Africa's Education News Source

13 Female Past, Present VC shaping education in Nigeria

In recent years, female Vice-Chancellors are breaking barriers and reshaping the trajectory of higher education by demonstrating exemplary leadership, and inspiring future generations of women. Below are some of the females that have attained the position of a vice-chancellor in Nigerian Universities both in the psst and recent times.
Get stories like these delivered straight to your inbox.

Historically, the position of Vice-Chancellor was predominantly occupied by men, but in recent years, the education sector has experienced significant changes and growth as women have entered into this leadership role. More women have risen to the challenge, demonstrating academic prowess and exceptional leadership skills. In recent years, female Vice-Chancellors are breaking barriers and reshaping the trajectory of higher education by demonstrating exemplary leadership, and inspiring future generations of women. Below are some of the females that have attained the position of a vice-chancellor in Nigerian Universities both in the psst and recent times.

Here is a list of the past female Vice Chancellors in Nigeria.
Screenshot 20240417 095444 Chrome
Prof. (Mrs.) Grace Alele-Williams – University of Benin (UNIBEN):
Prof. Grace Alele-Williams is a trailblazer in Nigerian academia, having served as the first female Vice-Chancellor of a Nigerian university. In 1985, she made history when she was appointed as the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Benin, where she spearheaded numerous academic reforms and infrastructure projects. Prof. Alele-Williams is celebrated for her pioneering contributions to mathematics education and her advocacy for gender equality in higher education.
Mrs Alele-Williams attended Government School, Warri; Queen’s College, Lagos and the University College, Ibadan, now University of Ibadan. She returned to her alma mater in 1957 to receive a master’s degree in mathematics. The late professor Alele was also the first female to brag a doctorate degree in Mathematics Education at the University of Chicago (US) in 1963. She also became the first female Head of Department in a University. She also lectured at the University of Lagos from 1965 to 1985, and spent a decade directing the Institute of Education, where she introduced non-degree programmes, with many of the certificate recipients older women working as elementary school teachers. In addition, she served as regional vice-president for Africa of the Third World Organisation for Women in Science and was the first president of the African Mathematical Union Commission for Women in Mathematics.
She was an educator who devoted all her life to paving ways for many other female to attain leadership role in the education sector.

Screenshot 20240417 095527 Chrome
Prof. (Mrs.) Angela Freeman Miri – Federal University Lokoja (FUL):
Prof. Angela Freeman Miri served as the Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University Lokoja, Kogi State from 2016 to 2021. With a background in linguistics and communication studies, Prof. Miri is known for her passion for education and her dedication to fostering academic excellence. She is an educational visionary who is passionate about academic excellence and human capital development. As the first female Vice-Chancellor of FUL, she has prioritized student-centered policies, faculty development programs, and community engagement initiatives, positioning the institution as a hub of academic innovation and social impact.

Screenshot 20240417 095556 Chrome
Prof. (Mrs.) Florence Banku Obi – University of Calabar (UNICAL): Florence Obi holds a PhD degree holder in the Psychology of Education from the University of Calabar. She also attended St Thomas’s Teachers Training College, Ogoja, Cross River State. She began her journey as an educator in 1990 when she worked as an assistant lecturer at the Institute of Education, University of Calabar. She is a professor of special education, she became the 11th substantive VC of the institution, and UNICAL’s first female vice-chancellor after having defeated 12 other candidates. Prior to her appointment as the vice chancellor, she was the Commissioner for Women Affairs in Cross River State and has also served as the deputy VC of the UNICAL (academic).

Screenshot 20240417 095626 Chrome
Prof. Ibiyemi Bello – Lagos State University (LASU): Professor Ibiyemi was the ninth Vice-Chancellor of Lagos State University. Prof. Ibiyemi is a professor of psychology and she had her Primary, secondary, and tertiary education in Lagos State, Nigeria. She also studied at the University of Ibadan, where she obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Physiology. Later on, She attended the University of Texas at San Antonio, Health Science Centre, San Antonio, United States of America. Prior to her appointment as the vice chancellor, she worked as an assistant lecturer at the College of Medicine, University of Lagos, and rose through the ranks, eventually becoming the first professor of physiology of the institution in 2007. She also served as the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the Lagos State University in 2008. Outside of her academic excellence, she is also an exemplary leader and has functioned in the capacity of Lagos State government’s representative on the Lagos State University Governing Council between 2004 and 2008. Before becoming the VC, she was Head of the Department of Physiology, from October 2007 to December 2008. Deputy Vice-Chancellor from December 2008 to December 2011; acting Vice Chancellor of LASU from July to December 2010 and January to October 2011; and Vice-Chancellor (Academic) from November 2011 to January 2013.

Screenshot 20240417 095719 Chrome
Prof. Kaletapwa Farauta – (ADAMAWA STATE UNIVERSITY) ADSU: Prof. Kaletapwa assumed office in 2020 after having contested for the position alongside 25 others. Prior to her appointment as the vice chancellor, Prof Kaletapwa was the acting Vice-Chancellor of the institution. As a seasoned educator, Kaletapwa had held different key leadership positions before she assumed the office of the Vice chancellor. She served as the Commissioner of Education in Adamawa State from August 2015 to July 2017 after which she was appointed as the acting vice-chancellor of ADSU by the Governor of Adamawa State in 2017. Prior to that, she was Executive Chairman of the Adamawa State Universal Basic Education Board from July to October 2014.

Below are the current female Vice Chancellors in Nigeria who are still in office and are making great impact.

Screenshot 20240417 095753 Chrome
Prof. (Mrs.) Lilian Salami – University of Benin (UNIBEN):
Prof. Lilian Salami made history in 2019 when she was appointed as the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Benin. She attended the prestigious North Dakota University in Fargo, North Dakota, USA, where she obtained a BSc degree in Home Economics. She also obtain a Master of Science degree in Nutrition from the same University. Later on, she proceeded to obtain her PhD degree in Human Nutrition at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Due to her passion for education, she studied for and was awarded a Post Graduate Diploma in Education by the University of Benin in 2001.
She started her career as an educator at the Obafemi Awolowo University as an assistant lecturer. Subsequently, she moved to the Ramat Polytechnic, Maiduguri, Borno State, Nigeria, and later to the University of Maiduguri, Maiduguri, Borno State, Nigeria where she rose to the position of Senior Lecturer. With over three decades of experience in academia, Prof. Salami has demonstrated visionary leadership and a commitment to excellence. She has served in different capacities in the education sector including first female Professor and first female Dean in the Faculty of Education, University of Benin. In 2016, she was also appointed by the Federal Government as the Director General/Chief Executive of the National Institute for Educational Planning and Administration (NIEPA, NIGERIA) Ondo State. Three years into this appointment, she was appointed as the tenth substantive Vice-Chancellor of the University of Benin by the University’s Governing Council after a credible and transparent interview process. Under her leadership, UNIBEN has witnessed significant progress in research, infrastructure development, and student welfare initiatives

Screenshot 20240417 095819 Chrome

Prof. Stella Chinye Chiemeke – University of Delta, Agbor:
Prof. Chiemeke’s journey as an educator started in 1994 as an Assistant Lecturer in the University of Benin. She has a Bachelor of Science Degree and a Master of Science Degree in Computer Science from University of Lagos. She obtained her PhD in Computer Science from the Federal University of Technology, Akure in 2004. She was second Female Professor of Computer Science in Nigeria and First in the University of Benin. Prof Chiemeke is a memeber if many professional bodies in and outside of Nigeria. Throughout her career, she served in different capacities such as immediate past Rector, Delta State Polytechnic, Ogwashi-Uku Delta State from 2017-2021, Director of ICTU/CRPU, University of Benin in July 2010 to February 2015, Acting Head of Department of Computer Science (2002-2004 and 2006-2009), and the Assistant Dean of the Faculty of Physical Sciences, University of Benin from January 2006 – June 2007 to mention a few. She became the Vice Chancellor of the University of Delta in 2021.

Screenshot 20240417 095907 Chrome
Prof. Bidemi Lafiaji-Okuneye – LASUED: Prof. Bidemi attended the University of Lagos where she obtained a Bachelor’s degree in PHE and a diploma in the same course. Her journey as an educator started as a lecturer in the Faculty of Education. She later became the Provost of Adeniran Ogusanya College of Education, Ijanikin. After performing her duty and serving humanity excellently, she was appointed as the Ag. Vice –Chancellor, Lagos State University of Education Oto/Ijanikin in 2022.

Screenshot 20240417 095948 Chrome
Prof. (Mrs.) Charity Aremu – Landmark University
Prof. Charity Aremu is an educationist dedicated to building and imparting knowledge into her students.She studied at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, for her first (Bsc.) and second degree (Msc.) in Agriculture and completed her Ph.D. program at the University of Agriculture, Abeokuta. She has spent over two decades in the educational sector. She currently serves as the Vice-Chancellor of Landmark University, where she has made significant strides in promoting inclusive education and sustainable development. Prior to her appointment as the vice chancellor in 2022, she had handled several leadership positions in the same school. She has worked as the Dean of the School of Postgraduate Studies (DSPS), Chairperson of the Teaching and Research Farm Board, Chairperson of the University Academic Board, Dean of the College of Agricultural Science (DCAS), Memeber of Congregation of the Senate, and Head of Department. Before joining Landmark University, she bas worked as a lecturer at the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH). With expertise in educational administration and planning, Prof. Aremu has implemented innovative policies and programs to enhance student success, academic quality, and institutional effectiveness. Her visionary leadership has earned her recognition as a leading figure in Nigerian higher education.

Screenshot 20240417 100025 Chrome
Prof. Adenike Oladiji – (FEDERAL UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY, AKURE) FUTA: Prof. Adenike holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Biochemistry from the University of Ilorin. She also hold a doctorate degree from the same institution. With 3 decades of experience, she has functioned in different capacities such as Sub Dean of Faculty; Deputy Director, Centre for International Education; Director, Dean, School Of Basic Medical Sciences (Kwara State University, Malete); among many others. She became the eighth substantive vice chancellor and the first female V.C of Federal University of Technology, Akure in 2022

Screenshot 20240417 100047 Chrome
Prof. (Mrs) Folasade Tolulope Ogunsola – (University of Lagos) UNILAG: Prof Folasade is the current vice chancellor of the University of Lagos. The Governing Council of the institution approved the appointment in November, 2022. The professor of medical microbiology finished from University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University). She had her masters degree in Medical Microbiology with Distinction from the College of Medicine, University of Lagos. She then proceeded to the University of Wales, College of Medicine, Cardiff where she bagged a Diploma in Biomedical Techniques. She is a memeber of many professional bodies and has been the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Development Services) of the institution between 2017 and 2021.

Screenshot 20240417 100110 Chrome
Prof. (Mrs.) Nnena Oti – (Federal University of Technology, Owerri) FUTO: With over 30 decades in teaching research and administration within and outside Nigeria, Nnena Oti is a force to reckon with. She emerged as the vice chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Owerri in 2021, after beating six other candidates for the position. She is a professor of Soil Science and Environmental Conservation with a postgraduate diploma in Irrigation Engineering from the Catholic University, Leuven, in Belgium. She was a three-time head of the school’s Department of Soil Science and Technology. Professor Nnena is an advocate for women’s inclusion in education.
Because of her passion for gender equality, she chaired the Gender Policy Unit of the institution.

Screenshot 20240418 124706 Chrome
Prof. (Mrs.) Comfort Ekpo: Born November 12, 1954, Comfort Ekpo was a vice chancellor at the University of Uyo. She was the fourth substantial vice chancellor and the first female Vice-Chancellor of the institution. Prior to her appointed as the VC, she has served in different capacities such as the Acting Head, Department of Educational Technology and Library Science; Director, Institute of Education; Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic); and the Acting Head, Department of Educational Technology and Library Science, University of Uyo.

She has served the nation in various capacities including resource person to National Universities Commission, membership of Commonwealth Scholarship Board, Federal and State Ministries of Education, Women and Social Development.

During Mrs Comfort’s tenure, the institution witnessed the movement of the Central Administration from temporary site to the permanent campus after twenty four (24) years of the establishment of the University.
She is an epitome of feminine prowess and a stellar pioneer in her very many fields of academic endeavour.

These exemplary female Vice-Chancellors exemplify resilience, determination, and visionary leadership, serving as role models for women aspiring to leadership positions in academia and beyond. As they continue to make significant contributions to the advancement of education in Nigeria, their stories inspire hope, empowerment, and progress for future generations.

Share this article

All right reserved. You may not reproduce or republish Edugist content in whole or part without express written permission. Only use the share buttons.

Support Edugist’s goal of giving education a voice

Even a small donation will make a difference.

Related Content

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
1 month ago

The list is not complete, we have one at University of Uyo, Uyo. Prof Comfort M. Ekpo

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
WeCreativez WhatsApp Support
Our customer support team is here to answer your questions. Ask us anything!
???? Hi, how can I help?
Scroll to Top

Fill the form below to download the WASSCE 2024 Timetable

Be the First to Know When we Publish new Contents

“Stay ahead of the educational curve! Subscribe to Edugist’s newsletter for the latest insights, trends, and updates in the world of education. Join our community today and never miss out on valuable content. Sign up now!”