The University of Benin was founded in 1970. It started as an Institute of Technology and was accorded the status of a full-fledged University by National Universities Commission (NUC) on 1st July, 1971. In his Budget Speech in April 1972, the then Military Governor of Mid-Western State, Col. S. O. Ogbemudia (then also Visitor to the University) formally announced the change of the name of the Institute of Technology to the University of Benin. On 1st April, 1975 the University at the request of the State Government, was taken over by the Federal Government and became a Federal Government and became a Federal University.
Today, the University has continued to grow from strength to strength with a number of Faculties, Departments, Institutes and Units.Following NUC's directives, the University experimented with the Collegiate System in 1991/92 and 1992/93.
However, in the light of new developments, the University reverted to the Faculty System except for the Schools of Medicine, Dentistry, Basic Medical Sciences, and Institute of Child Health which reverted back to the Collegiate System in August, 1999, with a Provost as its administrative head. The Faculties as presently constituted are those of Agriculture, Arts, Education, Engineering, Law, Life Science, Pharmacy, Physical Science, Social Science, and the College of Medical Sciences (which has three Schools: Basic Medical Sciences; Dentistry and Medicine; and the Institute of Child Health).
In January 2006, the Federal Government approved the take off of the College of Petroleum and Gas Engineering of the University of Benin at Effurun, near Warri, in Delta State, with the initial population of 100 students in two departments; Petroleum Engineering and Gas Engineering.
The University offers courses at various levels: Postgraduate, Undergraduate, Diploma and Certificate. Presently, the total student enrolment stands at over 40,000 made up of both full-time and part-time students shared among the various Faculties.
The Planning Committee
In 1969, the State Government set up a Planning Committee comprising the following eminent academics, experienced University administrators and top ranking civil servants under the Chairmanship of the then Acting Secretary to the Military Government, Late Mr. I.O. Afe (Chairman), Mr. G.A. Aghahowa, Mr. O. Akpata, Mr. G. O. Aiwerioba, Mr. W.J. Anukpe, the Late Dr. B.I. Aror, Mr. P.C. Asiodu, Professor E.U. Emovon, Mr. G.N.I. Enobakhare, Mr. E. Buckley, Professor T. Bello-Osagie, Mr. M.I. Igiehon, Mr. F.A. Ijewere, Dr. A.E. Ikomi, Mr. J.O. Illuebbey, the Late Chief D.R. Oduaran, Mr. S.J. Okodu, Mr. G.W. Sutherland, Late Professor H. Oritsejolomi. Thomas and Professor T.M. Yesufu. The Committee was directed to examine the feasibility of establishing in Benin, a University with scientific and technological bias and submit proposals with estimated cost. In March 1970 the Committee submitted its report. After careful consideration, the State Government promulgated in April, 1970, an edict establishing an Institute of Technology with three Faculties, viz: Science, Engineering and Medicine and Pharmacy.
Ahmadu Bello University was approached to help 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 between the Institute and Ahmadu Bello University gave a booster to the former.
With the determination of the State Government to physically establish and open the Institute in 1970, some eighty contractors laboured between May and November, 1970, to reconstruct and convert the premises of Mariere College ( a Teacher Training College) into the site of the Institute. An Administration Block, a Central Library with a capacity of 30,000 volumes, two blocks consisting of twelve lecture rooms, six laboratories, workshops and offices, a student centre including students and staff dinning rooms, a students common room and a kitchen were built and four blocks of students dormitories were reconstructed and converted into students hostels. In addition, a new block of six laboratories and six lecture rooms were completed on what were to become the Iyaro Campus, to accommodate the Institutes Faculty of Science.
On November 23, 1970, the Institute was formally opened and the first batch of 108 students drawn from all parts of the Federation began courses in Science and Mathematics. To quote the words of the first Rector, Professor Glyn Phillips, the establishment of the Institute represented a dream come true for the people of the Midwest
My dear student, I am happy to welcome you to the faculty of Life Science.The faculty you have enrolled into is an old as well as a new faculty. An old faculty because it was an integral part of the former faculty of Science,which was the first Faculty in the University of Benin having started in 1970.It is new in the sense that it is one of the two faculties created out of the Faculty of Science in 2005.The Faculty of Life Sciences as presently constituted is made up of five Departments that are fully accredited by the Nigerian Universities Commission.The faculty also runs part-time degree courses in Environmental Sciences and Science Laboratory Technology as well as Diploma courses in Food and Brewery Technology and Applied Microbiology.
School Of Basic Medical Science
I wish to welcome you all to the youngest School/Faculty in University of Benin - SCHOOL OF BASIC MEDICAL SCIENCES. It was established in December 2003 from the College of Medical Sciences and finally took off in January 2004. The school will undertake undergrauate programmes for B.Sc. degree in the disciplines listed below. In addition the school provides services for other schools within the college-Schools of Medicine and Dentistry as well as other Faculties in the University: Sciences and School of Pharmacy. There are currently five Departments in the school. These are:
Department of Anatomy,
Department of Medical Biochemistry
Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences
Department of Physiology
Department of Nursing
1. To organize and offer courses of instruction leading to the award of degree, diplomas, certificates and other University qualifications in Basic Medical Sciences and such related studies as may be prescribed by the senate.
2. To develop manpower in the Basic Medical Sciences for the future growth and expansion of research and education in health-related disciplines.
3. To create a conducive, healthy academic and professional environment that would allow for the development and growth of its component parts and that of the college of Medical Sciences
4. To provide equal opportunity for all staff in accordance with the tenets of academic freedom.
5. To promote research efforts of staff and students by arranging, organizing and co-ordinating research activities through conferences, seminars workshops, etc
The School of Dentistry coordinates courses and curricular within the College leading to the award of Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) degree. The School of Dentistry(as it was known then) started in 1976 and the first batch of students were admitted in the 1977/78 Session. It was established as an integral part of the College of Medical Sciences in 1975 by ammend to the Edict establishing the University of Benin. The college was composed of two schools and one institute.
The College of Medical Sciences was changed to college of Health Sciences in 1992 and the Schools were changed to Faculties with Pharmacy as part of the College of Health Sciences. In 1993, the Collegiate System was scrapped in the University of Benin, but was re-introduced in September 1999 only in respect of College of Medical Sciences. In 1993, the Department of Oral Diagnosis/Radiology was removed from the Department of Oral Surgery/Pathology to make the fifth Department in the School of Dentistry
The University of Benin Library
Known as John Harris Library is an academic resource centre established to cater for the research, learning and teaching needs of the academic community. Since its inception in 1970, the Library has grown in response to new developments in information science and the developments in the University. From a humble beginning of six Professionals and one Para-Professional staff in 1972/73, the Library has matured to a staff strength of 17 (seventeen) Academic Librarians, 18 (eighteen) Para-Professionals and 107 others in 2008/2009 academic session. This increase in staff strength has impacted tremendously on increased functions of the Library.
In the 1990s, John Harris Library had only the Medical and Ekehuan branch Libraries. With the increase in Students' population and in tandem with NUC accreditation requirements of establishing faculty Libraries, the Library has established more branch Libraries to encourage reading and research by bringing reading materials to the doorsteps of students and lecturers in their various faculties.
These faculty libraries are located in their various faculty buildings, providing reading and photocopying services. It is expected that more faculty libraries will spring up from time to time. It is also worthy of note that the establishment of these faculty/branch libraries is dependent on funding, availability of space and the cooperation of the Deans.
The Library is engaged in teaching students in the use of literature in different disciplines. Each session, with special arrangements with some departments, the Library organizes special lectures and teaching for 3rd and 4th year students in the use of the literatures in their different disciplines, to help them in their self study, project work and research activities. The departments of Biochemistry, Medical Biochemistry, the faculties of Law and Life Sciences have benefited immensely from such library efforts.
The Library also runs Library Science Courses for staff and non-staff to enhance their research activities in the University. As the oldest academic Library in Edo and Delta States, students from the Library Schools of Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma and Delta State University, Abraka are regularly sent to the Library to be put through the rudimentary principles of the Library profession.
The Library has gone further to embark on running a two-year diploma programme in Library and Information Science with the active collaboration of the Institute of Education, University of Benin. This programme began in October, 2005. This has afforded the junior Library staff of John Harris Library and other neighboring libraries the opportunity to develop themselves, most of whom would have ended up as Assistant Library Officers (still junior staff) on HATISS 05.
The developments in the Library led to space contention. In 2002/2003 session, a Library Extension was established to provide ample space for reading and for new developments in information technology (IT). The Library Extension houses the digital Library Services. There is the B-NET, an e-learning centre, donated by Britain-Nigeria Trust Fund. The centre is equipped with 50 personal computers with their accessories, and it is hoped that this number will increase in the future. The B-NET centre provides Internet services to Library users. There are also facilities for printing and photocopying services. The centre also has an e-granary database on many subject areas from which materials can be downloaded and bound into pamphlet form for readers.
Interviews with UNIBEN Chapter of NUOS - Part 1
First in a Series of Interviews with the 2010-2011 Officers of the University of Benin Chapter of the National Union of Ogoni Students (U.S. CONTACT OWNERS).
Laka Lekara - Incumbent President
Dumka G. Legenee - Founding President Emeritus
Kpakol Barinaadaa Cyprian - Incumbent Vice-President
Barikpoa Noble Kagbara - Incumbent Secretary General
MOTTO: United We Stand Iigbaa Loo Zii His No. Kpa Anua Kiisii
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