Nigeria had her first university as far back as before independence, and since then, the number of universities has continued to grow in Nigeria. Now its no longer the business of the government alone but also that of private individuals. The motivation has always been to meet up with the ever-growing demands for advanced education in the country. So many people, especially the youngsters who are yet to make choices of higher institutions do not really know which is which. It will be very beneficial if they get to know the first universities that were created in this noble country of ours as its is always believed that they boast the best educational facilities, resources, and reputation, even with age.
1. University of Ibadan (UI), Oyo – 1948
The University of Ibadan which was founded in 1984 metamorphosed from the Yaba Higher College. The Yaba high college was founded in 1932 in Yaba, Lagos as the first tertiary educational institute in Nigeria. But in 1948, when the need for a University became pressing, the college staff were transferred to start the University of Ibadan as an external college of the University of London, and the college premises were used for the new Yaba College of Technology. Rt. Hon. Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, first Prime Minister of independent Nigeria was the first Chancellor, while Kenneth Dike was the first Nigerian Vice chancellor of the university, after whom the University of Ibadan’s library is named. The University’s current Vice Chancellor is Isaac F. Adewole. Despite being the oldest, the University of Ibadan is ranked with the best Nigerian Universities at the moment.
2. University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu state– 1960
It was the quest to establish a University in the Eastern part of Nigeria that gave birth to the University of Nigeria. A law in support of this quest was passed on the 18th of May, 1955, and on 7 October 1960, the University was officially opened. Her Royal Highness, Princess Alexandra of Kent, representing Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at the Nigerian independence celebrations, performed the opening ceremonies and laid the foundation stone of one of the University’s early buildings. The University’s first Vice chancellor was Dr. George Marion Johnson, while her current VC is now Professor Benjamin Chukwuma Ozumba. The University of Nigeria (UNN) was the first full-fledged indigenous and first autonomous university in Nigeria. It is still one of the best and most sought-after Universities in Nigeria.