The Department of Vocational Teacher Education was one of the earliest departments established in 1962. It was given its original mandate under Ford Foundation Project Grant No. 640-0475 for $380,000 in 1964. From inception, it was one of the three departments that made up the faculty of Education. Other departments in the Faculty were Education as well as Health and Physical Education (HPE). The Department of Vocational Teacher Education was made up of four broad units, namely; Agricultural Education, Business Education, Home Economics Education and Industrial Technical Education. Each of the four initial units of the Department had only a few students then and were, therefore grouped together into one department with the understanding that the Units would become full-fledged department when they had more students. Today, over fifty years after the establishment of the Department of Vocational Teacher Education, it is still one Department, in spite of the fact that its student strength is now 1477. The first head of Department was Professor Agusiobo.The Department was the pioneer Department of Vocational and Technical Education in Nigeria. As a result, almost all the institutions that run vocational and technical education programmes in Nigeria at University, Polytechnic and College of Education levels are administered by the products of this Department.
In 1985 Computer Education unit was introduced to make up the present five Department. The Department offers both undergraduate and postgraduate programme in the five occupational areas of Agricultural Education, Business Education, Computer Education, Home Economics Education and Industrial Technical Education. The Department of Vocational Teacher Education, University of Nigeria, Nsukka has achieved huge successes in the face of overwhelming odds in the past 50 years. It has developed competent and vocationally skilled teachers that work in all areas of life in Nigeria and other parts of the world.
Since the inception of the Department, it has collaborated fully with the Faculty of Education in affiliating most of her programmes with other tertiary institutions in Nigeria. This was one of the ways of ensuring the spread of the programme to the other parts of the country.
Some of the affiliated institutions are:
- The Department of Technical Education at Yaba College of Technology, Yaba.
- School for Vocational Technical Education at College of Education, Ikerekiti in Ekiti State.
- Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education, Owerri
- Federal College of Education Omoku, and
- Nwafor Orizu College of Educaiton Nsugbe.
The Department evolved into Faculty of Vocational and Technical Education in the year 2015 with Professor C.A. Igbo as the Acting Dean.