Natural Sciences

Dean full names
Prof. (Mrs.) Georgina S. Mwansat
Faculty Details
nat

 

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The Faculty started during the 1974/75 session, as The Faculty of Science in the Jos Campus of the University of Ibadan. It moved to its present site at the Bauchi Road Campus during the 1975/76 session. The foundation departments in the Faculty were Botany, Chemistry, Geography, Mathematics, Physics and Zoology. In 1975 the University of Jos was established out of the Jos Campus of the University of Ibadan. During the 1976/77 session, the Faculty of Science was renamed The Faculty of Natural Sciences, and the first Dean, Prof. G. K. Berrie was appointed. Over the years, 1976/77 and 1977/78, the foundation departments were consolidated. Experienced staff were recruited while both undergraduate and postgraduate programmes were developed. During these sessions, staff members were recruited for the Department of Geology and Mining, which emerged in the 1979/80 session.
The first Medical students were admitted to pre-medical courses in the faculty in 1975 and proceeded for their 1st Professional Examinations in the Faculty of Medical Sciences in 1976.
A department of Preliminary Science Studies was established and attached to the Faculty for supervision during the 1977/78 session and is now renamed the Remedial Studies Department.
It was made up of students from the catchment area (Bauchi, Benue and Plateau States) who had insufficient credits to undertake a degree programme. The catchment states have since been redefined and include Bauchi, Benue, Nassarawa, Kogi and Plateau States.
From the inception of the faculty, the various departments grew steadily in quality and quantity until the mid 1980's when decline set in. The student and staff populations increased and thousands of graduates were turned out into different sectors of the Nigerian Economy and the world. In 1990, the National Universities Commission sent teams on the first visit, for the accreditation of undergraduate programmes and only the Zoology Department attained full accreditation status. The other five departments failed to obtain full accreditation due to different combinations of inadequacies with staff, space, equipment and funding.

The Faculty of Natural Sciences, through its various departments aims:

  1. to train high-level academic and professional manpower in the natural sciences.
  2. to provide practically oriented training so that graduates can apply their knowledge
     to solve societal problems including those caused by natural hazards.
  3. to carry out relevant and meaningful research in pure and applied natural sciences.
  4. to assist the community with professional advice and solution to specific problems.
  5. to undertake any other activities appropriate for a faculty of natural sciences of the highest standard.

The Faculty of Natural Sciences, University of Jos consists of six academic departments, namely Botany, Chemistry, Geology and Mining, Mathematics, Physics and Zoology. These departments award first degrees, higher degrees and diplomas. Jos and its environs are endowed with rocks and solid minerals and as a result the Geology and Mining Department aspires to be a centre of excellence providing research, training and community services in the fields of geology, mineral exploration, mining, mineral processing, resources conservation, hazard mitigation and environmental protection. The department has been active in pure and applied research activities related to the tin bearing younger Granites of Nigeria which are centered on the Jos Plateau and commercial ventures such as, borehole drilling, dam site investigations and underground water development. The central location of Jos in Nigeria makes access to other key geological environments in the country relatively easy while the climate and scenery of the Jos plateau is an attraction to researchers from all over the world. The National Secretariat of the umbrella professional association, The Nigerian Mining and Geosciences Society (NMGS) is located in Jos for these reasons.

Tropical Diseases and Fisheries Sciences are two areas of strength in research of the Department of Zoology which has provided training facilities for the West African Subregion in tropical diseases under the sponsorship of the World Health Organisation (WHO). The department has been identified for strong support to nurture it into a centre of excellence.

The Department of Remedial Studies and the Laboratory Technology Training School (LTTS) run supporting programmes for the faculty while the Equipment Maintenance Centre, based in the faculty, provides services for the whole university.

Due to inadequate funding, laboratories are virtually devoid of chemicals and basic equipment necessary and required by the students to complement their knowledge of the theory they have acquired in the lectures. This unfortunate national situation was recently addressed by the AVISION 2010 Committee and page 38 of their report reads, AThe Nigerian Science, Engineering and Technology environment is characterised by policy and institutional constraints as well as poor infrastructure. These include science laboratories and engineering workshops in our tertiary institutions which are bereft of equipment or are in a dilapidated state or obsolete.

This is a true report of the reality on ground in our laboratories across the faculty. A recent tour of the laboratories in the faculty showed that there was no smell of chemicals in or around them as was always the case in the past. Major equipment are either not available, or are broken down or obsolete. With the movement of two faculties from the Bauchi Road to the Naraguta Campus, lecture halls have become more available to the Faculty of Natural Sciences. The faculty has also made all the necessary curriculum changes to reflect the NUC minimum academic standards and additional laboratory equipment have been purchased under the world bank assistance. Despite these strides and drawbacks, bold incentives are needed to recruit and retain top quality academic staff in the faculty as morale is very low. When these issues are addressed and corrected by government, the university and the society, we may hopefully see a true vision for the faculty mission in the 21st century.

To nurture a faculty of the highest standard so that it is rated as the best in Nigeria and among the three best in West Africa.