In the beginning was the will, that will and aspiration was with the well-meaning people of Ebonyi State to have a University that would be theirs so as to encourage the advancement of learning and research and in the long run rewrite the hitherto inglorious history of educational backwardness of the Ebonyi people.
Hence, what is today known as Ebonyi State University started with a resolution of the then Military Administration of Anambra State which was later upheld under Chief Jim Nwobodo civilian administration. On July 30 1980, the then Anambra State Government established the Anambra State University of Science and Technology (ASUTECH) by law no 7 of 1980 thereby establishing the first University of Science and Technology in Nigeria. The ASUTECH Edict no. 20 of 1985, put in place a four-campus structure with the Faculties of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine located in Abakaliki. Lectures started in the Abakaliki campus of the Faculty of Agriculture in November 1987 with 55 students and 15 academic staff including students of the Department of Horticulture and Plant Protection transferred from the Awka campus of ASUTECH. The Faculty graduated the first batch of students in the 1991/1992 academic session.
In 1987, a Pre-Science school was established at the Abakaliki campus of ASUTECH. On August 27, 1991, Enugu State was created out of the old Anambra State so that ASUTECH campuses in Enugu and Abakaliki were inherited by Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT) via Enugu State Government Edict no. 33 of 1991 and amended in 1995 with the Abakaliki campus remaining as the new ESUT Faculty of Agricultural Sciences. The College of Medicine was added a year later in 1992.
At the creation of Ebonyi State in 1996, the Abakaliki campus of the then ESUT, was upgraded to Ebonyi State University College by Edict no. 5 of Ebonyi State 1998 still affiliated to ESUT with Prof. Fidelis Ogah, former ESUT Deputy Vice-Chancellor as the first Rector. In 1997, the Faculty of Applied and Natural Sciences with 8 departments was added to the fledging University and later in 1998 when the ESUT Pre-Science Programme was relocated to Nsukka, the EBSUC Pre-Degree School commenced lectures in both Science and Arts in replacement of the former.
The major landmark that launched the institution/college to her present status came in 1999 when His Excellency, Dr. Sam Ominyi Egwu, 1st Executive Governor of Ebonyi State announced the upgrading of the University College to a full-fledged multi-disciplinary University. The establishing law (Ebonyi State University law No 7,1999) received executive assents of His Excellency in January 14, 2000 with Prof. Fidelis Ogah as the first Vice-Chancellor. Resulting from the autonomous status, 4 additional faculties were created viz: the Faculties of Arts with six departments; Education comprising six departments and Management and Social Sciences having nine departments. In the year 2000, the Faculty of Law, School of Postgraduate Studies, Work and Study Programme (WASP) and a weekend programme mapped out for workers who desire university education while retaining their jobs were established. In 2002, a new Faculty of Health Sciences and Technology was established. It took off in the 2002/2003 academic year with Departments of Nursing Sciences and Medical Laboratory Sciences.
In December 2008, the 3rd Governing Council was inaugurated with His Excellency, Dr Emmanuel Oko Isu (now late) as chairman by His Excellency Chief Martin N. Elechl, the 2nd Executive Governor of Ebonyi State .
Prof Francis Igboji Idike took over from Prof Fidelis Ogah as the new Vice-Chancellor of the University in January 2009.