • General staff welfare through collaboration with international bodies
  • Attracted further grants from international bodies

In his quest for excellence, the Vice-Chancellor has over the past six months accelerated making good on his promises at inauguration in the following areas:

  • Successfully hosted the accreditation panel from the National Universities Commission.
  • Facilitated various committee efforts at improving the University’s global visibility.
  • Celebrated the University’s 54th Founder’s Day and provided the platform for interaction with the Alumni and Government on the Vice-Chancellor’s strategic development agenda.
  • Successfully hosted his first convocation ceremony (January 2015) by graduating 15,904 students. There were four honorary degree award recipients from the government and private sectors. Two serving professors of the University were rewarded for excellence as professors emeriti.

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