FOREWORD AND HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT
The Academic Brief is a vital document which forms directly the basis for the academic activities and indirectly the physical development of the University. This is so because it contains the philosophy, aims and objectives, academic pattern, organizational structure as well as the future growth and development of the University.
Apart from the initial Academic Brief document prepared by the Consultants and Master Planners to the University for the University’s development in the eighties, the University developed an in-house Academic Brief document which provided the desired guidelines for its academic and physical developments between 1993/1994 and 2002/2003 academic sessions. Therefore, the current edition of the University’s Academic Brief document represents the third in all but the second that have been developed by staff of the Academic Planning Division of the Vice-Chancellor’s Office.
This edition of the Academic Brief of the University, which are in two volumes, covers the period 2011/2012 and 2020/2021 academic sessions and has been neatly packaged in twelve chapters. The document provides information on the historical background and prospects for academic development of the University, the mission, relevance and stated objectives, the organizational structure of the University, the expected pattern of academic development by Faculties/Schools/Departments, degrees to be awarded, admission and graduation requirements of the programmes as well as the research policy of the University. Also, the relevant information on the academic support and service units of the University are highlighted. The patterns of growth in student enrolment and staff disposition during the period have been succinctly indicated. Finally the cost implications of the expected growth patterns in student and staff disposition are shown in the document; and above all, the strategies for assessing the performance of the document during the period of coverage have been presented in the Brief.
Infact, a unique feature of the Academic Brief is that it makes adequate provisions for the growth and development of all the new academic programmes recently approved by Senate and the National Universities Commission. These include the degree programmes in Actuarial Science, Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Insurance, Industrial Relation and Personnel Administration (Human Resources), Public Administration, Early Childhood Education, Library and Information Science. Others are the degree options in Physiotherapy, Environmental Management and Toxicology, Radiography and Radiation Science, Veterinary Medicine, Architecture, Geomatics, Estate Management and Quantity Surveying.
Accordingly, I am of the opinion that the document would provide the required basic guidelines for the academic and physical development of the University during the period of consideration.
I sincerely congratulate the entire staff of the Academic Planning Division of the Vice-Chancellor’s Office under the leadership of Dr. W.A. Iguodala, the Director, for putting together a more comprehensive Academic Brief document spanning about a decade (2011/2012 and 2020/2021). I therefore recommend it to all stakeholders of the University for consultation in the development strides of the institution in years ahead.
Professor Godwin Osayuki OSHODIN, JP
UNIVERSITY OF BENIN HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT
The University of Benin (formerly Institute of Technology) was founded on Saturday, 23rd November, 1970. The need to establish a University in Bendel (formerly Midwest) State was recognized by the Government of the State in 1965 when demands for a higher institution of learning in the State started to increase. In 1967, the then Military Government of the State formally set up a Higher Education Committee charged with the responsibility for formulating the necessary plans. In July, 1967, two members representing the Committee held discussions in Lagos with the Secretary and a team of officials of the National Universities Commission. The N.U.C. agreed to provide N100,000 ($50,000) for the proposed University during the first years of its foundation but, due to the Civil war, all plans were temporarily shelved, although popular demands for the establishment of a University, persisted.
In 1969, the University of Ibadan was requested by the then State Military Government to consider establishing some of its Faculties in the State. a Joint Committee to be known as the “Midwest Campus Committee” was set up to consider the feasibility of the project. It recommended that a Faculty of Applied Science and Technology be established in Benin as a College of the University of Ibadan, offering the following courses, in order of priority.
1. Petro-Chemical Engineering
2. Materials Technology
3. Production Engineering
4. Automotive Engineering
5. Metallurgy and the Physical Sciences
The first two were to commence by October, 1970. However, because of the unsuccessful outcome of the protracted negotiations with the University of Ibadan, the State Government decided to go ahead and establish an institute of Technology at Benin after consultation with and approval by the Federal Government.
In 1969, the State Government set up a Planning Committee to examine the feasibility of establishing in Benin, a University with Scientific and Technological bias and to submit proposals with estimated cost.
In March, 1970, the Committee submitted its report and in April, 1970, after careful consideration, an edict was promulgated by the State Government establishing an Institute of Technology with Three Faculties, namely Medicine and Pharmacy, Science, as well as Engineering.
On 25th November, 1970, the Institute was formally opened and the first batch of 108 students, drawn from all parts of the Federation began foundation course in science and mathematics. Tremendous reconstruction work had begun for the conversion of the premises of Mariere Teacher’s College/Divisional Council Primary School into the present Ekehuan Campus and the former Eweka Memorial/Fayibi Primary School into the Iyaro Campus in addition a total area of 1650 hectares was acquired in Ugbowo to be developed as permanent site.
On 1st July, 1971 the Institute was accorded formal recognition as a full-fledged University by the National Universities Commission (NUC). It was during the budget speech of April, 1972, that the Military Governor of Midwest State Col. Samuel Osagbovo Ogbemudia (then also visitor to the University) formally announced the change of name from the Institute of Technology to the University of Benin. This was necessary in view of growing misconception as to the exact status of the Institute and the difficulty of explaining that the Institute was a full-fledged University.
The initial staffing problem was ameliorated through invaluable short term secondment of staff particularly from British Universities under the auspices of the Inter-University Council (INC) for higher education.
Ahmadu Bello University helped the new Institute in several areas including the teaching of pre-clinical Medical students for the first three years in Zaria. This academic co-operation served as morale booster to the Institute.
Between November, 1974 and 31st March, 1975, concerted efforts were made by the Midwest State Government for various reasons to ensure the take-over of the University of Benin by the Federal Government. Finally, this was realized on 1st April, 1975 under the University of Benin (Transitional Provisions) Decree No. 20, 1975.
Initially, the major emphasis of the University had been on Science and Technology. However, the trend in Cultural, Educational, Economic and Social development in Nigeria led to changing of its original motto from “Science for Knowledge” to “Knowledge for Service”. The Administrative Structure of the University of Benin since its inception was development to foster the new motto.
Prospects for Academic Development
By 1974, the University had three Faculties, namely Medicine and Pharmacy, Science and Engineering. The University now boasts of 13 Faculties/Schools, 3 institutes and a school of Postgraduate Studies.