The B.Sc Biotechnology programme of Ebonyi State University was established in 2004 to help meet the Nation’s manpower needs for Biotechnologists who would contribute positively to the Nations health care delivery, economic development, food security, job/wealth creation, sustainable environmental management, etc. Although Biotechnology is an interdisciplinary field, most of the people currently engaged in Biotechnology Research and Development in Nigeria are Biologists, Biochemists or Microbiologists, resulting in one-sided approach to most of the problems and issues involving Biotechnology.
There was, thus, a need to train scientists with broad-based biotechnology knowledge who can appreciate and apply multi-disciplinary approach in solving problems related to biotechnology. This was the motivating gap that led to the emergence of biotechnology programme in Ebonyi State University. The programme initially was based in the defunct Department of Biochemistry/Biotechnology in the same Faculty of Biological Sciences with initial student population of twenty three (23) and pioneered by the current National President of the Biotechnology Society of Nigeria, Prof. J. C. Ogbonna,
and the current Head of the Department, Prof. B. E. Ubi, on their return from Japan. Other pioneer lecturers of the programme include Dr. F. N. Nwalo, Dr. (Mrs) C. N. Ogbonna, Dr. C. A. Afiukwa, Dr. A. O. Oko and a few others drawn from cognate Departments including Biochemistry, Microbiology, Crop Science, Animal Science and Computer Science.
The main objective for the Biotechnology Programme is to broadly educate students for positions in the modern Biotechnology industry and to prepare them for graduate and professional studies in the life sciences at the molecular level.
The specific objectives are:
1. To train Biotechnologists with broad knowledge who are capable of appreciating and using interdisciplinary approach to the use of biological agents, and system for the benefit of mankind.
2. To train graduates who can become self-employed in the various areas of Biotechnology.
3. To provide a solid basis for excellent research in special areas of Biotechnology at higher degree level.
4. To stimulate interest in and care for the global environment.
5. To provide appropriate service courses for other departments that require working knowledge of Biotechnology.
To qualify for admission to read Biotechnology, candidates shall have credit-level passes in at least 5 subjects at not more than two sittings, including English language, mathematics, Chemistry, Biology, and physics at SSCE/NECO examinations or its equivalent. Admission is based on an acceptable pass at either UME examination or the pre-degree programme of the University. A candidate with three good passes in Chemistry, Biology, and Mathematics/Physics at A-levels shall be admitted into a 3-years direct entry programme.
Although there are existing programmes in Nigerian Universities that prepare graduates in the basics of traditional biotechnology, the nation has a dearth of the critical mass of human resources as well as infrastructural capacity for modern biotechnology research and teaching which is the current mainstay of global trend in biotechnology. In keeping with the fundamental philosophy of the University at large, the Biotechnology program is designed to encourage and promote the training of the students in all aspects of Biotechnology. To meet the Nation’s manpower needs for Biotechnologists,
there is a need to get the maximum out of every student’s potentials. Thus efforts are always made to develop each student’s abilities and skills. The Biotechnology Department desires to train mission-oriented biotechnology experts who will become competent professionals upon graduation and able to relate their studies to practical real-life situations by promoting biotechnological activities that positively respond to national aspiration and food security, job/wealth creation, affordable healthcare delivery and sustainable environment. This is achieved by motivating the students,
and having regular and frequent discussion between each student and his/her academic adviser. As much as possible, tutorial classes are organized during which topics, discusses in the lectures are further explained and solutions to home works and exercise are explained through interactive discussion with the students. Furthermore, we believe that there is a need to maintain an optimal balance of academic excellence, morality and professionalism.