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UNILAG: All You Need to Know About the University of Lagos

Introducing UNILAG

UNILAG, the University of Lagos was founded in 1962. It presently has three Campuses in Yaba and Surulere. Whereas two of its Campuses are located in Yaba (the main campus in Akoka and the recently created campus at the former School of Radiography), its College of Medicine is located in Idi-Araba, Surulere.

It is remarkable that all the three campuses are located in the Mainland of Lagos. Its main campus is largely surrounded by the scenic view of the Lagos lagoon on 802 acres of land in Akoka, North Eastern part of Yaba.

From a modest intake of 131 students in 1962, enrolment in the university has now grown to over 40,000. The University’s staff strength is 3,365 made up as follows: 1,386 Administrative and Technical, 1,164 Junior and 813 Academic Staff.

University of Lagos (UNILAG) currently has twelve Faculties, namely, Arts, Basic Medical Sciences, Business Administration, Clinical Sciences, Dental Sciences, Education, Engineering, Environmental Sciences, Law, Pharmacy, Sciences, and Social Sciences. UNILAG, as the university is fondly called, also offers Master’s and Doctorate degrees in most of the aforementioned programmes.

In addition, it has two Centres, namely, the Centre for Human Rights and the Centre for African Regional Integration and Borderland Studies. The Distance Learning Institute (DLI) of the University also offers courses in Accounting, Business Administration, Science Education and Library / Information Sciences.

UNILAG: All You Need to Know About the University of Lagos

Driving through UNILAG gate. Image credit: Pulse.ng



The University of Lagos (UNILAG) recognizes the fact that any country that fails to give priority to research will continue to occupy the global backseat; hence it organizes an annual Research and Conference Fair where the University rewards its exceptional researchers for their outstanding research and innovations.


In addition to its numerous Scholarships, Prizes and Grants, the University has also introduced a special scholarship scheme funded from its Endowment Grants for various categories of students. Up to 500 Awards are usually granted annually.

Radio UNILAG 103.1FM

The University’s radio station, UNILAG 103.1 FM, the first by any University in Nigeria was established in 2004, to provide new experiences for students especially in relevant disciplines such as Mass Communication, Physics, Electronics, Distance Learning.

It was also to increase the educational opportunities available to the wider community. The station since its inception has performed this role creditably and done so much in expanding the frontiers of knowledge.


To be a top class institution for the pursuit of excellence in knowledge , character and service to humanity.


“To provide a conducive teaching, learning, research and development environment, where staff and students will interact and compete effectively with other counterparts, both nationally and internationally in terms of intellectual competence and the zeal to add value to our World”.

UNILAG: All You Need to Know About the University of Lagos


Brief History

Founded in 1962, the University of Lagos (UNILAG) has, for over 5 decades, provided qualitative and research-oriented education to Nigerians and all those who have entered its domain in search of knowledge.

At its inception, the University of Lagos (UNILAG) was empowered to produce a professional workforce that would steer the political, social and economic development of a newly independent country.

Over the last fifty years the University has pursued this mission with vigour, excellence and panache. The University has built a legacy of academic excellence and is now acclaimed publicly as “the University of First Choice and the Nation’s Pride.”


The establishment of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) in 1962 was informed by the need to intensify the training of a professional workforce for a newly independent Nigeria in search of rapid industrialisation and economic development. It was however quite evident that the country lacked the requisite workforce to actualise the people’s dream. There was a big gulf to be filled, and that required establishing many more universities.

Towards this end, the Federal Government established the Eric Ashby Commission on Post School Certificate and Higher Education in Nigeria in May 1959. The Ashby Commission’s report, titled Investment in Education, recommended the establishment of a new university in Lagos, the then Federal Capital, to offer day and evening courses in Commerce, Business Administration, Economics and Higher Management Studies.

In 1961, the Federal Government assigned the detailed planning of the new university to a UNESCO Advisory Commission. However, whereas the Ashby Commission had envisaged a non-residential institution which would be cited in the business district of Central Lagos, the UNESCO Commission opted for a traditional university, “a complete all encompassing institution” with residential accommodation on a large campus.

Following the acceptance of the UNESCO Commission’s report, the University of Lagos (UNILAG) was established on 22nd October 1962 on the authority of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) Act of 1962.

The Act provided for an eleven-member Provisional Council for the University, a Senate to preside over academic affairs, and a separate Council for the Medical School located at the University Teaching Hospital at Idi-Araba, a few kilometres away from the main (Akoka) campus.

This was rather unique for, by authority of the Act, the University consisted of two separate institutions—the main university and an autonomous Medical School. The link between the two institutions was tenuous at best, consisting of reciprocal representation on both Councils and membership in the University Senate by professors in the Medical School.

Department of Architecture, UNILAG. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0

Development of Faculties

The University began with three faculties: Commerce and Business Administration, Law and Medicine. At its first meeting the Board of the Faculty of Commerce and Business Administration changed the name to the Faculty of Business and Social Studies. The faculties of Arts, Education, Engineering and Science were added in 1964.

For the first academic session, 1962/1963, the University admitted 46 students for the Faculty of Commerce and Business Administration and 26 for the Faculty of Law. These students received their first lectures on 22 October 1962 at the temporary site in a secondary school at Idi-Araba, adjacent to the Medical School and the Teaching Hospital.

28 medical students had already commenced lectures three weeks earlier on 3 October, 1962. The University moved from its temporary location in Idi-Araba to the Akoka main campus in September 1965. The direction of the University’s future development was consolidated with the promulgation of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) Decree in 1967 (Decree No. 3 of 1967).

The new constitution created an integrated and more structurally coherent institution by establishing a single Council for the whole university. The previous arrangement had two separate Councils, one for the University and the other for the Medical School.

UNILAG: All You Need to Know About the University of Lagos

College of Medicine, UNILAG

With the new Act the Medical School ceased to exist as a separate institution and became an integral part of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) subject to the full authority of Senate.

However, to ensure a measure of autonomy necessary for the smooth discharge of the responsibilities of some specialised units the university adopted the collegiate system under which the Medical School now became the College of Medicine of the University of Lagos (UNILAG).

The Faculty of Business and Social Studies was divided into the School of Administration and the School of Social Studies. The Federal Advanced Teachers’ College was integrated into the university as the College of Education.

The Institute of Computer Sciences and the Institute of Mass Communication were founded in 1967 and became teaching units a year later. The Institute of Child Health joined the University in 1969.

By the beginning of the 1970s, the University had developed an unwieldy and confusing academic structure in which the faculty system operated alongside the school and the collegiate systems. Law and Engineering were faculties; Education and Medicine were colleges, while Biological Sciences, Mathematical and Physical Sciences, Environmental Design, Social Studies, Administration, Humanities, and African Studies were schools.

On 28 June 1973, Senate finally adopted the faculty system for the whole University, conceding the collegiate system only to the College of Medicine. The re-designation of the College of Education required a constitutional amendment and following the promulgation of the University of Lagos, UNILAG (Amendment) Decree, 1975, it also became the Faculty of Education.

The unwieldy system was transformed into the following faculties: Arts, Business Administration, Education, Environmental Design, Science and Social Sciences. The College of Medicine retained both its name and its autonomy.

The School of Postgraduate Studies, whose dramatic growth has attracted the sobriquet, “the Lagoon Lighthouse, was established on 22 July 1981. In 1984, Federal University of Technology, Abeokuta (FUTAB) was merged with the University of Lagos (UNILAG).

The University currently has a School of Postgraduate Studies, a Distance Learning Institute (DLI) and twelve faculties, namely:

  • Arts
  • Basic Medical Sciences
  • Business Administration
  • Clinical Sciences
  • Dental Sciences
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Environmental Sciences
  • Law
  • Pharmacy
  • Science
  • Social Sciences

Also See: What You Should Know About UNILAG Post UTME

Physical Growth and Expansion

The first phase of infrastructural development at the main (Akoka) campus was completed in 1965. It consisted of two academic areas called Academic Group North and Academic Group South, the Dinning Hall, Library, Administrative Block, the Central Concourse, staff quarters and students’ hostels.

Subsequent developments have added academic buildings including those of Arts, Advanced Legal Studies, Chemical Engineering, Mass Communication, and Science; service facilities such as the Auditorium, the Conference Centre and Guest Houses, the Health Centre, the Sports Centre, the UNILAG Consult Complex, a walkway linking the Faculty of Science with the Faculty of Engineering, a massive water reservoir near the Department of Mass Communication; boreholes in the service area of the main campus; Junior Staff quarters, Phase I, along Lawani Road, off University Road, Abule-Oja; and additional hostels for male and female students.

The Hydraulic Research Laboratory was also constructed with a grant from the Government of the Netherlands and a donation of N30,000.00 from the Nigerian Ports Authority. The University of Lagos (UNILAG) International School was established in 1981. It relocated to its permanent site in October 1985. The Senate House Complex was completed in 1984.

The University also established autonomous commercial outfits as a means to generating additional revenue. Foremost among these are Unilag Consult and Unilag Ventures.

UNILAG: All You Need to Know About the University of Lagos

The central research laboratory at the University of Lagos

UNILAG’s Student Affairs

This Division of the Vice-Chancellor’s Office which deals with the coordination of student affairs is headed by a Professor with the title “Dean of Student Affairs”. He reports to the Vice-Chancellor for the efficient execution of those policies formulated by the Students Welfare Board (a standing Committee of Senate) and approved by the Vice-Chancellor.

The Student Affairs Office comprises the following five Units:

  1. Accommodation
  2. Counseling
  3. Students’ Activities and International Students Affairs.
  4. Identification, Scholarships, Loans and Bursaries
  5. Work Study and Job Placement

In addition, the office takes part in the activities of all University .committees dealing with student matters.

Hostel Accommodation

The University of Lagos (UNILAG) was primarily conceived as a University which is expected to provide tuition to a non-residential student population. However, factors like high rent cost of transportation and traffic have led to a review of this policy by each succeeding University Administration.

Over the years, the University, as a humanitarian gesture, has been providing accommodation to a reasonable percentage of its student population. As of now, over 6,000 students are accommodated in our 13 Halls ,of Residence. These include virtually all foreign students who applied for accommodation.

The priority order for allocation into the Halls of Residence is as follows: final year students, Students’ Union Executives, foreign students, sportsmen and women, and first year students.

The University’s off-campus accommodation policy is’ applicable to all 2nd Year students. Nevertheless, both residential and non-residential students enjoy common on-campus facilities of catering, sports and recreation, Clubs and associations and health services.

UNILAG: All You Need to Know About the University of Lagos

UNILAG hostel

Counseling Unit

Services rendered by this Unit include:

  1. Provision of Counseling assistance for students making career decisions
    and/or looking for employment
  2. Maintenance of a resource library of general occupation information and records of private and public employers
  3. Organisation of workshops and provision of career information. teaching of job-hunting skills and preparation of curricular vitae
  4. Arrangement of interview programmes on campus for graduating students.
    seeking full-time employment

Student Activities’ Unit

This unit concentrates on all matters relating to student activities and welfare. The unit organises elections and relates to students’ representatives on a day-to-day basis. The Student Activities’ Unit also handles issues with the National Youth Service Scheme (NYSC) for graduating students. Also coordinates co-curricular activities of students which include clubs and societies. sporting activities, election of Student Union Executives, etc.

Identification, Scholarships, Loan and Bursaries Unit

The Unit coordinates matters relating to Students’ I. D. Cards, Scholarships, Loans and Bursaries for both undergraduate and postgraduate students.

Scholarships And Financial Aid 

Postgraduate Scholarship

The Senate has instituted a Postgraduate Scholarship to encourage graduate students of exceptional merit to undertake studies for higher degrees in this University.

The conditions of the award are as follows:

  1. The scholarships are awarded annually by the Senate on the advice of the Scholarships, Loans and Bursaries Committee, having considered nominations from teaching units.
  2. Only students of the University who have obtained a Bachelor’s Degree with at least Second Class Honours (Upper Division) or the equivalent are considered for the awards.
  3. Senate may make more than five awards in anyone year for postgraduate studies in any recognised field.
  4. The award covers lodging, feeding, book and equipment. The value in addition to free tuition is as follows;
    • N5,750.00 (Arts)
    • N7,000.00 (Science).
  5. The award covers the normal duration of the degree course subject to good progress report on the scholar by his supervisor.

Undergraduate Awards Tenable in the University

  1. African American Institute
  2. A. G. Leventis Nig. Limited
  3. Arney Road Tone
  4. Association of African University
  5. Commonwealth Scholar
  6. Elder Dempster Agency
  7. Gulf Oil of Nigeria Limited
  8. International Merchant Bank (1MB)
  9. International University Exchange Fund
  10. Julius Berger Nigeria Limited
  11. Mobil Oil Nigeria Limited
  12. National Library of Nigeria
  13. National Electric Power Authority (NEPA)
  14. Nigerian Army and Navy Scholarship
  15. Nigerian Breweries Limited
  16. P. Z. and Co. Nigeria Limited
  17. Shell B. P. Petroleum Development of Nigeria Ltd.
  18. U.A.C. of Nigeria Limited
  19. United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
  20. United States Information Services (USIS)
  21. Van Leer Containers Co.
  22. Nigerian Tobacco Co. Limited
  23. Federal Cameroon Government Scholarship
  24. Federal Republic of Germany
  25. Mobil Exploration of Nigeria Scholarship
  26. Nigerian Ports Authority
  27. Elf Nigeria Limited
  28. Standard Bank of Nigeria Limited
  29. West African Portland Cement Co. Limited
  30. Federal Government of Nigeria Scholarship
  31. Federal Government of Nigeria (State) Scholarship
  32. Seven-Up Company
  33. Nigeria National Petroleum Company (NNPC)
  34. The United Nigeria Insurance Company Limited (UNIC)
  35. Nigerian Postal Services (NIPOST)
  36. Various Philanthropists.

Also See: SEE The Top 15 Undergraduate Scholarships For Nigerian University Students and Their Worth

UNILAG: All You Need to Know About the University of Lagos

UNILAG Senate Building

Work-Study/Job Placement Unit

The Work-Study Programme (WSP) under the Work-Study Unit is a scheme designed to help students to reduce the burden of financing their education.

The inception of this laudable programme, first of its kind in Nigeria, at the University of Lagos (UNILAG) has come at a time when the general economic situation in the country dictates that students must look for ways of augmenting their finances.

With increases in the cost of living index, and resultant increases in the cost of tertiary education, coupled with limited number and value of scholarships and bursaries, and difficulties in obtaining educational loans, it may be near impossible for the generality of students to have access to higher education without tears.

The Work-Study Programme which enables students to work on a part-time basis and earn some money in the process is, therefore, a novel scheme capable of alleviating and cushioning the effects of the economic environment on the quests of students for higher education.


  • The objectives of the Work-Study Programme include:
  • To alleviate the financial burden of students through part -time and vacation employment
  • To enable the generality of students appreciate the dignity of labour and the essence of working
  • To enable students acquire some useful work-experience while pursuing their courses of study
  • To expose students to the intricacies of work-life
  • To prepare students for gainful employment after graduation


The Work-Study Programme is wholly operated by the University.

Guidelines for its operation are laid down by the Committee on Work-Study Programme in conjunction with the Vice-Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Work Study Programme. The guidelines are implemented by the WSP Secretariat which is also responsible for the day-to-day administration of the programme.

Under the programme. students are normally placed in part-time work situations provided by the University of Lagos (UNILAG) Central Administration and other arms of the University of Lagos (UNILAG).

In the near future, students will also be placed with the following kinds of employers:

  • Private individuals or establishments located on the University Campus
  • Outside organisations for employers located within Yaba Area (during week days)
  • Outside organisations or employers beyond Yaba Area (during weekends).

The Work-Study Programme also provides for the temporary full-time employment of students during vacations. Complementary to the main objectives of WSP, graduating students are also assisted in identifying prospective employers and prepared for job interviews through seminars and workshops.

UNILAG: All You Need to Know About the University of Lagos

UNILAG students on campus.

Eligibility for Participation

Participation in WSP is open to all matriculated undergraduate and postgraduate students pursuing full-time courses at the University of Lagos. Other conditions for participation are stated separately under Registration Participation Procedure, Rules and Regulations. and Code of Conduct Ethics of Participation.

Registration Participation Procedure

To participate in the programme, a student is required to complete an application form obtainable from the WSP Secretariat. The application form requires information on personal data, type of job the student is interested in, the time of day or free periods he or she is available to work and other data. Completed applications are to be returned to the WSP Secretariat for processing.

A student is normally interviewed to establish his or her suitability for the job applied for. Interviews are conducted by the WSP operational staff and members of the WSP Committee. A student who is successful at the interview will be given a letter of employment and be required to sign a bond before assumption of duties.

Remuneration/Mode of Payment

A student-worker is paid a reasonable hourly wage, depending on the level of skill required or the nature of the job itself. This rate is subject to periodic reviews. A student worker is normally paid on a weekly basis.

He or she is required to complete a time sheet in which the number of hours worked during the week is indicated. The information so given is attested to by the Supervisor and the Head of Department where the student worker is engaged.

This Time-Sheet is submitted along with the Weekly Evaluation Form and Report to the Work-Study Secretariat on Wednesdays for further processing; and wages are collected from the Bursary (Cash Office) on Fridays.

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