A citadel of learning, lying obscure in the sleepy ancient town of Wukari is the Jubilee University,now known as Kwararafa University Wukari, Taraba State.
Hardly recognized among the array of Universities in Nigeria, but its status and impact in the society is very glaring as it has produced a lot of graduates who are contributing to the socio-economic and political development of the nation.
If one does not make an attempt to know, hardly would one appreciate what this institution is all about or its influence on the society.
Welcome to Kwararafa University, located in the heart of the ancient Kwararafa Kingdom.
Going down history lane, Kwararafa was a multi – ethnic State and/or Confederacy centered along the Benue River Valley in what is today Eastern Nigeria. It was Southwest of the Bornu Empire and South of the Hausa States.
It is believed that Kwararafa was either a Confederacy Conquest State, led by the modern Jukun people or perhaps a collective name given by their Muslim foes for a number of pagan people to their South.
A spiritually important pagan Jukun priest-kingship at Wukari appears to have been the centre of Kwararafa power, but in the 17th century, that may have spread much farther.
The successor State, Wukari Federation, was established around 1840 and remains as a Nigerian traditional State. It remains the only tribe that conquered the Hausa and the most powerful tribe in Nigeria in the 17th century.
Kwararafa University Wukari, was licensed as Wukari Jubilee by the National Universities Commission in 2005. The first Community promoted University in Nigeria, the first University in Taraba State and the second Private University in the North East Geopolitical zone of Nigeria.
The University was set up to become a first class Institution in pursuit of knowledge and scholarship through teaching, research and Community service, geared towards inculcating knowledge and entrepreneurial skills to students to enable them become productive and self-reliant.
It took off in March, 2006 with 61 students as the first and only Community owned University in Nigeria, the first University in Taraba State and the second Private University in the North East Geopolitical Zone of Nigeria.
Located at Wukari an ancient city that was for a while the headquarters of the historically famous Kwararafa Confederacy, the University officially changed its name from Wukari Jubilee to Kwararafa in February 2012 to reflect the cultural and historical roots of the Confederacy which at the zenith of its powers extended to modern Niger, Plateau, Kogi, Nasarawa and Benue States and FCT in the North – Central geo-political zone, Edo and Cross River in the South-South zone, Kogi, Kaduna, Kano and Katsina States in the North – West zone and Bauchi, Gombe, and Adamawa States in the North – East zone.
Kwararafa University enjoys cordial relations with its host community and attracts students from Taraba and 22 other States of the Federation.
The University offers 23 degree programmes in 3 academic Colleges at the undergraduate level viz: College of Science, Education as well as Social and Management Sciences. It also has a Centre for Remedial and Career Studies that offers a Foundation programme. In the near future it plans to start a Centre for Numeracy Studies and that of Creative Economics.
The University operates the Collegiate system. Currently, three Colleges are operational while a fourth College will commence during the new academic session.
The operational Colleges are:
- College of Natural and Applied Sciences
- College of Management and Social Sciences
- College of Education
College of Agriculture & Food Sciences will start as an offshoot of College of Natural and Applied Sciences during the current session while the College of Liberal Arts & Humanities had commenced in the 2014/2015 session.
The University is presently developing linkage programs with other Institutions and Universities around the world. The focus of research is in these areas:
- Peace and Conflict Resolution
- Food Science and Technology
- Mathematics Education
- Heritage Studies and Eco-Tourism
The research focus is derived from the unique location of the University in the Benue valley with abundance of flora and fauna as well as the rich social cultural traditions of the people of the area that could be of academic interest to researchers.
Our Community project is Mathematics Education. We strongly believe that if we engage with our wider Community and deploy modern techniques for teaching Mathematics, we will be filling a gap in Mathematics education in particular and Science education in general.
The Academic Support services include:
- University Library
- ICT Center
- Computer Laboratory
The Administrative Structure include an eight member Board of Trustees with Dr. S.D Gani, CON, as chairman. Also in existence is a 13 member Governing Council with Prof. Jerry Gana, CON, as Chairman.
With the intimidating profile of this ivory tower, it is hoped, Tarabans, Nigerians and foreigners alike will take advantage of its services and conducive learning environment for self enhancement and National development.
This way the heritage of the ancient kingdom and the legacies of its founding fathers will be sustained.
Correspondences: Www.kwararafauniversity.edu.ng (+234803319253,+2348065187626).