Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) is a federally owned university located in the ancient city of Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria. The university was founded in 1961 and classes started in October 1962 as Ife University by the Western Regional Government of Nigeria, led by Samuel Ladoke Akintola. It was renamed “Obafemi Awolowo University” on 12 May 1987 in honor of Obafemi Awolowo (1909-1987), the first Prime Minister of the Western Region of Nigeria, whose idea was the university.
|University of Ife|
|Motto||For Learning and Culture|
|Chancellor||Etsu Yahaya Abubakar|
|Vice-Chancellor||Adebayo Simeon Bamire|
Ile-Ife, Osun State
7°31′06″N 4°31′22″ECoordinates: 7°31′06″N 4°31′22″E
|Campus||Urban 2,020 hectares (5,000 acres)|
|Colours||Midnight blue and gold|
|Affiliations||Adeyemi College of Education|
In 1951, with the adoption of a new constitution, major changes were made to elected legislators and regional prime ministers in the regions. The new regional governments prioritized the expansion of primary and secondary education because they saw education as an important agent of transformation and development. In 1959, the Federal Minister of Education established a commission to study the future labor needs of the country for university graduates between 1960 and 1980. The committee was led by Professor Eric Ashby of Cambridge. with a master’s degree at Clare College, Cambridge, and also includes the labor economist Frederick. H. Harbison. The expectation in the final report of the Western Region government committee is that the University of Ibadan will meet the needs of the Western Region, a view with which the federal government disagrees. Before the final report was submitted in October 1960, Western governments began preparations for the establishment of a university in the area.
The decision to establish Ife University by the ruling Nigerian party’s Western Regional Action Group is a protest against the recommendations of the Ashby report. Nigeria’s first university was established in 1948 at Ibadan in the Western Region as a college outside of the University of London. However, the needs of Nigeria (then a British colony) exceeded the productivity of a single university in the country. In particular, ibadan university has no faculty of engineering or technology, faculty of law, pharmacy or management training. The Ashby Commission, established by the British, aimed to examine the higher education needs of the soon-to-be independent nation of Nigeria. The Western District government does not want to rely on federal universities or schools in other regions to receive many of its high school graduates. Ife University was founded to reject the politicization of higher education opportunities in Nigeria and the Western Region and is designed to fill the gap in human needs.
In October 1960, the Ashby committee proposed the addition of regional universities in the northern and eastern regions of Nigeria, and another federal university in the Lagos Protectorate, but none were available. in the western region have a higher level of education, where there is a program of “free and universal primary education”. . A government-accepted minority report proposed a new university in the western region and facilities from the Nigerian College of Arts, Science and Technology, Ibadan were made available to the region. In 1961, a vote to establish the School’s Interim Council was passed by the Western Regional Council. The final site was chosen, a 13,000-acre (5,300 ha) piece of land donated by the people of Ile-Ife to the proposed university. The first financial grant awarded to the university was £250,000 from the Western Regional Government
On September 22, 1962, the university opened its doors to 244 students in its temporary premises, the former College of Arts and Sciences in Ibadan. Several new students have previously studied at the College of Arts and Sciences, and some staff have been recruited from the University College of Ibadan and abroad. Oladele Ajose, appointed as the university’s first vice chancellor, began with the faculties of agriculture, arts, economics and social studies, law and science. The management style of the university and its faculties is similar to that of the University of Ibadan, and upon its founding it established a relationship with the University of Wisconsin. Adverse political conditions in the region delayed the move from Ibadan to Ife. In February 1966, Lieutenant Colonel Francis Adekunle Fajuyi, Ife University Visitor and first Military Governor of the Western Region, appointed Ezekiah Oluwasanmi as the new Deputy Prime Minister and President Solaru as Prime Minister, co time gave their money and orders to the permanent campus in October 1966. Fajuyi was killed in Ibadan during the July 1966 mutiny and did not witness the move he orchestrated. Fajuyi Hall, a residential hall, named in honor of his contributions
Move to Ife
The university moved to the new Ile-Ife campus which started in January 1967. The Ife campus has the first pharmacy faculty in West Africa, the first chemical engineering department, and the first electrical engineering and electronic components department. Its medical school begins with an integrated and community-oriented curriculum, followed by World Health Organization approval and a required bachelor’s degree (BSc honors) prior to entering clinical school, but this was later abandoned.
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