The Faculty of Education at Benue State University today submitted a proposal for upgrading the Department of Vocational and Technical Education into a Faculty of Technology and Industrial Studies. This proposal is to create a new Faculty is driven by the vision to position the Benue State University as an international leader in technology and industrial education, research and practice. To realize this vision, the proposed Faculty of Technology and Industrial Studies is supposed to demonstrate excellence in inter-professional education and practice; conduct leading-edge, multi-disciplinary research with significant implications for improved relevant technology; provide exemplary community service, particularly targeted to underserved populations and areas of the society; and train future generations of industrial technologists, innovators, researchers, teachers, and entrepreneurs within a collegial environment, that is both socially and fiscally responsible.
Reasons for the proposal include providing a framework for the National Universities Commission (NUC) accreditation and sustainability of programs offered by the Department through Center of Excellence in Food Technology and Research (CEFTER) in the areas of post-harvest engineering and technology, food processing science and technology, as well as, business technology systems. It is also expected that the new faculty will also serve as platform for boosting the occupational preparation of students by Benue State University in more areas of engineering technology education and the training of technology teachers in the content areas of technology by increasing the number of technology courses and reducing the number of courses in educational theory.
At its inception, the proposed Faculty will comprise the Department of Vocational and Technical Education with its present departmental structure where Technology Education, Business Education, Computer Science Education, and Home economics are the units. However, once the new faculty is established, the optimal organizational structure within the proposed new faculty will be established by developing the units into stand-alone departments. Similarly, all existing programs of these units will initially be offered by the proposed new faculty. Any subsequent program adjustments will be subject to the requirements of Senate, the University Governing Council, and the National Universities Commission, as appropriate. Initially also, the proposed Faculty will comprise of all academic and support staff members of the existing Department of Vocational and Technical Education.
Benue State University, Makurdi is more than ready for a Faculty of Technology and Industrial Studies because the university already is engaged in a significant amount of technology-related, consumer sciences, and industrial sciences work. The Department of Vocational and Technical Education runs degrees in Technology Education and Postharvest Technology at the bachelor and master levels. The department also mounts a degree in Family and Consumer Science (currently known as Home Economics).
Establishing a Faculty of Technology and Industrial Studies will form part of the implementation of the 5th phase of the university’ development plan. It will also afford the Benue State University unique advantages, enabling the development of innovative programs that cater to the growing knowledge and skills need of the rapidly evolving society. The university also has adequate staff and facilities to create this Faculty with minimal cost.