Historical background of University of Ibadan Nigeria

Historical background of University of Ibadan Nigeria

University of Ibadan Nigeria

Historical background of University of Ibadan Nigeria.…..The University of Ibadan started off as the University College, Ibadan (UCI) which was founded in 1948, occupying, at first, the old site at Eleyele. It later moved to the present site which covered over 2,550 acres of land. The site was generously leased by the chiefs and people of Ibadan for 999 years. The establishment of the University could be traced directly to the reports in 1945 of the Asquith and Elliot Commissions which were set up by the British Government in 1943. Equipment were transferred to the University from its Sub-University status forerunners: the Yaba Higher College, (established in 1932 but formally opened in 1934), and the Yaba Medical School (established in 1930). There were 104 foundation students (including 49 students in Teacher Training and Survey courses at Ibadan on 18 January 1948. The formal opening took place on 25 March, 1948.

In February 1948, the London University allowed Ibadan its special relationship scheme. Arthur Creech Jones, then Secretary of State for the Colonies, and an influential member of Elliot Commission, cut the first sod at the permanent site of the University College on 17 November 1948, which thereafter became the Foundation Day.

For the foundation medical students, the facilities provided in 1948 by the Native Administration Hospital at Adeoyo and the Government Hospital Jericho, for which the Faculty of Medicine was responsible, were inadequate. Consequently, medical students of the earlier years went to London University for clinical training. To provide more satisfactory clinical facilities at Ibadan, the Nigerian Government made funds available for the building of a 500-bed University Teaching Hospital, which was completed in 1957. Thereafter, medical students were fully trained in Ibadan, the first batch graduating in 1960.

With the expansion of facilities at Ibadan, the number of students offered admission increased. In the 1958/59 session, UCI for the first time had a little over 1,000 students; in 1963/64 session, the figure exceeded 2,000; and topped the 3,000 mark in 1968/69 session.

The figure for 1972/73 session was 4,110 and those of 1974/75 and 1975/76 are 5,369 and 7,375, respectively. Some of these students were resident at the Jos Campus, which began with an enrolment of 101 students in the 1971/72 session. In 1973/74 session, the Jos Campus had 326 students, most of who were prepared for courses in the Faculty of Arts. In the 1975/76 session, the number of the students at Jos increased to 550. On 25 September, 1975, however, the Government announced the creation of the University of Jos, and arrangements were made to transfer second year students in Jos to Ibadan. The Government also announced the setting up of a new University College at Ilorin, to be affiliated to the University of Ibadan. In 1976/77 session, the total number of students at the University of Ibadan was 8,586. In the 1984/85 session, the student population was 13,862.

Since the 1989/90 session, the student population has increased to 14,000 in accordance with the directive of the National University Commission (NUC) of ten percent (10%) growth for the first generation university in Nigeria. As at the end of the 1992/93 session, the student population was (14,632). In addition, there were over three thousand five hundred (3,500) external degree students who received lectures, tutorials on a part-time basis. Moreover, the University’s Institute of Education ran and Associate Certificate of Education programme for Grade Two Teachers at different centres in Nigeria.

The University of Ibadan, then University College, awarded its first postgraduate degree in 1952, when the University was under a “scheme of special relation” with the University of London. By 1962, when the University College transformed into an independent University of Ibadan, 64 students were registered for graduate degrees. Since becoming an independent academic institution in 1962, the University of Ibadan has enrolled 81,768 postgraduate students and awarded 45,709 higher degrees, including 2 DSc. 4,366 PhDs, 36 MD/MS, 4,700 MPhil/Professional Master’s Degree, 32,3254 Academic Master’s Degree and 4,281 Postgraduate Diplomas. Over the years, University of Ibadan graduates have meaningfully contributed to the society in many ways from establishing other institutions of higher learning in Nigeria to impacting various sectors of the global economy. Several alumni have also returned to the University of Ibadan as professors and staff.

Larger admissions over the years and limited funds for providing accommodation facilities gradually threatened the concept of a residential University at Ibadan. The Jos campus, when established, experimented with off-campus accommodation. From the 1972-73 sessions, students, at the Ibadan campus have also been allowed to live off-campus in large numbers. Married students are encouraged to live off-campus.

There are ten undergraduate halls of residence (Mellanby, Tedder, Sultan Bello, Queen Elizabeth II, Alexander Brown (situated at UCH), Independence, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Queen Idia, Obafemi Awolowo hall) and two postgraduate halls of residence, namely, Tafawa Balewa and the AbdulSalam Abubakar Postgraduate Halls.

Historical background of University of Ibadan Nigeria


  • To be a world-class institution for academic excellence geared towards meeting societal needs.


  • To expand the frontiers of knowledge through the provision of excellent conditions for learning and research.
  • To produce graduates who are worthy in character and sound judgment.
  • To contribute to the transformation of society through creativity and innovation.
  • To serve as a dynamic custodian of society’s salutary values and thus sustain its integrity.


The University Anthem

1  The Fount

Unibadan, fountainhead Of true learning, deep and sound

Soothing spring for all who thirst

Bounds of knowledge to advance

Pledge to serve our cherished goals! Self-reliance, unity

That our nation may with pride

Help to build a world that is truly free.


2  Unibadan, first and best,

Raise true minds for a noble cause

Social justice, equal chance

Greatness won with honest toil

Guide our people this to know:

Wisdom’s best to service turned

Help enshrine the right to learn

 For a mind that knows, is a mind that’s free.


The University Logo

Historical background of University of Ibadan Nigeria

Historical background of University of Ibadan Nigeria

Sable in front of a Sun in splendour or, a Pall wavy Argent charged with another Azure over all in centre point; an open Book proper bound and edged Gules.

The University Motto

Recte Sapere Fons

(For Knowledge and Sound Judgment)

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