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University of Nigeria Program records

 Record Group
Identifier: UA-

Scope and Contents

The records of the University of Nigeria Program include administrative and faculty records, procedural and funding records, contracts, syllabi and teaching records, as well as accounting records. Materials also include documents pertaining to United States Agency for International Development (AID), information on personnel, recruitment efforts, correspondence, project shipments, purchasing orders, records on Nigerian visitors to the U.S., Peace Corps, East Lansing/Nsukka correspondence, speeches linked to the program, annual reports/end of tour reports from faculty members associated with each course of study, advisor expenditures, and debriefing documents about the University of Nigeria. There are also publications, and various materials pertaining to the country of Nigeria, and to higher education in general. In addition there are also blueprints for University of Nigeria buildings as well as proposed buildings, map of Nsukka, and campus layout and master plans. The photographs in the collection include people involved with the project


  • Creation: 1958 - 1970



Collection is open for research. Personnel files are restricted.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish material from this collection must be obtained from University Archives & Historical Collections, Michigan State University.

Historical Note

This collection reflects Michigan State University’s involvement in the establishment of a university in Nigeria.

In 1955, the Eastern House of Assembly in Nigeria approved an act establishing the University of Nigeria. According to the legislation, this university would be a new type of institution for higher education in the country with a purpose “to (1) Hold forth to all classes and communities whatsoever an encouragement for pursuing a regular and liberal education, (2) To promote research and the advancement of science and learning, and (3) To organize, improve and extend education of a university standard.”

The United States Agency for International Development (AID) gave the University of Nigeria a gift of one million dollars which provided for the building of the Continuing Education Center at Nsukka. This center was built with the intent to function as the heart of the University’s extension program serving not only Nigeria but people from East and West Africa as well.

In 1956, through AID and British contacts, Michigan State University showed interest into entering into a cooperative relationship of some sort with the University. In 1957, through the International Cooperation Administration, MSU President John Hannah visited with Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, the Premier of the Eastern Region to discuss such a relationship. Through these discussions came the establishment of the MSU-ICA Advisory group. This group would provide assistance through MSU faculty and staff in developing a university rooted in African life. MSU advisors each served two-year assignments in Nigeria. The scope of the project, from the group’s perspective, was multi-faceted:

A. To develop a University with capabilities for, 1. Meeting the pressing needs of the region in which it is located, i.e. capable of relating broad research and teaching areas of the institution to the solution of problems of the community, and of extending the available knowledge to the Nigerian people so that they can use it as fully as possible to advance their own welfare. 2. Providing a curriculum in the sciences, arts, education, agriculture, home economics, engineering, business and public services that is complimentary to these phases of higher education already available or planned at other Nigerian institutions was to put the services of higher education to the fullest possible use in meeting the most pressing needs of the people of Nigeria for their political, economic and social advancement. 3. Demonstrating the adaptation of the most suitable elements of British, American (Land-Grant College approach) and other experience with higher education to meet the particular needs of Nigeria at its present stage of development.

B. To enable an average of 10 Nigerians a year to prepare themselves for teaching at the University with the view in mind that the University should and will be staffed in the main by Nigerian scholars.

C. To increase Nigeria’s potential for providing higher education opportunities by 3,000 students (anticipated planned enrollment at the end of the three years after opening the University).

The university closed temporarily with the outbreak of Civil War in Nigeria on July 7, 1967.


87 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials


Legal Status

Donor(s) have transferred any applicable copyright to Michigan State University but the collection may contain third-party materials for which copyright was not transferred. Copyright restrictions may apply. Property Rights: Michigan State University.

University of Nigeria Program Records
4 Published And Cataloged
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the University Archives and Historical Collections Repository

Conrad Hall
943 Conrad Road, Room 101
East Lansing MI 48824 US