Science Laboratory Technologists are highly desirable manpower resources for scientific and technological advancements in universities and research institutes. The level of training in analyses and the degree of exposure to instrumentation, determine the competence of a technologist. The high level of sophistication already attained by equipment manufactures would require that technologists undergo university education. Graduate of polytechnics, as considered by the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) and Federal Ministry of Education, are not trained enough to manage University laboratories. The lack of adequately trained/skilled technologists to keep sophisticated scientific instruments in good operation or condition, is a serious constraint in equipment usage, proper translation and interpretation of scientific data. This is important because the phasing out of the Science Laboratory Technology Training Scheme (SLTTS) programme in universities has created scarcity of this important category of manpower in the university in particular and the national economic sector in general. On record, about twenty-two universities participated in running the SLT programme which has been stopped all over the country. The products of the SLT programme from polytechnics alone as alternative will not be adequate to cope with the advanced nature of the universities’ scientific research and development programmes, particularly as some of the advanced techniques are not offered in the polytechnics.
The objective of this programme is to produce highly trained technologists that will be competent enough for:
- Management of institutional, industrial and research laboratories and workshops to meet the technological needs of Nigeria.
- Maintenance of stock of laboratory and workshop materials.
- Operate and maintain modern science-based laboratory and workshop equipment
- Designing, execution and coordination of science –based experiments and research in laboratories and workshops.
The Science Laboratory Technology programme provides its students with a broad-based knowledge of theoretical, technological and practical knowledge in the multi-disciplinary field of Laboratory Technology. The B.Sc (Tech) is multi-faculty based, with curricula covering a wide range of technical specialties, which cut across about ten academic departments and five faculties of the University:
- Faculty of Agriculture – Food, Bio-Resources and Biotechnology Techniques
- Faculty of Biological Sciences – Biochemistry and Microbiology/ Virology Techniques
- Faculty of Engineering – Electromechanical Techniques
- Faculty of Physical Sciences – Chemistry and Physics/ Electronic Techniques
- Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences – Pharmacology/Physiology Techniques
Currently, the Programme course content as included in the Benchmark Minimum Academic Standard (BMAS) for the award of B.Sc in Science Laboratory Technology, includes the following: Biochemistry, Chemistry, Microbiology/Virology, Physics/Electronics and Pharmacology/Physiology techniques. Improvements and/or modifications on the curricula are in progress with the view to making SLT, UNN highly competitive, and a hub of EXCELLENCE in TECHNOLOGY AND CREATIVITY.