University of Lagos

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University of Lagos (UNILAG) is a public academic and research university located in Akoka and Idi Araba, Lagos. It is among the first generation universities in Nigeria.

The university's student population is over 40,000.


Like Ahmadu Bello University, the University of Lagos was a product of the Ashby Commission, the federal government accepted the recommendations of the commission proposing a university to be located in the North and another located in Lagos. The commission suggested that the Lagos college should start out with day and evening courses in the schools of Commerce, Social Science, Business Administration and Economics. The government then sought the inclusion of further schools in medicine and law. As part of its desire to site a university in Lagos, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization was invited and asked to advise in the planning of the proposed college based on the reference points of assisting the federal government in defining the status, scope and nature of the proposed college and to prepare recommendations on the relationship between the university and other institutions of higher learning, as well as to make recommendations on the administration and financing of the university and to formulate a plan of development. The UNESCO advisory commission was made up of the following members, J. Capelle, chairman, Prof K.I. Ivanov (USSR), Dr A.H. Garretson, (U.S.A.), Dr Van Delden (U.S.A.), Dr Wayne Hall (Canada), Mr D.B. Welbourn (U.K.), Dr G.B.A. Coker (Nigeria), Dr Eni Njoku (Nigeria), Dr Orishelomi Thomas (Nigeria).. In September, 1962 the advisory committee submitted its report stating that the University of Lagos should be established in 1962 and the subsequent legislation backing the university enacted without delay, also the immediate appointment of a Vice Chancellor was advised. The committee recommended the university to initially open with the Faculties of Medicine, Law and Commerce, followed later by the Faculties of Arts, Science and Education if a temporary site is available. A Faculty of Engineering should be opened in 1964. It also recommended the establishment of an Institute of African Affairs and an Institute of Education.

In April, 1962, the necessary legislative law establishing the university was passed by the federal parliament and a provisional council under the chairmanship of Dr. E.N.O. Sodeinde was established. Prof Eni Njoku, a professor of Botany at the University of Ibadan became the university's first Vice Chancellor. In October, 1962, academic session started at a temporary site at Idi Araba with day courses in Law, Business, Medicine and Social Studies. Later in 1964, the school opened the faculties of Arts, Education, Science and Engineering. In 1965, the school moved to Akoka, Northeast of Yaba Lagos but the medical stayed at Idi Araba.

In 1965, the university community was engulfed in crisis following a dispute between the university's senate and council over the appointment of a new vice chancellor after the three year term of Eni Njoku would have expired. Njoku was eligible for re-appointment but the pro chancellor of Ife, Saburi BIobaku was appointed instead. During the period, the university was closed months.

In March, 1967, a new law replacing the University of Lagos Act was passed by the military regime.

Academic Profile

The University has ten faculties: Law, Arts, Science, Engineering, Social Sciences, Business Administration, Postgraduate School, Environmental Sciences, Pharmacy, Education and College of Medicine. Its academic staff reaches a thousand in number spread over the aforementioned faculties. Among notable academics who taught at the university are Chike Obi, Prof Awojobi, Laz Ekwueme.

The University has a strong business, law, medicine, Science and Engineering faculty. However,, like its contemporaries, it has suffered from brain drain and inadequate funding. About five journals on business administration and economics are published out of the university and the university's press is one of the leading college publishing houses.

As part of the university's mandate to cater to the manpower needs of the country, a distance learning unit was created in the 1973/1974 academic session. It was initially called the Correspondence and Open Studies Unit but was later changed to become an institute of distance learning. The unit provided part time services in law, business, accounting and science education at inception.


The University's main library is a legal depository of books published in Lagos State and has a total of about 375,000 volumes of books.

The university has enjoyed goodwill from some individuals and firms operating around Lagos including Julius Berger, Wahab Folawiyo, MTN, and Zenith Bank. On December11, 2003, the university administration launched a $500m endowment fund.

Vice Chancellors

External links