This article is about a federal government-owned university. To read about the state-owned institution in Kwara, see KWASU.
School Name: University of Ilorin
Date of Establishment: established in 1975 as an affiliated college of the University of Ibadan. It became an independent college in October 1977.
Vice-Chancellor: Prof. Sulyman Age Abdulkareem
Location: Ilorin, Kwara, Nigeria
The University of Ilorin, widely regarded as UNILORIN is located in the Ilorin-South Local Government Area of Kwara State, Nigeria. The ancient city of Ilorin, the capital of Kwara State, is about 300 km from Lagos and 500 km from Abuja, the country’s administrative capital. Unilorin was established in 1975 as an affiliated college of the University of Ibadan. It became an independent college in October 1977 with Professor O.O Akinkugbe as its first vice-chancellor.
From being a small institution that started off with just two hundred (200) students, the number of students in Unilorin has increased tremendously to over 50,000 students. As of today, the University of Ilorin is ranked among the top five (5) Universities in Nigeria.
According to the Joints Admissions and Matriculations Board, the University of Ilorin is the most sought-after school in Nigeria. This implies that Unilorin has the highest number of aspirants during the UTME application each year.
What we have as the University of Ilorin today began as a university college affiliated with the University of Ibadan in 1975. At the time, Dr T.N Tamuno who was a professor and head of the Department of History from the annexe (University of Ibadan), was appointed the first principal of the college. Later in December that year, Tamuno was appointed Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan.
As a result of Tamuno’s appointment as the new vice-chancellor of the annexe, a former Dean of the Faculty of Medicine from the University of Ibadan; Professor O. O. Akinkugbe was appointed as the new principal of the University College. Akinkugbe became very intimate with the then Military Governor of Kwara State, the late Colonel Ibrahim Taiwo, and engaged his influence with the Governor towards securing full autonomy for the institution. A portion of the Kwara State College of Technology was lost to the University College as a result of Akinkugbe’s influence on the Governor.
By October 1977, the institution had transited into a fully autonomous one with the appointment of the incumbent Principal, Professor O. O. Akinkugbe as the first Vice-Chancellor of the University. The institution ceased being University College and would be known as the University of Ilorin.
Past and Current Vice-Chancellors
Since the University became an entity after the country gained its independence from Britain, there were no Briton Principals or Vice-Chancellors. All the Principals and Vice-Chancellors are Nigerians.
Concerning the tenure of the current Vice-Chancellor of the University, we have words from the Governing Council of the Institution that his tenure lapses on the 15th of October 2022
- Dr T.N Tamuno ( September – December 1975)
- Prof. O. O. Akinkugbe (December 1975–1978) 2nd principal and 1st vice-chancellor
- Prof. A. O. Adesola (1978–1981)
- Prof. S. A. Toye (1981–1988)
- Prof. A. Adeniyi (1985–1992)
- Prof.J.O Oyinloye (1992–1997)
- Prof. S. O. Abdulraheem (1997–2002)
- Prof. S. O. Amali (2002–2007)
- Prof. I. O. Oloyede (2007–2012)
- Prof A. G. Ambali (2012–2017)
- Prof. Sulyman Age Abdulkareem (2017– 15th October 2022 )
Academics And Research
Academic activities for the University College started on the 25th day of the month of October 1976 following an entrance examination that admitted the first two hundred students on the 23rd of October, 1976. The University College started with three academic faculties namely: Arts, Sciences and Education but after transitioning into a University, more faculties were added. The newly added faculties included Engineering and Technology, Business and Social Sciences, and Health Sciences. In 1983, the Department of Law was established under the Faculty of Business and Social Sciences. By 1993, the Department of Law had metamorphosed into a Faculty of its own.
As of today, the University of Ilorin has over 16 faculties and over 70 academic departments and offers both undergraduate and postgraduate courses. The faculties existing at the University of Ilorin include Arts, Agriculture, Environmental Sciences, Life Sciences, Management Sciences, Physical Sciences, Social Sciences, Communication and Information Sciences, Education, Engineering and Technology, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Veterinary Medicine, Law, Basic clinical sciences, Basic Medical Sciences and Clinical Sciences (the last three faculties are operating under the University’s College of Health Sciences).
The University of Ilorin comprises the main and mini campus. The Main Campus houses the Faculties of Science, Communication and Information Sciences(CIS), Engineering & Technology, Agriculture, Education, Law, Arts, Business and Social Sciences, Seven-Storey Senate Complex, the Unilorin Sugar Research Institute, Postgraduate School, the Main University Library, Computer Services and Information Technology (COMSIT), Works Yard, conference centre, Unilorin Resources Development and Management Board (URDMB), Student Canteens, 2,000-Seat Multipurpose Auditorium and the Alumni/ Endowment Office, Stadium, Bakery, Unilorin Bookshop, including the printing press.
The Mini-Campus on the other hand is home to the College of Health Sciences, a mini library, canteens and a shopping complex. Each campus has a health centre and banking facilities.
In addition, there are two Institutes – the Institute of Education and the Unilorin Sugar Research Institute, this is in addition to a full-fledged Postgraduate School. The University also has several centres among which include the Centre for Ilorin Studies, Centre for Peace and Strategic Studies, Ilorin Business School, Centre for international education and so on.
The Institution’s motto is “Probitas Doctrina“ which was translated by the school senate as ” In learning and In character ” and this has been the backbone of the age-long culture of decency in the Institution. Unilorin holds dressing decently in high esteem to the extent of setting up a committee in charge of the dress code known in the university as the Dress Code Committee. A popular saying amongst students is “ the fear of dress code is the beginning of wisdom “.
The Institution’s slogan is “Better by far” which was also manipulated into “Better by Stress” by students due to their everyday ordeal in the University.
Development & Innovation
The school is indeed living up to its mission statement of providing a world-class environment for learning. This is revealed through the introduction of Computer-Based Examinations, making them the pioneers of such in Nigerian Federal Universities.
The University of Ilorin which started on a small portion of Land at the Kwara State Polytechnic is now the largest institution by a landmass of 15000 hectares in Nigeria. Unilorin is not just a campus but a sprawling city. It is also believed that Unilorin has the best e- registration platform as students can register and pay all their dues in the comfort of their room.
The university started with the traditional British “Three Term System” but later changed into a modified form of the American “Two Semester System” called Harmattan and Rain semesters with effect from the 1979/80 session. Each semester comprises one-half of an academic year as determined by Senate.
Also, instruction in the various Faculties with the exception of the Health Sciences is by the course system. These courses are quantified into credits. The university has teaching support units which include the Computer Centre, Central Workshop and Stores, Biological Garden, Community Based Experience and Services (COBES), Medical Educational Resources Unit, General Studies (Use of English/National Awareness) Division, and Teaching & Research Farm.
There are also Public Units which are the University Primary School, the University Secondary School, the Science Laboratory Technology (SLT) programme, the Institute of Education and the Educational Technology Centre. Although an academic unit, the Library is actively involved in rendering service to the university and the public. In addition, there is a Sugar Research Institute which is mainly a research unit served by academics mainly from Science and Agriculture Faculties.
Administration and Leadership
The current principal members of the university administration and their positions are as follows:
|Visitor||President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari|
|Pro-Chancellor & Chairman||Mallam Habidu Yazid Rafindadi|
|Chancellor||Abdulmumini Kabir Usman|
|Vice-Chancellor||Prof. Sulyman Age Abdulkareem|
|Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academics)||Prof. (Mrs.) Sylvia Omonirume Malomo|
|Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research, Technology & Innovations)||Prof. Mikhail Olayinka Buhari|
|Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Development Services)|
|Registrar||Dr. Folaranmi Modupe Olowoleni|
|Bursar||Mr. Abiodun Saka Yusuf|
Notable Alumni, Faculty and Staff
- Femi Adebayo, Nollywood actor.
- Ezekiel Adebiyi, president, Nigerian Society of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology
- Pius Adesanmi, professor and columnist
- Abdulfatah Ahmed, former Kwara State Governor.
- Sarah Alade, banker, former acting Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria.
- Salamat Ahuoiza Aliu, the first woman neurosurgeon in West Africa
- Charles Ayo, former vice-chancellor, Covenant University.
- Ado J. G. Muhammad, director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA).
- Abdul Rasheed Na’Allah, vice-chancellor, Kwara State University
- Aize Obayan, former vice-chancellor, Covenant University and Landmark University.
- Josephine Obiajulu Odumakin, women’s rights activist
- Temi Olajide, child/sleep training consultant
- Johnson Bamidele Olawumi, former Director-General, National Youth Service Corps.
- Is-haq Oloyede, the university’s first alumni vice-chancellor, former Registrar of Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board
- Nkem Owoh, comedian.
- John Omoniyi Abiri, Nigerian academic, the first Head of Department and Dean of the Faculty of Education
Programmes and Courses
This list of courses and programmes cut across various faculties and institutes across the University of Ilorin. The programmes include:
- Forestry & Wildlife Management
- Food Science
- Agricultural Science
- Chemical Engineering
- Biomedical Engineering
- Electrical/Electronics Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering
- Water Resources & Environmental
- Materials & Metallurgical Engineering
- Medicine & Surgery
- Arabic Studies
- Comparative Religious Studies
- English Language
- History & Diplomatic Studies
- Hospitality & Tourism Management
- Islamic Studies
- Library & Information Science
- Mass Communication
- Performing Arts
- Political Science
- Social Work
- Computer science
- Industrial Chemistry
- Information & Communication Technology
- Plant Biology
- Quantity Surveying
- Survey and Geoinformatics
- Urban & Regional Planning
- Veterinary Medicine
- Human Kinetics Education
- Adult Education
- Business Education
- Agricultural Science & Education
- Counsellor Education
- Education & Arabic
- Education & Biology
- Education & Chemistry
- Education & Computer Science
- Education & Economics
- Education & English Language
- Education & French
- Education & Geography
- Education & History
- Education & Mathematics
- Education & Islamic Studies
- Education & Physics
- Education & Yoruba
- Education & Social Studies
- Education & Introductory Technology
- Educational Management
- Islamic Law
Hostels and Hall of Residence
Accommodation is an important aspect of every university because students would need a place to lay their heads when dawn falls. Since most students come from far places to study at the university, it is imperative the school and private stakeholders make arrangements for lodges and facilities that would help students solve the problem of accommodation.
Acquiring accommodation at the University of Ilorin depends solely on cash at hand as we have University-Owned hostels and Private-Owned hostels.
- Village I – Male, 500 places in five compounds
- Village II (Lagos) – Female, 880 places in five compounds
- Village III (Abuja and Kwara) – Female, 434 places in four blocks
- Village IV (Zamfara) – Female, 720 places in seven blocks
- Village V (Trunil) – Female, 240 places in five blocks
( The words in the bracket aren’t the location of the hostel, they’re just the names of each hostel)
Private hostels in Unilorin
- Academic – Male
- Albanic — Female
- Al-Mutawakil – Female
- Arafims 1 – Male
- Arafims 2 – Male
- Asuu – Female
- Atlantic Heights – Female
- Bethany – Female
- Easy and Quiet — Female
- Edge Hostel – Female
- El Mubarak Hostel – Female
- Gulf Pearl – Female
- Hawa Hostel – Female
- Healthcare MCS – Male
- Ibidun Hostel – Female
- Kam Abioye – Female
- Kikelomo Runsewe — Male
- Las Vegas – Female
- Michael Hostel – Female
- Probitas MCS – Female
- Prime Rose – Female
- Robiat Ajike – Female
- Rubiks Private Hostel – Female
- Sanusi Hostel – Male
- Sanusi Hostel – Female
- Sasakawa Hostel – Female
- Scientific Hostel – Female
- Takleema Hostel – Male
- Vegas 1 Hostel Tanke – Male, Female
- Vegas 2 Hostel Tanke – Male, Female
- Zapel Hostel – Male.
Students of this great citadel of learning are popularly regarded as “Unilorite” ( that should definitely be due to the institution’s alias which is UNILORIN).
Since the institution is modelled in an Islamic setting, with strict rules and disciplines imposed on students, having fun would be limited in some areas. This does not mean you cannot have fun or you would have a boring learning experience. However, there are parks, gardens, libraries and sports centres on both campuses.
Going outside the campus might give you access to more fun, but you must be careful and set a limit on the kind of fun you have. This is because the University of Ilorin would not hesitate to expel students caught breaking any of its rules.
University of Ilorin’s School Anthem
It is necessary to know your school anthem as a Unilorite but not compulsory (to keep your big boy/girl in check so as not to be floored by a lecturer). The UNILORIN Anthem was composed by Lavinia L. Odejimi and the lyrics by Lavinia.L.Odejimi and Abraham T.J. Adavi.
Below is the anthem:
In love, peace and harmony,
We shall build the tower;
Hear the clarion call,
In unity we grow
Committed to the seat of our learning,
Our hearts from vanity.
Standing firm in wisdom, in knowledge and in truth,
We honour your virtues;
Unilorin, you stand in strength and pride,
Learning, winning, building, praying,
Showing the way for all who yearn;
Making a future for the ones who follow,
Rising high we must never turn.
Ilorin, Unilorin, your torch has guided us
Upwards and onwards,
Ilorin, Unilorin our Alma Mater,
UNILORIN: Better by Far!!!
Conclusion: Is the University of Ilorin worth a Study Destination?
The University of Ilorin today is the most sought university in Nigeria by applicants. The reason for this is not far-fetched. Prior to the year 2020, the institution’s branch of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) had not joined the nationwide strike for the past twenty years. With this, the school is prone to have a fast academic calendar and it is believed that students graduate at the estimated time of their convocation. Hence, there would be no need to spend extra years in school because of strike actions by the members of the academic staff union.
The University of Ilorin is a great study destination for everyone who values academic, moral and religious integrity. You must be willing to cut off some characters to scale through the university as well.
The University of Ilorin has an active Student Union Government. The Students’ Union Government consists of three arms which include Central Executives Council (CEC), the Students’ Representative Council (SRC) now Senate Council (SC) and Judicial Council. There are also Students’ Faculty and Department Associations at the Faculty and Departmental levels respectively.