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University of Benin - also known as UNIBEN - is one of Nigeria's first generation federal universities.[1] The university was founded in 1970 and is located in Benin city, Edo State, Nigeria.[2] The university is accredited and recognized by the National Universities Commission (NUC).[3] University of Benin (UNIBEN) offers courses and programs in several areas of study and awards higher education degrees such as bachelor degrees, master degrees and doctorate degrees.[4]

University of Benin
University logo
Former name
Institute of Technology
MottoKnowledge for Service
ChancellorSanusi Lamido Sanusi
Vice-ChancellorProf Faraday Orumwense
Students75,000 (estimate)
Location, ,
6°20.022′N 5°36.009′E / 6.333700°N 5.600150°E / 6.333700; 5.600150Coordinates: 6°20.022′N 5°36.009′E / 6.333700°N 5.600150°E / 6.333700; 5.600150
CampusUgbowo Campus and Ekenwan Campus
ColorsPurple, Gold
AffiliationsCollege of Education, Akoka, Lagos



University Main gate Ugbowo Campus

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 1 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. Optometry program was also founded (established) within the Faculty of Science in 1972 under the headship of Dr.Paul Ogbuehi (department of Physics). By 1976, Optometry program in UNIBEN had on its faculty qualified professional with practice licences from Canada, England, and United States of America. The program had a faculty-student ratio of 2:1, many from College of Medicine and Medical Sciences earned its accredited On 1 April 1975 the University at the request of the State Government, was taken over by the Federal Government and became a Federal University.

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 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 enrollment stands at over 40,000 made up of both full-time and part-time students shared among the various Faculties.

In 1985, Grace Alele-Williams became Nigeria's first female Vice-Chancellor when she was appointed to head the University of Benin. She served as its Vice-Chancellor until 1991.

The University collaborates with other universities around the world and with both local and international bodies such as USAID, Ford Foundation, UNCF (United Negro College Fund), RMRDC (Raw Materials Research & Development Council of Nigeria) amongst others in the areas of Agriculture, Public Health and Engineering.


Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Benin
Faculty of Engineering, University of Benin
  • Agriculture consists of the following departments;
    • Agricultural Economics and Extension Service
    • Crop Science
    • Animal Science
    • Forestry and Wildlife
    • Fisheries
    • Soil Science
  • Arts
  • Education consists of the following 10 departments[5]
    • Adult & Non Formal Education
    • Curriculum and Instructional Technology
    • Educational Foundations
    • Educational Management offers B.Sc. (Ed) in the following courses[5]
      • Early Childhood Education
      • Economics & Statistics
      • Educational Management
      • Geography
      • Library Information Science
      • Political Science
  • The department also offers M.Ed and PhD in Educational Management
    • Educational and Evaluation Counselling Psychology
    • Human Kinetics and Sports Science
    • Health, Safety and Environmental Education
    • Vocational & Technical Education
  • Engineering Consists of the following 8 departments
    • Mechanical Engineering
    • Electrical Engineering
    • Petroleum Engineering
    • Chemical Engineering
    • Civil Engineering
    • Production Engineering
    • Structural Engineering
    • Computer Engineering
  • Environmental Sciences
  • Law
  • Life Sciences consist of the following departments;
    • Applied Geophysics
    • Biochemistry
    • Animal and Environmental Biology
    • Plant Biology and Biotechnology
  • Management Sciences
  • Pharmacy (running the Doctor of Pharmacy Degree Program)
  • Physical Sciences consist of the following departments;
    • Physics
    • Mathematics
    • Computer science
    • Chemistry and
    • Geology
  • Social Sciences consists of the following five departments:
    • Economics And Statistics
    • Geography And Regional Planning
    • Political Science And Public Administration
    • Sociology And Anthropology
    • Social Work
  • Environmental Science

College of Medical SciencesEdit

The UNIBEN College of Medicine teaches medicine, and awards a professional degree for physicians and surgeons. The College of Medical Sciences is made of three Schools and an Institute, namely

School of MedicineEdit

The School of Medicine was established in 1973, then Faculty of Medicine to Medicine to run a 6-year Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) full-time degree program. The first Dean of the School was Professor T. Belo-Osagie. He was Dean from 1973-1975. With the exit ofProfessor T. Belo-Osagie, Professor K. Diete-Koki became the Dean of the School. Since then, the School has had various Deans and Heads of Departments in the last 30 years. The immediate past Dean of the School was Prof. Dr.(med.) E. Oviasu The present Dean of the School of Medicine is Professor M.Momoh.[6]

School of Basic Medical ScienceEdit

School of Basic Medical Science was established in December 2003 from the College of Medical Sciences and was finally launched in January 2004. The school undertakes undergraduate programs for B.Sc. 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. The School of Basic Medical Science has the following seven (7) departments: 1. Anatomy 2. Medical Biochemistry 3. Medical Laboratory Science 4. Nursing Science 5. Physiology 6. Physiotherapy 7. Radiography and Radiation Science.[6]

School of DentistryEdit

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 1976/77 Session. It was established as an integral part of the College of Medical Sciences in 1975 by amendment to the Edict establishing the University of Benin. In 2012 with support from the International Federation of Endodontic Associations(IFEA) and donations from University of Texas at Houston School of Dentistry and the Okwen family, Dr. Mbachan Collins Okwen BDS(Benin), DDS, MBA introduced regenerative endodontics and modern microscopic endodontics at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital.[6][7]

School of Postgraduate StudiesEdit

The School of Postgraduate Studies of the University of Benin was established in October 1981. The Dean of the School of Postgraduate Studies, in conjunction with the Board of the School, exercises overall review and supervision of postgraduate programs conducted in all colleges, faculties and institutes of the University. The primary concern of the School of Postgraduate Studies is to foster a clear understanding of its role, establish and streamline procedures, expand opportunities for postgraduate training and research, and encourage the introduction of new programs as well as revision of old ones.

The aim of the School is to be identified with the highest standards and traditions of postgraduate training, scholarship and research that will lead to major advances and breakthrough in various disciplines of learning. Given the quality of training offered, the School has produced high-level human resources who have fitted into academia, industry and government.


The university's main library, the John Harris Library, was named after the pioneer university librarian, Prof. John Harris, from New Zealand. The library began with the inception of the university in 1970 at the Ekehuan Road Campus. John Harris Library is an ultra-modern building with central air conditioning. The building is designed to seat about 700 readers. It provides photocopying, duplicating, laminating and binding services. The library has been computerized. Installation of other modern information technology facilities is ongoing.

With the high increase in student population, the library has embarked on an expansion programme with the establishment of faculty libraries; the Ekehuan Road Campus Library, Medical Library, Law, Engineering and Pharmacy Library are functional. A John Harris Library extension is awaiting commissioning. The library participates in interlibrary co-operation among Nigerian academic libraries.


Centre For Entrepreneurship DevelopmentEdit

Expansions in educational facilities and the inability of the Nigerian economy to expand as fast as the growth in population have created an unacceptable level of unemployment. Consequently, the products of the educational system have continued to stay much longer at home in idleness, which makes them ready tools for agents of mischief. If they are able, on graduation, to undertake some viable business enterprises, they will eventually become self-sufficient and possibly emerge as employers of labour instead of setting their vision on paid employment, which is increasingly difficult to obtain. It is, therefore, important that University students be exposed to the culture of business development and management so that they can respond to the challenges of self-employment after graduation. Experiences in Israel, India, Pakistan, Brazil, China and other developing economies as well as Japan show that a country benefits tremendously from the promotion of small and medium-size enterprises, which are often suitable for young school leavers. Thus, the promotion of entrepreneurial competences is designed to prepare graduates of the University of Benin for a future life of creative productivity and independence.

Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer OfficeEdit

As part of the restructuring and institutional reforms in the education sector, the Federal Government, in 2006, approved the establishment of Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer Offices (IPTTOs) in fifteen selected major innovation-generating institutions in the country. In the following year, 2007 another eight IPTTOs came on stream with the University of Benin significantly included. Consequently, with the establishment of IPTTOs in these institutions, Intellectual Property Management is being integrated into the University system under the auspices of the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP), Abuja and in collaboration with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Geneva.

Centre For Part-Time ProgramsEdit

The senate of the University of Benin in 2004 approved the establishment of the Centre for Part-Time Programmes (CPTP) to replace the defunct Part-Time Programmes Committee (PPMC) both in nomenclature and functions.The Centre is responsible for the effective management of all and other non-degree programmes as may be approved by Senate from time to time

National Centre For Energy and EnvironmentEdit

The National Centre for Energy and Environment (NCEE), an agency of the Energy Commission of Nigeria was established on 12 March 2009 through the accent of the 2009 appropriation bill by the late President and Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Umaru Musa Yar’adua, GCFR. This bill provided the legislative provision for the establishment of the Centre which is currently located at the University of Benin, Benin City. The Centre is charged with the responsibility of organizing and conducting research and development programmes in Bioenergy and Environment.

Centre of Excellence in Geosciences and Petroleum EngineeringEdit

Affiliated institutionEdit

Presently, it has one affiliated institution[3]

  1. Seminary of all Saints, Ekpoma

Notable alumniEdit


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  6. ^ a b c "About – College of Medical Sciences". Retrieved 2018-10-02.
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  19. ^ Wang, Yanan. "With the word 'felty,' for 36 points, Wellington Jighere becomes the first African world Scrabble champion". Washington Post. Washington Post. Retrieved 25 February 2019.
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External linksEdit