The First University in Nigeria: University of Ibadan

It is one of the most popular and prestigious universities, and also the very first University in Nigeria. Let’s quickly have a closer look at University of Ibadan simply known as “UI”. The origins of the University commenced from Yaba College which was the pioneer tertiary institute in Nigeria and was founded in 1932. Yaba College was moved to Ibadan to become University College of Ibadan (UCI) on 17 November 1948. The college was instituted as an external college of the University of London.

As at 1962, it became an independent university and changed its name to University of Ibadan (UI). In late 1963, Independent Nigeria’s first Prime Minister Hon. Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa who was at the time very fond of the University, became the first Chancellor of the independent university with the first Nigerian vice chancellor being Kenneth Onwuka Dike, whom the University Library was named after.

The University, which from various point of views and not just educational, is a very bright spot in the city of Ibadan, is located five miles (8 kilometres) from the centre of the major city of Ibadan in the Western part of Nigeria. The motto of the school is “Recte Sapere Fons” which means “To think straight is the fount of knowledge”.

The University  had three founding faculties (Arts, Medicine and Science) but currently, it has ten other faculties besides the College of Medicine; Agriculture and Forestry, Arts, Science, Social Sciences, Veterinary Medicine, Technology, Education, Law, Public Health and Dentistry.

Various units in the University are

  • The distant learning centre
  • The registry
  • The bursary
  • Careers placement and counselling
  • Foreign students unit
  • The sports council
  • The library
  • Zoological garden
  • The computing centre
  • The press
  • The bookshop
  • Botanical garden
  • University media centre which houses the radio station of the campus, DIAMOND 101.1 FM
  • The abadina memorial centre
  • Advancement centre
  • The university health centre
  • Works and maintenance
  • Academic planning
  • Internal audit unit

Notable Alumni of the University of Ibadan

  • Wole Soyinka
  • Femi Adebayo
  • Chinua Achebe
  • William Kumuyi
  • Olufunmilayo Olopade
  • Niyi Osundare
  • Bola Ige
  • Grace Alele- Williams
  • Dr Sid
  • Olusegun Agagu
  • Ken Saro- Wiwa
  • Funmi Iyanda etc.

The University of Ibadan awarded its first postgraduate degree in 1952, when the University was under a scheme of special relation with the University of London.

Over the years, University of Ibadan graduates has contributed meaningfully to the society in countless numbers of ways affecting various sectors of the Nigerian economy. Several alumni have also returned to the University of Ibadan as professors and staff.

From inception, the University has encouraged Student Unionism and the Student Union has been an important feature in the University existence. The aims of the union is to promote the social, cultural, intellectual activities of members and to foster the general interest of the members, to contact, co- operate and exchange ideas with other external organizations whose aims are acceptable to the union. The Student Union is an advocate of student participation in University administration.

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