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HomeUniversity of Lagos (unilag)5 thing you should know about UNILAG

5 thing you should know about UNILAG

Founded in 1962, the University of Lagos
has, for over 5 decades, provided
qualitative and research-oriented
education to Nigerians and all those who
have entered its domain in search of
knowledge. At its inception, the University
of Lagos was empowered to produce a
professional workforce that would steer
the political, social and economic
development of a newly independent
country. Over the last fifty years the
University has pursued this mission with
vigour, excellence and panache. The
University has built a legacy of academic
excellence and is now acclaimed publicly
as “the University of First Choice and the
Nation’s Pride.”
Origins [Top] The establishment of the University of
Lagos in 1962 was informed by the need
to intensify the training of a professional
workforce for a newly independent
Nigeria in search of rapid industrialisation
and economic development. It was
however quite evident that the country
lacked the requisite workforce to actualise
the people’s dream. There was a big gulf
to be filled, and that required establishing
many more universities.
Towards this end, the Federal
Government established the Eric Ashby
Commission on Post School Certificate
and Higher Education in Nigeria in May
1959. The Ashby Commission’s report,
titled Investment in Education,
recommended the establishment of a
new university in Lagos, the then Federal
Capital, to offer day and evening courses
in Commerce, Business Administration,
Economics and Higher Management
Studies. In 1961, the Federal Government
assigned the detailed planning of the new
university to a UNESCO Advisory
Commission. However, whereas the
Ashby Commission had envisaged a non-
residential institution which would be
cited in the business district of Central
Lagos, the UNESCO Commission opted for
a traditional university, “a complete all
encompassing institution” with residential
accommodation on a large campus.
Following the acceptance of the UNESCO
Commission’s report, the University of
Lagos was established on 22nd October
1962 on the authority of the University of
Lagos Act of 1962.
The Act provided for an eleven-member
Provisional Council for the University, a
Senate to preside over academic affairs,
and a separate Council for the Medical
School located at the University Teaching
Hospital at Idi-Araba, a few kilometres
away from the main (Akoka) campus. This
was rather unique for, by authority of the
Act, the University consisted of two
separate institutions—the main university
and an autonomous Medical School. The
link between the two institutions was
tenuous at best, consisting of reciprocal
representation on both Councils and
membership in the University Senate by
professors in the Medical School.
Development of Faculties [ Top ] The University began with three faculties:
Commerce and Business Administration,
Law and Medicine. At its first meeting the
Board of the Faculty of Commerce and
Business Administration changed the
name to the Faculty of Business and
Social Studies. The faculties of Arts,
Education, Engineering and Science were
added in 1964.
For the first academic session, 1962/1963,
the University admitted 46 students for
the Faculty of Commerce and Business
Administration and 26 for the Faculty of
Law. These students received their first
lectures on 22 October 1962 at the
temporary site in a secondary school at
Idi-Araba, adjacent to the Medical School
and the Teaching Hospital. 28 medical
students had already commenced
lectures three weeks earlier on 3 October,
1962. The University moved from its
temporary location in Idi-Araba to the
Akoka main campus in September 1965.
The direction of the University’s future
development was consolidated with the
promulgation of the University of Lagos
Decree in 1967 (Decree No. 3 of 1967). The
new constitution created an integrated
and more structurally coherent institution
by establishing a single Council for the
whole university. The previous
arrangement had two separate Councils,
one for the University and the other for
the Medical School.
With the new Act the Medical School
ceased to exist as a separate institution
and became an integral part of the
University of Lagos subject to the full
authority of Senate. However, to ensure a
measure of autonomy necessary for the
smooth discharge of the responsibilities
of some specialised units the university
adopted the collegiate system under
which the Medical School now became the
College of Medicine of the University of
Lagos. The Faculty of Business and Social
Studies was divided into the School of
Administration and the School of Social
Studies. The Federal Advanced Teachers’
College was integrated into the university
as the College of Education. The Institute
of Computer Sciences and the Institute of
Mass Communication were founded in
1967 and became teaching units a year
later. The Institute of Child Health joined
the University in 1969.
By the beginning of the 1970s, the
University had developed an unwieldy
and confusing academic structure in
which the faculty system operated
alongside the school and the collegiate
systems. Law and Engineering were
faculties; Education and Medicine were
colleges, while Biological Sciences,
Mathematical and Physical Sciences,
Environmental Design, Social Studies,
Administration, Humanities, and African
Studies were schools. On 28 June 1973,
Senate finally adopted the faculty system
for the whole University, conceding the
collegiate system only to the College of
Medicine. The re-designation of the
College of Education required a
constitutional amendment and following
the promulgation of the University of
Lagos (Amendment) Decree, 1975, it also
became the Faculty of Education. The
unwieldy system was transformed into
the following faculties: Arts, Business
Administration, Education, Environmental
Design, Science and Social Sciences. The
College of Medicine retained both its
name and its autonomy.
The School of Postgraduate Studies,
whose dramatic growth has attracted the
sobriquet, “the Lagoon Lighthouse, was
established on 22 July 1981. In 1984,
Federal University of Technology,
Abeokuta (FUTAB) was merged with the
University of Lagos.
The University currently has a School of
Postgraduate Studies, a Distance Learning
Institute (DLI) and twelve faculties,
Basic Medical Sciences
Business Administration
Clinical Sciences
Dental Sciences
Environmental Sciences
Social Sciences
Physical Growth and Expansion [ Top ] The first phase of infrastructural
development at the main (Akoka) campus
was completed in 1965. It consisted of
two academic areas called Academic
Group North and Academic Group South,
the Dinning Hall, Library, Administrative
Block, the Central Concourse, staff
quarters and students’ hostels.
Subsequent developments have added
academic buildings including those of
Arts, Advanced Legal Studies, Chemical
Engineering, Mass Communication, and
Science; service facilities such as the
Auditorium, the Conference Centre and
Guest Houses, the Health Centre, the
Sports Centre, the Unilag Consult
Complex, a walkway linking the Faculty of
Science with the Faculty of Engineering, a
massive water reservoir near the
Department of Mass Communication;
boreholes in the service area of the main
campus; Junior Staff quarters, Phase I,
along Lawani Road, off University Road,
Abule-Oja; and additional hostels for male
and female students.
The Hydraulic Research Laboratory was
also constructed with a grant from the
Government of the Netherlands and a
donation of N30,000.00 from the Nigerian
Ports Authority. The University of Lagos
International School was established in
1981. It relocated to its permanent site in
October 1985. The Senate House Complex
was completed in 1984. The University
also established autonomous commercial
outfits as a means to generating
additional revenue. Foremost among
these are Unilag Consult and Unilag

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