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 Benue State University, Makurdi

Brief History of Accademic Affairs/Activities

Academic activities in the University started with the appointment of the Vice Chancellor in August 1992, together with Principal Officers of the University.
In December 1992, Dr. I.I. Gamba of the Department of Physical and Health Education was appointed as an ad-hoc Chairman of a Committee charged with the responsibility of co-ordinating the curricula of each department in the University. The Committee met over drafts of curricular from the Departments before they finally went to Senate.

On Monday 15th February 1993, three hundred and four (304) pioneering students were matriculated into the three Faculties and sixteen departments of the University. On the 10th February 1993 Professor J.A. Shindi, a professor of Psychology was appointed the pioneering Director of Academic Planning for the University. He was replaced by Professor J.O.I. Ayatshe, a professor of Chemistry in 1999, and currently Professor B. Akpa a professor of Accounting, is the Director of Academic Planning.

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES

The initial academic activities centered on curriculum development and teaching. Eventually, Departmental and Faculty seminars were and are being held. Since then there have been wide spread academic activities in the areas of teaching, researching, publications, seminars, workshops, public and inaugural lectures.

i. Teaching
Academic staffs are heavily involved in teaching. Employer ratings have been quite positive. External examiners have also certified that the standard of teaching and learning is quite high.

ii. Researching
A University Board of Research (UBR) was formally inaugurated on 23rd August 2001. Even before this date, there have been a variety of researches carried out by individual staffers. Since its inauguration the UBR has awarded grants worth N1,240,000.00 covering research topics in all Faculties in the University. Individual staff members have been consultants to the United Nations, the Federal and State governments as well as other bodies.

iii. Publications
There has been a wide range of publications: These include Benue Valley, Faculty Journals, University Bulletin etc Individual staff as well as faculties have published books and Journals.

iv. Convocations
A special convocation was held on 22nd January, 1994 at which the first Chalcellor Lt. Gen. T.Y. Danjuma Rtd, and the first Pro-Chancellor Ambassador Chief (Dr) Edwin Ogbu were installed. The first convocation was held on 24th May 1997 at which 183 students graduated. Since then there have been two convocations held in November 2002.

v. Seminars
One of the first University wide Seminars is that organized by Faculty of Arts on Friday 16th July 1993. The title of the paper presented was Emerging Perspectives of Nigeria’s Early History as Infered from Archeological Research in the Middle Benue Valley, by Mr. Atoato Igirgi of Department of History. After this, there have been and currently there are several seminars at University-wise, Faculty and Departmental levels. Staff of the University has also been attending Seminars at home and abroad.

vi. Workshops
Teaching and Learning workshops organized by Queen Margaret University, Scotland was held in the University, June 2002. Many Faculties and Departments have been organizing workshops and attending others organized locally and internationally.

vii. Public Lectures
On Thursday 13th July 1995, the first public lecture in the University titled Strategies for Coping with Stress of Modern Living was delivered by Professor J.A. Shindi, a Professor of Psychology. These are plans for other public lectures by Professor Ojowu, Professor of Economics on the IMF/World Bank on the debt burden and Dr. T. Edoh of Political Science on Elections and Voting to be held before too long.

viii. Inaugural Lecture Series
On Saturday 10th August 2002, the maiden inaugural lecture titled Development as Ethics and Accountability in Governance: the way forward for Nigeria was delivered by Professor Akase P. Sorkaa (Professor of Political Science and Dean of School of Postgraduate Studies). Professor J.A. Shindi of Psychology Department and J.N. Samba of the Faculty of Law are scheduled to follow shortly.

ix. Linkages for Academic Development
There have been several linkages for academic development; for example Queen Margaret University has a linkage with Department of Psychology. A Directorate of Linkages and Development has been established.


ACADEMIC PROGRAMMES

The University took off in the 1992/93 academic session with four foundation faculties, namely; Arts, Education, Science and Social Sciences. These comprised a total of 20 academic departments with a pioneering enrolment of a modest 308 undergraduates and 582 Remedial Students.

Two additional faculties of Law and Management Sciences were added to the first four in the 1993/94 academic year, thus bringing the number to a total of six faculties within the first three years of the University’s inception. In the same year, two sub-degree programmes were introduced in the faculty of social sciences.

The establishment of the Postgraduate School in the 1998/99 academic year caped the provision of the needed structure for access to all levels of higher education and research by both staff of the University and the general public.

The introduction of the Sandwich degree programme in the 2000/2001 academic session marked another significant milestone in the development of the University in response to the yearnings and aspirations of the people of Benue State in particular and Nigeria at large.

The University also contemplated and has commenced the establishment of the College of Health Sciences. Indeed the construction work has already begun on the site and the college is billed to commence academic activity in the 2002/2003 session. The establishment earlier of the Remedial School and Faculty of Science is expected to constitute spadework for the establishment of the College of Health Sciences.
At the moment the University offers 28 regular undergraduates, 14 Sandwich Undergraduate, 28 Postgraduate, 18 sub-degree and 3 Remedial study programmes