Remarkable History: 10 Facts You Probably didn’t Know about University of Ibadan

The image of all things remarkable, standing tall and above its peers. The Premier University, University of Ibadan, the First and the Best.

The University of Ibadan is a tertiary institution ranked as the best in Nigeria. The school’s name proudly occupies the number 1 rank in Nigeria and has held that seat for consecutive years. The school is remarkable indeed. It has produced icons, innovators, and game-changers in the country. Icons like Chinua Achebe, Kayode Fayemi, William Kumuyi, Woke Soyinka, and JP Clark, among many others. As in, is not just easy to be a student of the First and the Best. Cheers to the great UITES! Greatest UITES hit the comment section with three hearty cheers.

The University of Ibadan is an institution known for its excellent academic standards. The history of University of Ibadan is embedded so deep with originality, and this adds to the beauty of it all. Its strict way of admitting students solely on merit and nothing else. Gaining admission into the school is not something for the weak at heart; even the strong will be shaken by UI.

The University of Ibadan courses are tailored and structured to give top-notch knowledge to students empowering them in their chosen field. It is indeed a vast territory of academic prowess in all areas.

In this article today, we’ll be taking you through the remarkable history of the University of Ibadan. The University, which is a historic edifice in the nation, has juicy fun facts and knowledge about it. Some of these you might have heard of but not really know, and some you don’t know at all. Facts like the date of establishment and the story behind some names and structures in the University. Follow through to the end of this list of 10 facts you probably didn’t know about the University of Ibadan.

1. Initial Name

A historical fact about the University of Ibadan is that the University has not always been called “University of Ibadan” surprising? The institution was initially named “University College Ibadan.”

It was established as a subordinate college under another university at the time of establishment. As times evolved in the country and with the school management, the institution broke away from its umbrella university and was named “University of Ibadan.”


2. Date of Establishment

History and recent records has it that the Premier University is the oldest degree-awarding institution in Nigeria. As I said, it’s not easy to be first and best. The University was established in 1948, making it 74 years of glorious existence. It was established as one of the many colleges under the University of London. 

1948 was during the colonial times, and a tactic of colonialism was establishing a college under Britain in Oyo state, which is a significant landmark in the Western part of Nigeria. The university, however broke away from the British after independence in the year 1962 and was renamed University of Ibadan.

3. Rank in the World

It is a well-known fact that the University of Ibadan’s ranking stands at the top spot in Nigeria. It is known as well that the university is the oldest university in the country. The History of University of Ibadan has made it a force to be reckoned with not only in Nigeria or Africa but in the World at large.

The ranking of the University based on World standards places it at the 1207th position; this is based on recent rankings of Universities in the World. In Africa, the University of Ibadan stands at the 21st position out of a colossal arsenal of Universities in the continent. Talmbout influence? UI no dey carry last.

4. University Type

Another fact about University of Ibadan is that it is not just your regular Federal University that functions as a regular school. The university, from inception, was created and designed to be a Research University.

The University of Ibadan is a public research university with an aim of training young minds to delve deep into the wells of Knowledge and draw as much as they can. The university is known for producing a graduate set of innovators, inventors, researchers, and game changers. First and Best no be for mouth alone, UITES, do you agree?

5. The Chancellor

UITES quick question, do you know your Chancellor? Yes, do you know who the current Chancellor is, abi na just VC you sabi? (hehehe). Note this now, the current Chancellor of the University of Ibadan is Saad Abubakar, the Sultan of Sokoto. Big guy, yh? The ruler of the prestigious “Seat of the Caliphate” is the Chancellor of the premier University, talmbout birds of the same feather.

While the current Vice Chancellor of the institution is Professor Kayode Adebowale, who was sworn in just before ASUU struck us with the strike, so now you know the Chancellor and Vice, yes? Great!

6. The Meaning of The Motto

On the crest of the University is the motto of the school, boldly written “Recte Sapere Fons” This phrase has its roots in Latin, and its meaning corresponds with the anthem of the school. “Recte Sapere Fons” means “To Think Straight Is The Fount Of Knowledge.” This further emphasizes the last line of the anthem “For A Mind That Knows Is A Mind That Is Free.” 

The motto was designed to help ingrain into the minds of the students the importance of keeping a straight mind and constantly drawing from the wells of knowledge with it. Phenomenal, yes?

7. Story Behind The Statue In Front Of SUB

In front of the Student Union Building stands a Statue of the First Student Martyr in Nigeria. Adekunle Ademuyiwa Adepeju was killed in a riot that ensued in the university in the year 1971. The riot was an aftermath of a peaceful protest carried out by the students of the Zik Hall of residence in the school. The police were involved, and brutality was their measure.

Adekunle was caught in the crossfire, and his death became a thing of the sad yet remarkable history of the University of Ibadan. Adekunle was a victim of a stray bullet and sudden death while he was being a helpful individual to another injured student. As a memorial of remembrance of him for the school, a statue was sculpted of him in graduation attire and placed in front of the Student Union Building, which was also named after him as the Adekunle Adepeju Building

8. Designers of University of Ibadan Campus

The edifice that are in the University of Ibadan campus are magnificent and exquisite structures that were designed after the international style of architecture. These structures altogether contribute to the History of the University of Ibadan. The structures were customized to be magnificent, beautiful, yet very functional.

The buildings on the campus and the whole layout was designed by Maxwell Fry and Jane Drew. The campus was built in two phases; the first phase was finished in the year 1955, and the second phase was completed in the 1960s after the independence of Nigeria. The history of University of Ibadan dates back to a significant time in the history of Nigeria, and these edifices have stood the test of time for 74 years. Absolutely remarkable.

9. First Principal of the University College

The University of Ibadan was established first as a sub-college and had its first principal appointed in 1947, prior to the official establishment of the University, Dr. Kenneth Mellanby was the Principal-Designate. Upon his appointment, one of his first mandates was the planning of the sites and buildings, which included the Medical school as well.

In honor of the Doctor, the Premier Hall of Residence in the University was named after him as Kenneth Mellanby Hall. Everything about University of Ibadan had its roots deep in wells of history.

10. Trenchard Hall: Who Was Trenchard?

The Assembly Hall in the University of Ibadan, which serves as a historical landmark on the campus, was named after Hugh Trenchard. He was a Marshal of the Royal Airforce in Nigeria in the early 20th century. He was a force of colonialism that demanded and commanded power and respect by brutal force. 

To Nigerians, especially the Igbos, he was a tyrant who demanded submission by bombing and forcefully taking whatever he wanted. But to the British, he was great and efficient at his job, and for that, the hall was named after him to memorialize his deeds.

History so deep, stories so remarkable, amazing facts about University of Ibadan. I hope you have enjoyed the journey of history about the Premier University that I took you on.