A law to establish a University in the Eastern Region of Nigeria was passed in 1955. While that date marks the formal beginning of the history of the University of Nigeria, the enactment of this legislation was, in fact, the culmination of many years of thought and discussion by several Nigerian leaders, inspired particularly by the then Premier of the Eastern Region, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe.

The University was formally opened on 7th October 1960, as the climax to the Nigerian Independence celebrations in the Eastern Region. Her Royal Highness, the Princess Alexandra of kent, representing her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at the Nigerian independence celebrations performed the opening ceremonies and laid the foundation stone of one of the University’s buildings.

            The University has been co-educational since its inception. It has enabled male and female students to engage together in academic, vocational and extra-Curricular activities thus developing their personalities to the higher levels of human experience in an atmosphere where young men and women can grow individually, academically and professionally through the dignity of labour, sacrifice, and self -determination. This approach to higher education has contributed immensely to the intellectual and social progress of the nation through the establishment of faculties centres institutes and Department.

            The Institute of Education was inaugurated as an independent academic unit in the University of Nigeria in 1963. “To sponsor and aid teacher training colleges, to conduct research on current Classroom issues problems and to be responsible for short courses of the refresher type in teaching Education.

  • Objectives of the Institute of Education.
  • To maintain adequate and effective contact between the University of Nigeria, the Ministry of Education and Teacher Training Institutions in the interest of continual improvement and further professionalization of teacher education in Nigeria.
  • To assist in curriculum planning and development of education Programmes of the Institute.
  • To serve as consultative body to the Ministry of Education or the State School Board on any matter affecting Teacher Education in Nigeria.
  • To organize In-service Training and extramural courses and programmes for teachers (short courses, Conferences, Seminars, Training and Workshops).
  • To develop professional libraries for teachers.
  • To encourage and provide facilities for research among participating colleges, to promote teacher–exchange programmes and advanced studies both locally and abroad.
  • To coordinate activities and research projects in training centres.
  • To hold conferences, conduct workshops, seminars, and organize study programmes.
  • To encourage and promote dissemination of professional information.
  • To act as an advisory body on educational matters.
  • To maintain close professional contact with other institutes of education in Nigeria and elsewhere on matters of mutual educational interest.
  • To publish a professional journal on research and developments in education.
  • To sponsor and aid teacher training colleges, to conduct research on current problems and to be responsible for short courses of the refresher type in professional topics”.

Based on these enormous functions, in 1973, the University recruited staff to the Institute of Education directly.

  • Functions of the Institute of Education:

There are three main functions of the Institute

i           Research Function

ii          Teaching Function

iii         Public Service Function.

Research Function

Research on current problems in education and at the classroom levels. At present members of the Institute Staff are in the process of completing research work in the following areas;

  • Classroom practice and learning in Primary Secondary and Tertiary Levels.
  • Early Childhood Teaching-Learning
  • Gender Issues
  • Women Issues: (Health, Violence, Politics and Entrepreneurship)
  • ICT Usage in Education, Administration and Business.

Teaching Function

To teach education courses within the faculty of education.

With time and in response to need, the Sandwich programme expanded in scope, number and diversity. The programmes run by the Institute of Education include:

  • Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Education (B.Sc. Ed)
  • Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Education (B.A. Ed)
  • Bachelor’s of Degree in Education (B. Ed)
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Education (P.G.D.E)
  • Bachelor’s of Social Science Degree in Education (Bsc.Sc. Ed).

Public Service Functions

The Institute of Education apart from its teaching and research functions, also engage in some public service functions which include:-

A member of the Joint Consultative Committee on Education- a federal body under the auspices of the Federal Ministry of Education- which has an advisory role on all major educational matters in the country and now functions through plenary sessions and eight references committees namely: