Abia State University

Nestled in the serene town of Uturu, Abia State, Nigeria, Abia State University (ABSU) stands as a beacon of academic excellence and innovation. Established in 1981, this state-owned institution has consistently demonstrated its commitment to providing quality education, conducting groundbreaking research, and nurturing well-rounded graduates who make significant contributions to society.

With a diverse academic portfolio spanning across various disciplines, modern facilities, and a vibrant campus life, Abia State University has earned its reputation as one of the leading universities in southeastern Nigeria. This comprehensive guide aims to provide an in-depth look into the history, academic offerings, facilities, student life, and notable achievements of this esteemed institution.

History and Development

Establishment and Early Years

The journey of Abia State University began on January 14, 1981, when it was established as Imo State University, Uturu, by the then governor of Imo State, Chief Sam Mbakwe. The university was created to cater to the higher education needs of the people in the region and beyond.

In its nascent stage, the university grappled with the challenges common to most newly established institutions, such as inadequate funding, limited infrastructure, and a shortage of qualified staff. However, under the leadership of its pioneer vice-chancellor, Professor Chimere Ikoku, and the unwavering support of the state government, the university laid a solid foundation for its future growth and success.

Transformation and Expansion

A significant milestone in the university’s history University of Bonn came in 1991 when Abia State was carved out of the old Imo State. Consequently, the institution was renamed Abia State University, marking the beginning of a new era of transformation and expansion.

The university’s leadership, comprising visionary vice-chancellors and dedicated staff, worked tirelessly to reposition the institution as a world-class center of learning. This led to the establishment of new faculties, departments, and institutes, as well as the upgrading of existing ones. The university also invested heavily in infrastructural development, constructing state-of-the-art lecture halls, well-equipped laboratories, modern libraries, and comfortable residential facilities for students and staff.

Today, Abia State University has evolved into a comprehensive, multi-campus institution, offering a wide array of undergraduate and postgraduate programs across ten faculties and over sixty departments. The university has also established several centers of excellence and research institutes focusing on critical areas such as entrepreneurship, environmental studies, African studies, and science and technology.

Campus and Facilities

Abia State University’s main campus is strategically located in Uturu, a tranquil town in Abia State, providing an ideal environment for learning and personal growth. The campus spans over 2,000 hectares, featuring a perfect blend of natural beauty and modern architectural designs.

Academic Facilities

The university boasts an impressive array of academic facilities designed to support its teaching, learning, and research activities. These include:

  1. Lecture Halls: The university has numerous well-furnished lecture halls equipped with modern audio-visual aids, ensuring a conducive learning environment for students.
  2. Libraries: ABSU has a central library and several departmental libraries housing an extensive collection of books, journals, and electronic resources across various disciplines.
  3. Laboratories: The institution has state-of-the-art laboratories for science, engineering, and technology programs, providing students with hands-on experience and practical skills.
  4. Computer Centers: The university has well-equipped computer centers, offering students access to high-speed internet, specialized software, and other digital resources necessary for their academic pursuits.
  5. Entrepreneurship and Skill Acquisition Center: This center is dedicated to nurturing entrepreneurial skills among students, providing them with the necessary training and resources to become job creators rather than job seekers.

Residential Facilities

Abia State University offers comfortable and secure residential facilities for its students, staff, and visitors. The university hostels are well-maintained and equipped with essential amenities such as:

  1. Student Hostels: The university has separate hostels for male and female students, providing a safe and comfortable living environment.
  2. Staff Quarters: ABSU provides accommodation for its staff members, ensuring their comfort and proximity to the campus.
  3. Guest Houses: The institution has well-appointed guest houses for visitors, including parents, guest lecturers, and other dignitaries.

Recreational Facilities

The university recognizes the importance of extracurricular activities and recreation in the overall development of its students. To this end, ABSU has invested in various recreational facilities, including:

  1. Sports Complex: The institution has a modern sports complex comprising a football pitch, basketball and volleyball courts, and an athletics track, among other facilities.
  2. Gymnasium: The university has a well-equipped gymnasium, promoting fitness and wellness among students and staff.
  3. Student Center: This facility serves as a hub for student activities, hosting various social, cultural, and intellectual events.
  4. Parks and Gardens: The campus features beautifully landscaped parks and gardens, providing a serene environment for relaxation and study.

Academic Programs

Abia State University offers a comprehensive range of undergraduate and postgraduate programs across various disciplines, catering to the diverse interests and aspirations of its students.

Undergraduate Programs

The university offers undergraduate programs leading to the award of Bachelor’s degrees in the following faculties:

  1. Faculty of Agriculture: This faculty offers programs in Agricultural Economics, Animal Science, Crop Science, Fisheries and Aquaculture, and Soil Science.
  2. Faculty of Education: The faculty offers programs in Educational Management, Guidance and Counseling, Educational Psychology, and various subject-specific education programs.
  3. Faculty of Engineering: The faculty offers programs in Civil Engineering, Electrical/Electronic Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Petroleum Engineering.
  4. Faculty of Environmental Sciences: This faculty offers programs in Architecture, Building Technology, Estate Management, and Urban and Regional Planning.
  5. Faculty of Humanities: The faculty offers programs in English Language and Literature, History and International Studies, Linguistics and Communication Studies, Philosophy, and Religious Studies.
  6. Faculty of Law: The faculty offers a comprehensive undergraduate program in Law.
  7. Faculty of Management Sciences: This faculty offers programs in Accounting, Banking and Finance, Business Administration, Marketing, and Public Administration.
  8. Faculty of Physical Sciences: The faculty offers programs in Chemistry, Computer Science, Geology, Mathematics, Physics, and Statistics.
  9. Faculty of Social Sciences: The faculty offers programs in Economics, Geography and Environmental Management, Mass Communication, Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology.
  10. Faculty of Vocational and Technical Education: This faculty offers programs in Agricultural Education, Business Education, Home Economics Education, and Industrial Technical Education.

These undergraduate programs are designed to provide students with a solid foundation in their chosen fields, equipping them with the knowledge, skills, and competencies needed to excel in their future careers.

Postgraduate Programs

Abia State University also offers a wide range of postgraduate programs, enabling students to deepen their knowledge and specialize in their areas of interest. The university offers Master’s and Doctoral degrees in various disciplines, including:

  1. Master of Science (M.Sc.): Accounting, Agricultural Economics, Biochemistry, Business Administration, Chemical Engineering, Computer Science, Economics, Environmental Management, Food Science and Technology, Geology, Mass Communication, Microbiology, Political Science, and Sociology.
  2. Master of Arts (M.A.): English Language and Literature, History, Linguistics, Philosophy, and Religious Studies.
  3. Master of Education (M.Ed.): Educational Management, Guidance and Counseling, and various subject-specific education programs.
  4. Master of Engineering (M.Eng.): Civil Engineering, Electrical/Electronic Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Petroleum Engineering.
  5. Master of Law (LL.M.): Commercial and Industrial Law, Constitutional and Administrative Law, and International Law and Jurisprudence.
  6. Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.): Agricultural Economics, Biochemistry, Business Administration, Chemical Engineering, Computer Science, Economics, Educational Management, English Language and Literature, Environmental Management, Geology, Mass Communication, Microbiology, Political Science, and Sociology.

These postgraduate programs are designed to nurture research skills, critical thinking, and innovation, preparing students for leadership roles in academia, industry, and the public sector.

Research and Innovation

Abia State University places a strong emphasis on research and innovation, recognizing their critical role in solving societal problems and driving national development. The university has established several centers of excellence and research institutes to foster interdisciplinary research and collaboration. These include:

  1. Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation: This center is dedicated to promoting entrepreneurship education, research, and practice, nurturing the next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators.
  2. Center for Environmental Studies and Sustainable Development: The center conducts research on environmental issues, promoting sustainable development practices and policies.
  3. Institute of African Studies: This institute promotes research and scholarship on African history, culture, and development, fostering a deeper understanding of the continent’s rich heritage.
  4. Institute of Education: The institute conducts research on educational policies, practices, and innovations, contributing to the improvement of the education sector in Nigeria and beyond.
  5. Institute of Science and Technology: This institute promotes research and innovation in various fields of science and technology, fostering collaborations with industry partners and other stakeholders.

These research centers and institutes have made significant contributions to knowledge creation and innovation, attracting funding from national and international agencies, and establishing partnerships with leading universities and research institutions worldwide.

Student Life

Abia State University offers a vibrant and engaging student life, providing numerous opportunities for personal growth, leadership development, and community engagement.

Student Organizations and Clubs

The university has a thriving student community, with over 50 registered student organizations and clubs catering to various interests and passions. These include:

  1. National Association of Abia State Students (NAASS): This umbrella body represents the interests of all students from Abia State, promoting unity, welfare, and cultural heritage.
  2. Nigerian Medical Students’ Association (NiMSA): This association brings together medical students, providing a platform for professional development, networking, and community service.
  3. Nigerian Universities Engineering Students’ Association (NUESA): This association promotes the study and practice of engineering, organizing workshops, competitions, and industrial visits.
  4. Nigerian Association of Agricultural Students (NAAS): This association brings together students in agricultural sciences, promoting research, innovation, and entrepreneurship in the agricultural sector.
  5. National Association of Physics Students (NAPS): This association promotes the study and application of physics, organizing lectures, seminars, and competitions.
  6. Association of Nigerian Law Students (ANLS): This association represents the interests of law students, providing a platform for legal discourse, moot court competitions, and community legal services.
  7. National Association of Abia State University Students (NAASUS): This association represents the interests of all students in the university, promoting welfare, academic excellence, and social responsibility.

These organizations and clubs provide students with opportunities to develop leadership skills, engage in community service, and network with their peers and professionals in their fields of interest.

Sports and Athletics

Abia State University places a strong emphasis on sports and athletics, recognizing their role in promoting physical fitness, teamwork, and sportsmanship. The university has a well-equipped sports complex, featuring:

  1. Football Pitch: The university has a standard football pitch, hosting inter-faculty and inter-university competitions.
  2. Basketball and Volleyball Courts: The sports complex has modern basketball and volleyball courts, attracting sports enthusiasts from across the campus.
  3. Athletics Track: The university has a standard athletics track, hosting various track and field events.
  4. Indoor Sports Hall: The sports complex has an indoor sports hall, accommodating table tennis, badminton, and other indoor games.

The university also has a Directorate of Sports, which oversees the development and promotion of sports activities on campus. The directorate organizes various sports competitions, including the Vice-Chancellor’s Cup, the Inter-Faculty Games, and the Freshers’ Cup, among others.

Cultural and Social Events

Abia State University is a melting pot of cultures, with students from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds. The university celebrates this diversity through various cultural and social events, including:

  1. Cultural Day: This annual event showcases the rich cultural heritage of the various ethnic groups represented in the university, featuring traditional dances, music, and cuisine.
  2. Freshers’ Night: This event welcomes new students to the university, featuring music, comedy, and other entertainment acts.
  3. Departmental Weeks: Various departments organize week-long events, featuring lectures, seminars, exhibitions, and cultural performances.
  4. Convocation Ceremony: This annual event celebrates the graduation of students, featuring a convocation lecture, award presentations, and a dinner party.

These events provide students with opportunities to showcase their talents, learn about other cultures, and build lasting friendships.

Admission Requirements

Abia State University has specific admission requirements for its undergraduate and postgraduate programs, ensuring that admitted students have the necessary academic background and potential to succeed in their chosen fields of study.

Undergraduate Admission Requirements

To be eligible for admission into any of the undergraduate programs at Abia State University, candidates must:

  1. WASSCE/NECO: Possess a minimum of five credit passes in the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) or National Examination Council (NECO) examination, including English Language and Mathematics, obtained in not more than two sittings.
  2. UTME: Attain the minimum cut-off mark in the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) conducted by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB).
  3. Subject Combination: Meet the specific subject requirements for the chosen program of study, as stipulated by the university.
  4. Post-UTME: Participate in the Post-UTME screening exercise conducted by the university, which may include a written test and/or an oral interview.

Postgraduate Admission Requirements

To be eligible for admission into any of the postgraduate programs at Abia State University, candidates must:

  1. Bachelor’s Degree: Possess a relevant Bachelor’s degree from a recognized university, with a minimum of Second Class Lower Division (2.2).
  2. CGPA: Have a minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 3.0 on a 5-point scale or its equivalent.
  3. Research Proposal: Submit a research proposal on the intended area of study, demonstrating originality, relevance, and feasibility.
  4. Academic References: Provide satisfactory academic references from two referees, preferably from the candidate’s previous academic institution.
  5. Postgraduate Entrance Examination: Participate in the postgraduate entrance examination and/or interview conducted by the university, assessing the candidate’s academic preparedness and research potential.

These admission requirements are designed to ensure that admitted students have the necessary academic background, motivation, and potential to excel in their chosen programs of study.

Notable Alumni

Over the years, Abia State University has produced numerous notable alumni who have made significant contributions to various sectors of the economy and society. Some of these distinguished alumni include:

Politics and Governance

  1. Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu: Governor of Abia State, Nigeria (2015 – present).
  2. Chief Onyema Ugochukwu: Former Commissioner for Finance, Abia State, and former Chairman of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
  3. Hon. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha: Member of the Federal House of Representatives, representing Isuikwuato/Umunneochi Federal Constituency.

Business and Entrepreneurship

  1. Dr. Alex Otti: Former Group Managing Director/CEO of Diamond Bank Plc and Founder of ALEX OTTI FOUNDATION.
  2. Sir Chima Anyaso: Chairman of Caades Group, a conglomerate with interests in oil and gas, construction, and real estate.
  3. Dr. Sampson Ogah: Founder and CEO of Samag Industrial Company Limited, a leading manufacturer of electrical and electronic products in Nigeria.

Academia and Research

  1. Prof. Uche Ikonne: Current Vice-Chancellor of Abia State University and a renowned scholar in the field of Optometry.
  2. Prof. Mkpa Agu Mkpa: Former Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) of Abia State University and a distinguished Professor of Education.
  3. Dr. David Obasi: Senior Lecturer in the Department of Mass Communication, Abia State University, and a prolific researcher in media studies.

Arts and Entertainment

  1. Zoro: Hip hop artist and rapper, known for hit songs like “Ogene” and “Achikolo”.
  2. Enyinna Nwigwe: Nollywood actor and producer, known for his roles in movies like “The Wedding Party” and “Living in Bondage: Breaking Free”.
  3. Eezee Tee: Gospel musician and songwriter, known for hit songs like “Mercy Said No” and “Awesome God”.

These notable alumni, among many others, serve as role models and inspiration for current and future students of Abia State University, demonstrating the quality of education and the vast opportunities available to graduates of the institution.