The University took off from a temporary site, made up of three blocks of building meant for a primary school in Gwagwalada, tagged the "mini - campus". Academic activities started on the mini - campus in 1990. In the same year, the University was allocated an expanse of land covering over 11,800 hectares along the Abuja - Abuja road for the development of its main campus.
The University of Abuja, Gwagwalada mini-campus is the first campus in the university to be established at take-off time. Though the university is gradually relocating to the permanent site, up till this day, the campus still hosts two female hostels and a boys’ hostel all accommodating close to three thousand students. Among the landmarks in the campus includes the Senate Chamber, the Science Laboratories, Faculty of Law, the Faculty of Management Sciences, Faculty of Education, Faculty of Social Sciences, School of Remedial Studies and the Institute of Education. The university Medical Centre which has been equipped with modern medical facilities and high profile personnel cannot be ignored. The campus hosts a number of recreational facilities including an Olympic size football field, a volleyball pitch and a long-tennis court.
LOCATION OF THE UNIVERSITY
The University now operates from both its Main Campus, along Abuja Airport Road, and the Mini - Campus in Gwagwalada. Currently, the Administrative Building and the Faculty of Arts are on the Main Campus. More faculties are expected to relocate to the Main Campus from Gwagwalada in due course. The distance learning offices of the University are located within the municipality(Garki) where contact sessions of the programmme are also held.
To develop an institution of higher learning that combines academic excellence with the pursuit of the unity of Nigeria.
To provide instructional, research, and public service programmes appropriate to a university of high standing that guarantees academic excellence and to operate a strong and virile distance learning component that ensures equal educational access to a large constituency.
More so, in order to fulfill the mission of the University the objectives of the University of Abuja have been clearly spelt out in section 1(3) of its law [University of Abuja Act - 106(1992) cap U2 LFN (2004)]. Specifically, the objectives of University shall be:
To encourage the advancement of learning and to hold out to all person without distinction of race , creed ,sex or political conviction, the opportunity of acquiring higher liberal education.
To provide courses of instruction and other facilities for the pursuit of learning in all its branches,
and to make those facilities available to such persons as are equipped to benefit from them.
To encourage and promote scholarship and conduct research in all fields of learning and human endeavor. To relate its activities to the social, cultural and economic needs of the people of Nigeria.
To undertake as part of its academic programmes distance learning and continuing education in various disciplines
To cater for the interest of working class or those who cannot benefit from the full-time university education and to undertake any other activities appropriate for a University of the highest standard.