Foundation Studies Unit


The history of Foundation Studies Unit (FSU) is lucidly etched on the framework of the history of the Institute of Foundation Studies (IFS). The Institute of Foundation Studies was established as a preferred option to the General Studies Division founded in most other Universities. It was engineered to expose all students who passed through the then Rivers State University of Science and Technology (now – Rivers State University) to a meaningful component of liberal education in the humanities and the social sciences. After meeting the criteria and providing the technical grounds for the creation of new Faculties, the University Senate approved the establishment of the Faculties of Humanities, and that of the Social Sciences, which took effect during the 2018/2019 academic session. As the lecturers moved into the Faculties with broadened scope of endowing students with holistic education, the Institute of Foundation Studies (IFS) was restructured into the current Foundation Studies Unit (FSU).

Foundation Studies Unit


With the movement of teaching staff to the respective Faculties, the duties/responsibilities of the Unit became attenuated. Currently, the Unit directs and coordinates the teaching of General Studies Courses in the University by coopting staff with requisite expertise from various Faculties. The Unit assigns courses to Lecturers, produces Lecture and Examination time tables, and oversees the teaching and learning of General Studies Courses, in line with the overall goal of the University. In collaboration with the Lecturers, the Unit produces the examination question papers for all Departments and Institutes that offer General Studies Courses in the University. After examinations, results are collated from teaching Lecturers, endorsed, photocopied and sent to the serviced Departments. The Unit further, stores all question papers, answer sheets and marking scheme in all examinations, making it a clearing house that safeguards the integrity of students’ results. In the event of disputes arising from computation or mutilation errors at the Departments, the Unit serves as a reference point for resolution.


The Unit is run in line with the following organigram: The Director, Coordinators, and Administrative Staff. The current Ag. Director―Rev. Father Dr. C.N. Ogbujah set about the task of running the Unit with the assistance of a Coordinator ― Dr. E.O Davies. These, together work to facilitate effective services as well as expeditious connectivity with all Faculties in the University. Among the administrative staff, there are the Unit’s Officer―Mr. Sordum Abbot Neebee, the Secretary―Patience Koteh, and various other staff, with each making invaluable contributions to the life of the Unit.


The overall aim of the Foundation Studies Unit is to provide a robust service to the academic Departments of the entire University. To do this effectively, the Unit has the following objectives:

  1. To select the best amongst the teaching staff of the Departments / Faculties to handle specific courses offered at the General Studies level;
  2. To engineer the production of Anthologies in various disciplines for the teaching staff in order to forestall the half hazard teaching of the courses with sometimes outlines that are irrelevant to the curriculum of studies, and thus, harmonize knowledge production;
  • To ensure the efficient and timely delivery of lectures, examinations and result submissions so as to engender the dissemination of qualitative and quantitative knowledge requisite for character building.


 Rev. Dr. Ogbujah is a research scholar of international repute. He has published extensively in his area of specialization, which includes four single authored and two edited books; contributed more than ten chapters to edited volumes; and over forty journal articles in local and international journals. His quest for excellence in research has taken him to conferences and symposia across the United States of America, Europe and South America, resulting in cross-pollination of ideas with the best in his chosen career. He was a guest lecturer Faculty of Humanities, Soka University of America, California (2018).


The acting Director has had a glowing teaching career within the Rivers State University that has spanned nearly seventeen years. His teaching prowess was first displayed during the 1992/1993 academic session when he groomed high school students of Mater Ecclesiae Seminary, Nguru, in Economics, Geography and Integrated Science. He has, since his employ in the university, distinguished himself in teaching and supervising undergraduate, masters and doctorate candidates in Philosophy, Social Work and Gender Studies, and Legislative Studies.


Rev. Dr. Columbus is adept in his job, and recognizes the invaluable roles active membership in relevant professional bodies can play in one’s quest for excellence. For this reason, he devotes a lot of time and energy to the development of professional bodies. Currently, he is the Vice President, Association of Philosophy Professionals of Nigeria (APPON) – an umbrella body of philosophy scholars in Nigeria; Board member, International Society for Universal Dialogue (ISUD), which is registered with the State lf Main, United States; Board member / Nigerian national branch head, World Philosophical Forum; Member, American Section of the International Association for Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy (AMINTAPHIL); Member, International Association for the Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy (IVR). He was the treasurer of Nigerian Philosophical Association (NPA) from 2008 – 2016, and has mentored many young philosophy scholars till date.

Dr. Ogbujah has played several leadership roles within and outside the university. At the creation of the Faculty of Humanities in 2018, he became the pioneer Head, Department of Philosophy. He was also the Deputy Director / Faculty Coordinator, Foundation Studies Unit from 2018 to 2021. In October 2021, he was made the Ag. Director of the Unit.

The Director has served in many committees and boards of the university. Currently, he is the Faculty Representative at Senate; Member, Senate Research and Publication Committee; Member, University Ranking Committee; and Chairman, Faculty Book Review Committee. He has served as member, Senate Committee on Open and Distant Education, (2018-2020); Member, University Post-Graduate Examination Monitoring Committee, (2018 – 2020); Member, University Undergraduate Lecture Monitoring Committee, (2017-2020); P.G. Coordinator, Faculty of Humanities, (2018 – 2020); Exams Officer, Department of Philosophy, (2018 – 2019); Member, IFS Committee on the development of Programmes for the proposed Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, 2016 – 2017; Member, IFS Committee on the development of Post-Graduate Programmes, 2016; and had, at one time or the other, represented the IFS or the Faculty of Humanities in virtually all the Faculties of the University.


Rev. Dr. Ogbujah has played advisory roles to various student bodies and organizations outside the university. At the moment, he is an Advisor, Catholic law Students Association, Rivers State University. He was the advisor of Future Concerns Group, Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Port Harcourt, (2011 – 2012); and advisor, Igbo Students Association of the University from 2010 till date. Besides these, and in his line of duty as a Catholic priest, Rev. Fr. Ogbujah has performed the duty of spiritual director to students and lecturers alike. He has served in several church missions within and outside Rivers State. Between July 2012 and January 2013, he served as the Ag. Chaplain, Queen of Apostles Catholic Church, 97 Special Operations Group, Nigerian Air Force, Port Harcourt; regularly delivers retreat to the Knights and Ladies of St. Mulumba, Stella Maris Sub-Council, Port Harcourt, from 2008 till date. Dr. Ogbujah is a regular guest lecturer to many religious and secular organizations; once a guest presenter at Excel Radio 103.7; AIT on Valentine’s Day celebration, 2017; and at Rivers State Television (Dec. 2006) preparatory to the 2007 general elections.

Dr. Ogbujah is an international scholar with a global reach. He has traversed three continents, constantly engaging with the best refined minds in philosophy and human development.

Achievements of the unit

The Unit has successfully coordinated the teaching, examining and submission of results for all the General Studies courses in the university. Now and again, it has successfully resolved issues emanating from improper recording of test scores, missing scripts and sundry examination glitches. Within the last year, the Unit successfully engineered the production of an Anthology for the teaching of Peace and Conflict Resolution Studies. This has forestalled the half hazard teaching of the course with sometimes outlines that are irrelevant to the curriculum of studies, and has harmonized knowledge production in this area that is critical to the sustenance of a peaceful society. With time, it is hoped that this effort will be extended to other areas, so as to engender the dissemination of qualitative and quantitative knowledge requisite for character building.


Due to proper planning and organization of teaching staff from various Faculties, the first semester of the new 2021/2022 academic session has just kicked off successfully. In the proximate future, the Unit looks forward to resolving all matters arising from last exams, and is already putting strategies in place for a smooth conduct of this first semester examinations.


Much as the Foundation Studies Unit is geared towards servicing the academic departments of the entire University, there are, nevertheless, prospects of systemic growth. It is hoped that the Unit will expand its activities and embark upon varied academic productions. Our projection is that of a massive structure which should consist in not just a service Unit but a vibrant centre for robust scholarly activities such as academic productions, publications, workshops, seminars and conferences. Expectedly, activities such as these, should boost the Institution’s internally generated revenue as well as holistic intellectual collaboration and exchange.


The current Director, Rev. Fr. Dr. C.N. Ogbujah is a Reader, and the pioneer Acting Head, Department of Philosophy, Faculty of Humanities, Rivers State University, Port Harcourt, Nigeria. He was among the staff of the then Institute of Foundation Studies (IFS) who worked assiduously for the creation of the Faculties of Humanities and Social Sciences, and thus, led to the rebranding of the Institution by the State’s parliament to Rivers State University (from Rivers State University of Science and Technology). He has made tremendous contributions to teaching and learning, and to the overall administration of this great University community for the past seventeen (17) years.


QUALIFICATIONS: Rev. Dr. Ogbujah was well prepared academically for the arduous challenges today’s world poses to the enterprise of teaching and administration. His academic laurels include: A Doctorate Degree in Philosophy (Ethics) in 2006; a Masters’ Degree in Educational Psychology – (M. Ed.) in 2007; Masters’ Degree in Philosophy – (M. A.) 2002; and Post Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) 2001(all at the University of Port Harcourt). Dr. Ogbujah studied and bagged a Bachelor’s Degree in Sacred Theology (B. Th.) 1997; and a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy (B. Phil.) 1992 from the prestigious Urbaniana Universitas, Rome.


NameRankArea Of SpecializationEmail
Rev. Fr. Dr. Columbus N. OgbujahReaderTeaching
Dr. Emma DaviesSenior LecturerTeaching
Sordum Abbot NeebeeAdmin Officer I / Unit OfficerNon-Teaching
Koteh Tombari PatienceSecretaryNon-Teaching StaffNo Email
Chinyere IsoroAdmin Officer IINon-Teaching StaffNo Email
Vanessa WabaliAdmin Officer IINon-Teaching StaffNo Email
Esther Bright IhundaAdmin Officer IINon-Teaching StaffNo Email
Florence N. AmadiMessengerNon-Teaching StaffNo Email
Walter StephenDispatchNon-Teaching StaffNo Email
Lawrence OnyesoNon-Teaching StaffNo Email