Up to 1980, there were five institutions in Nigeria which offered degree courses in Environmental fields. These were Architecture (University of Lagos, Lagos, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and University of Nigeria, Nsukka); Town Planning (Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria; Building (Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria); Quantity Surveying (Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria); and Estate Management (University of Nigeria, Nsukka and University of Ife, Ile-Ife). The number of graduates in each of the above disciplines was insignificant compared to the national needs. Because of the low output from existing institutions, and the lack of balance in the production of the various experts necessary for the efficient operation of the Construction Industry, the nation had to depend on the few graduates trained annually in foreign institutions, and later, on massive recruitment of foreign personnel.
In 1980, one of the policy thrusts in education of the then civilian government headed by Alhaji Shehu Shagari was the creation of new Universities of Technology. The purpose, as announced by government, was in line with the national policy on education, with respect to technical and scientific training, namely to develop, at every stage of the educational system, a scientific and technological attitude in preparation for the nation’s technological take-off.
The Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA) was established by an Act of Parliament which was later replaced by the Federal Universities of Technology Decree No. 13 of 1986. The University runs a School as distinct from the Faculty System of conventional universities. It is an integrated unit of a group of related subjects or disciplines with common academic interests in teaching and research. By the 1989/90 academic session, the configuration of the initial three Schools in FUTA (School of Agriculture and Agricultural Technology (SAAT); School of Earth and Mineral Sciences (SEMS); and School of Pure and Applied Sciences (SPAS), had changed to give way to a new structure of four, with the introduction of the School of Engineering and Engineering Technology (SEET) and School of Environmental Technology (SET) and the merging of SEMS with SPAS to become School of Sciences (SOS).
The School of Environmental Technology (SET) thus took off in 1989 with the admission of twenty-seven (27) pioneer students and with Professor E.A. Adeyemi as the foundation Dean. In 1990, eighty one (81) dedicated foundation academic staff were recruited and put the already mapped out academic programmes on course. The population within the School has grown rapidly from those 27 pioneer students and 8 academic staff in 1989/90 session to 1,941 in 2010/2011 academic session.
Similarly, since the commencement of the School, the range of programmes offered by the School has increased from the initial four (Architecture, Estate Management, Quantity Surveying and Urban and Regional Planning) to seven. The Department of Industrial Design came on stream in 1992/93 academic session. Unfortunately, it was unable to register any qualified student during the 1992/93 academic session. It eventually came fully on Board in 1993/94 academic session. The Department of Surveying and Geoinformatics took of in 2009/2010 academic session as the sixth programme while the Department of Building has just commenced during the 2011/2012 academic session. The School’s Postgraduate Diploma Programme came up as need-driven programme to enhance the status and upward academic mobility of HND graduates in 1998/99 session. This was in response to the National Universities Commission (NUC)’s request that interested Universities should mount “bridge programmes” for qualified HND graduates to enhance their status and upward mobility.
The School is structured to promote an interdisciplinary approach to professional education in the basic disciplines of Environmental Planning, Design and Management. The primary aim of the programme is to identify the critical areas of Environmental Technology which promote an orderly development of the human environment and for which manpower development is prerequisite and to design courses aimed at achieving meaningful ends in national development. Because designers perform critical roles in improving quality of the built environment, the process of their education must recognize and be sensitive to human needs and inspirations and to the wise use and the conservation of resources. Technology has widened the scope of the decision-making process particularly in the establishment of criteria, the identification of priorities and the investigation of alternatives. Consequently, a sound grasp of the technological processes in physical development is critical to a developing nation asNigeriain the making of technological choices suitable to national development.
Some of the most important objectives of the School are to:
(a) provide education that ensures the attainment of professional skills requisite to effective shaping, reordering and articulation of the built environment;
(b)promote academic excellence and provide research opportunities appropriate to the development of national resources and technological skills in meeting emerging national demands; and
(c) providing linkages between theory and practice through active participation in the practical aspects of the disciplines and providing continuing education to practitioners.
BRIEF REPORT ON THE SCHOOL OF ENVIRONMENTAL TECHNOLOGY FROM 2007–2011
The academic programmes run by the various departments within the School include: