Obafemi Awolowo University
|Obafemi Awolowo University|
Obafemi Awolowo University Seal
|Motto||For Learning and Culture|
|Vice-Chancellor||Professor Idowu Bamitale Omole|
|Location||Ile-Ife, Osun, Nigeria
|Campus||Urban 2,020 hectares (5,000 acres)|
|Former names||University of Ife|
|Colours||Midnight Blue and Gold|
Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) is a federal government owned and operated Nigerian university. The university is in the ancient city of Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria. The university was founded in 1961 and classes commenced in October 1962  as the University of Ife by the regional government of Western Nigeria, led by late chief Samuel Ladoke Akintola, and was renamed Obafemi Awolowo University on 12 May 1987 in honour of Chief Obafemi Awolowo (1909–1987), first premier of the Western Region of Nigeria, whose brainchild the university was.
The decision to establish the University of Ife (popularly referred to as "Great Ife" ) by the ruling Action Group party of the Western Region of Nigeria was in protest at the recommendations of the Ashby commission. The first Nigerian university was established in 1948 at Ibadan, in the western region as an external college of the university of London. However, the needs of Nigeria (then a British colony) far outstripped the productivity of the only university. In particular the University College at Ibadan had no faculty of engineering or technology, no law school, no pharmacy school or management training abilities. The Ashby commission, set up by the British, was to review tertiary education needs of the soon-to-be-independent nation of Nigeria.
In 1959, the Ashby commission recommended additional (regional) universities in the northern and eastern regions of Nigeria and another federal university in the Lagos protectorate, but none in the more educationally advanced western region which had a 'free and universal primary education' program. The government of the western region did not want to rely on the federal universities or those of other regions to admit its numerous secondary school leavers. The protest of the foundation of the university at Ife was not only in rebuttal to the perceived politicization of higher education opportunities in Nigeria and the western region but was also designed to fill the gaps in the manpower needs.
The Government of the Western Region of Nigeria first announced in 1960 its intention to establish as soon as possible a University in the Western Nigeria which would be of the highest standard, its policy was to open its doors to students from all parts of the Federation and of the world; in line with its belief in academic excellence. The planning of the University was entrusted to two committees. One a University Planning Committee comprising persons qualified to advise on the planning of a new University, and who in effect under look the preparatory work connected with the establishment of the University pending the setting up of the provisional council of the University: the other, a University Parliamentary Committee, which would be advisory to the Minister of Education, on 8 June 1961, the Law providing for the establishment of the Provisional council for the University was passed by the Legislature of the Western Region and on the 26th of the same month Provisional Council of the University was formally inaugurated under the chairmanship of Chief Rotimi Williams.
On 11 June 1970, an edict known as the University of Ife now Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife Edict 1970, was promulgated by the Government of the Western State to replace the Provisional Council Law of 18 June 1961. This Edict had since been amended by the University Amendment Edict No 11 of 1975. This New Decree effected a take-over of the University by the Federal Military Government.
The site selected for the University was Ile-Ife, a town about 65 kilometers north-east of Ibadan Oyo State. Ife is famous as the centre of an ancient civilization and the home of the Museum which contains the renowned Ife heads. It was intended that temporary buildings should be put on the site to enable teaching to commence in October 1962, while the permanent buildings were subsequently planned and erected. But when the Federal Government transferred the Ibadan Branch of the Nigeria College of Arts, Science and Technology, to the University, if was decided that it would be unnecessary to put up temporary buildings at Ife, and the University was temporary located on the site of the Ibadan Branch of the Nigerian College. Teaching began in October with an initial enrolment of 244 students. The teaching, administration and technical staff. Either transferred from the Nigerian College of Art, or were newly recruited from abroad, numbered about eighty.
The University started with five faculties Agriculture, Arts, Economics and Social Studies (now Social Sciences), Law and Sciences. Eight other faculties have since been added, namely the Faculties, of Education established on 1 October 1967), the Faculty of Pharmacy (established on 1 October 1970), the Faculty of Administration which replaces the former institute of Administration (with effect from 1 October 1979) and the Faculty of Environmental Design and Management (established in April 1982). The Faculty of Health Science (established on 1 October 1970) is now a college, made up of three faculties, namely the Faculties of Basic Medical Sciences.
Ife started the first Faculty of Pharmacy in West Africa, the first Department of Chemical Engineering and the first Electronics component in addition to Electrical Engineering. Its medical school started with an integrated curriculum and community orientation (which was later adopted by the World Health Organization) and a compulsory baccalaureate (BSc honours) before entrance to the clinical school, but this was later jettisoned.
On 10 July 1999 members of the Black Axe Confraternity murdered the secretary-general of the students' union, George Iwilade, and several other student activists in the Obafemi Awolowo University massacre. The Education Minister Tunde Adeniran issued a statement acknowledging knowledge of the incident and that the ministry will treat the case with "utmost concern".
Obafemi Awolowo University offers undergraduate and post-graduate programmes in fields of specialization spanning the humanities, the arts, the natural sciences, the social sciences, the medical sciences, engineering and technology.
The university has 13 faculties and two colleges — the Postgraduate College and the College of Health Sciences — administered in more than 60 departments. It was previously associated with Loma Linda University in California, USA. Ever since the establishment of OAU, a total of 82 departments have emerged with numerous courses offered. Below is the list of departments:
- African Languages and Literature,
- Agricultural Economics,
- Agricultural Engineering,
- Agricultural Extension and Rural Sociology,
- Anatomy and Cell Biology,
- Animal Science,
- Business Law,
- Chemical Engineering,
- Chemical Pathology,
- Civil Engineering,
- Community Health and Nutrition,
- Computer Science and Engineering,
- Continuing Education,
- Demography and Social Statistics,
- Dermatology and Venerology,
- Dramatic Arts,
- Educational Administration and Planning,
- Educational Foundation and Counseling,
- Educational Technology,
- Electronic and Electrical Engineering,
- English Language,
- Environmental Health and Epidemiology,
- Estate Management,
- Fine Arts,
- Food Science and Technology,
- Foreign Languages,
- Haematology and Immunology,
- International Law,
- International Relations,
- Jurisprudence and Private Law,
- Literature in English,
- Local Government Studies,
- Management and Accounting,
- Mechanical Engineering,
- Medical Microbiology and Parasitology,
- Medical Rehabilitation,
- Mental Health,
- Metallurgy and Materials Engineering,
- Morbid Anatomy and Forensic Medicine,
- Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Perimatology,
- Oral Maxilofacial Surgery and Oral Pathology,
- Orthopaedic Surgery and Traumatology,
- Paediatrics and Child Health,
- Pharmaceutical Chemistry,
- Physiological Sciences,
- Physical and Health Education,
- Plant Science,
- Political Science,
- Preventive Dentistry, Oral Medicine and Periodontology,
- Public Administration,
- Public Law,
- Quantity Surveying,
- Religious Studies,
- Restorative Dentistry,
- Sociology and Anthropology,
- Soil Science,
- Special Education and Curriculum Studies,
- Urban and Regional Planning and,
The first vice-chancellor of the new university was Professor Oladele Ajose (MD, PhD) a Glasgow University graduate and Nigeria's first professor of public health recruited from the University of Ibadan. He served from 1962 to 1966, until political upheavals and military coups led him to be replaced. The second vice-chancellor was Professor H. A. Oluwasanmi, who served from 1966 to 1975. The newly appointed vice-chancellor is Professor Idowu Bamitale Omole, a professor of International Relations, appointment taking effect from 24 June 2011 and his tenure expiring in 2016.
It has produced among its staff, a Nobel Laureate, six Nigerian National Merit Award Winners and has pioneered kidney transplant in Nigeria through its medical staff.
Nigeria's only Nobel prize-winner (in literature) and the first African laureate, Wole Soyinka, served as professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Ife from 1975 to 1999. At the close of last millennium, he was appointed an emeritus professor of Dramatic Arts at the university.
Stephen Adebanji Akintoye served as Director of the Institute of African Studies from 1974 to 1977.
Campus and student life
The motto of the university is "For learning and culture". However, owing to the rigorous and exacting academic standards, students[who?] have parodied this motto to "For learning and torture".
In terms of research productivity, Ife is ranked as the most productive university in Nigeria by the National Universities Commission (NUC) and by Shanghai University world rankings as it relates to Africa. Ife has attracted young Nigerian students because, for a long time, it had no lower age limit for admission.
Enrollment is more than 20,000 for undergraduates and 6,000 for graduate studies. The major halls of undergraduate residences for males are Fajuyi, Awolowo, Angola and E.T.F. For women, halls of residence are Moremi, Ladoke Akintola, Alumni and Mozambique. Muritala Muhammed Hall is for postgraduates.
The university is endowed with modernist architecture - the campus layout and buildings were designed by Israeli architect Arieh Sharon. The original design and architecture are described in detail on the Arieh Sharon Foundation Web Site and Arieh Sharon Foundation Archive. The campus has an eye-catching landscape built on about 5,000 acres (20 km2) of a total of 13,000 acres (53 km2) of the land owned by the university.
The student body is represented by the Students' Union of Obafemi Awolowo University.
Halls of Residence
Ile-Ife campus is built on about 5,000 acres (20 km2) of a total of 13,000 acres (53 km2) university owned land. Its halls of residence include:
- Awolowo Hall
- Angola Hall
- Alumni Hall
- ETF Hall
- Fajuyi Hall
- Ladoke Akintola Hall
- Moremi Hall
- Mozambique Hall
- Murtala Muhammed Hall
The Male halls are Awolowo hall, Angola hall, ETF hall and Fajuyi hall. The female halls are Alumni hall, Ladoke Akintola hall, Moremi hall, Mozambique hall. The postgraduate hall, Murtala Muhammed hall is a mixed hall.
The Sports Centre, prominently located in the central campus provides indoor and out-door sports such as table tennis, badminton, soccer, cricket, judo, track and field events that encourage staff and students to keep fit physically. The centre is equipped with ultra-modern facilities and the students participate in competitive sports such as the Nigerian University Games Association (NUGA), West African University’s Games(WAUG. There are also recreational facilities including basketball court, table tennis etc. in each of the halls of residence. The Staff Club, with its swimming pool is available for registered staff members and their guests. The University has a vibrant sports culture greatly motivated by an expansive sports center that has hosted 3 editions of Nigerian University Games Association (NUGA) championships in 1970, 1984 and 2013. The sports center is equipped with an IAAD-compliant swimming pool, tartan track, volleyball court, tennis court, squash court, hockey pitch, two football pitches(including one with a covered pavilion), gymnasium and an indoor multipurpose sports court.
The Central Library, known as Hezekiah Oluwasanmi Library consists of two multi-storey wings strategically located in the heart of the campus. It has a seating capacity of 2,500 with the availability of internet access to books and journals. It is a depository for the publications of the United Nations and its Agencies including UNESCO, ILO and ECA. The Library collection includes over 300,000 titles and 762,000 volumes of monographs, government publications, theses and audio-visual material, in addition to the subscription of over 1,000 journals in hard format. The Library collection is made easily accessible to users through online Public Access Catalogue (OPAC), as the library’s circulation services are fully computerised. 297,352 records have been converted to electronic format as well as the digitization of its newspaper collection by online Computers Library Corporation Inc. (OCLC) of Ohio, USA.
Information Technology and Communications Unit
OAU has a well-developed Information and Communication Technology (ICT) system with its own V-SAT access to the internet and a very efficient Intranet. Virtually every building in the central campus is connected and cybercafés are available in different parts of the campus. The internet access bandwidth has been increased from 39Mbit/s as at October 2011 to 183Mbit/s. The increase also led to the expansion of the internet facilities to all the halls of residence on campus. INTECU is entirely responsible for developing Obafemi Awolowo University into Nigeria's leading ICT University with a campus wide network consisting of a continually expanding fibre optic backbone 23 Intra-Networked subnets and wireless access clouds (WiFi) distributed across what is regarded as one of the most beautiful estates in the world.
Medical and health facilities
Medical and Health Services The Medical and Health Centre, with its medical doctors, nurses and medical health care workers is a primary health care centre, which provides comprehensive primary health care services to the community, ensures environmental health care, immunises children and adults and provides health education services on demand. It operates a 24-hour service and has 16 bed spaces for admitting patients. The Health Centre is divided into nine functional units, namely, Medical Consultation Unit, Nursing Unit, Maternity Unit, Pharmacy Unit, Environmental Health Unit, Laboratory Unit, Radiology Unit, Records Unit, Central Administration Unit and Driving Unit. The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and the Tertiary Institution Health Insurance Scheme (TISHIP) is fully operational at the Health Centre. 
Great Ife has pursued research vigorously and the results have contributed immensely to human development in various ways.
The medical research facilities are embodied in the spawning teaching hospital, Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital. Its consistently sited has a highly reputable teaching hospital based on his numerous records. The first Siamese twins to be separated in sub Saharan Africa was carried out at its teaching hospital, Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital. Consequently, the separation of Siamese twins has been successfully carried out on different occasions while successful cochlear implantation has been performed repeatedly in the otorhinolaryngology unit. The feat of the first Renal Transplantation to be undertaken by a Team of Indigenous Surgeons in any Public Institution in this Nigeria was successfully carried out in the Department of Surgery of the teaching hospital in May 2002. The ophthalmology unit has continued to practice modern techniques like the small incision cataract surgeries and is developing the Vitreo-Retinal Surgery unit. With over 250 laparoscopic surgeries performed since 2009 and a wide range of diagnostic and therapeutic gastrointestinal, respiratory and urological endoscopic procedures performed on routine basis, the Department has blazed the trail in minimal access surgery and surgical endoscopy. All arrangement is being made to commence open heart surgery in the Department in the next few months. Many lecturers in the Department are External Examiners and Visiting Professors to other Medical Schools in the country and a number serve as Examiners in the Postgraduate Medical Colleges.
The University pioneered research on chemotherapeutic effect of Fagara Xanthozyloides on sickle cell anaemia. Invention of locally useful machines such as yam pounding machine, cowpea sheller, palm oil digester and mechanical cassava pulveriser/sifter and fryer. She pioneered the resuscitation and modernization of the traditional bronze-casting technology. She also pioneered the introduction of entrepreneurship education at the undergraduate level and this has now been adopted nationally and by the National Universities Commission (NUC). She is the leading ICT University with a bandwidth of 113 Mbit/s as well as a pioneer in iLab. The first iLab in Africa, south of Sahara was developed and established in OAU in collaboration with MIT.
Externally Funded Centres by the Federal government and International agencies are sited in O.A.U. such as:
- The Centre for Energy Research and Development (CERD) 
- The National Centre for Technology Management (NACETEM)
- The African Regional Centre for Space Science and Technology Education- English (ARCSSTE-E) 
- The United Nations Regional Centre for Training in Aerospace Survey (RECTAS) 
- Cooperative Information Network (COPINE)
- Fatou Bensouda (born 31 January 1961) is a Gambian lawyer, former government civil servant, the Chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in the Haque and Legal Adviser.
- Ibiyinka Alao, artist
- Dizzy K Falola, singer
- Dominic Oneya, former Governor Kano state, Nigeria
- Fidelis Oyakhilome, former Governor Rivers state, Nigeria
- Osonye Tess Onwueme, Nigerian playwright, poet and Professor of Global letters
- Abike Dabiri, Nigerian politician and member of the House of Representatives (Nigeria)
- Bolaji Aluko, Professor of Chemical Engineering at Howard University, Washington DC and was Chair of its department from 1994-2002 currently Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University Otuoke, Bayelsa State.
- Michael Faborode, Professor of Agricultural Engineering and former Vice Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University, currently the Secretary-General of the Association of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities (AVCNU/CVC).
- Kunle Odunsi, Chair of the Department of Gynecologic Oncology, Executive Director of the Center for Immunotherapy and Co-Leader of the Tumor Immunology and Immunotherapy research program at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, USA
- Oluyemi Badero, World renowned International Cardiologist
- Femi Mimiko, Vice Chancellor Adekunle Ajasin University, Ondo state, Nigeria
- Jimoh Ibrahim, Lawyer, politician, businessman, entrepreneur, industrialist and philanthropist in Nigeria. Currently the Group Chairman and Group Chief Executive Officer of Global Fleet Group.
- Olajumoke Adenowo, Nigerian architect and businesswoman.
- Toyin Adewale-Gabriel, Nigerian Literary Critic, poet and writer.
- Oladapo Afolabi, Professor of Chemistry, currently the Head of service of the Federation.
- Funso Aiyejina, Nigerian poet, short story writer and playwright, Dean of Humanities and Education University of West Indies
- Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu, Senior Advocate of Nigeria[SAN], former president of the Nigerian Bar Association
- Sarah Alade, Acting Governor Central Bank of Nigeria
- Ibiyinka Alao, Nigerian Artist.
- Yusuf Olaolu Ali, Lawyer, Senior Advocate of Nigeria
- Biyi Bandele, Nigerian Novelist and Playwright
- Babalola Borishade, former Minister of Aviation of Nigeria
- Femi Euba, Nigerian Actor and Dramatist
- Dizzy K Falola, UK-based Nigerian singer
- Toyin Falola, Nigerian Historian and Professor of African studies
- Nkemdilim Izuako, Nigerian Judge and member of the United Nations Dispute Tribunal
- Adesimbo Victor Kiladejo, Traditional Ruler of Ondo Kingdom, Nigeria
- Dele Momodu, Nigerian Journalist and Businessman and CEO of Ovation International Magazine.
- Francisca Oboh Ikuenobe, Professor and Head of Geology and Geophysics at Missouri University of Science and Technology
- Isaac O. Ogundipe, Electrical Engineer, former General Manager Electrical & Telecoms of FAAN currently CEO of Isolog Schools
- Wole Oguntokun, Nigerian Playwright, stage and film director, theatre administrator and newspaper columnist
- Bamidele Ojo, Professor of Political science and International Studies
- Babafemi Ojudu, Nigerian Journalist and Senator of Ekiti State, Nigeria
- Olusegun Oni, Nigerian Politician and former Governor of Ekiti state, Nigeria
- Oluremi Tinubu, Former First Lady and current senator of Lagos State, Nigeria
- Femi Falana, Nigerian Lawyer and Human Activist.
- Enoch Adeboye, General Overseer of Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG)
The university has alumni groups outside Nigeria, the foremost being the Great Ife Alumni Association of the United States, headquartered in Houston, Texas, which spearheaded the now-traditional biennial reunions of the alumni for the primary purpose of raising funds for the development of the alma mater.
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