Great institutions of learning the world over have been shaped largely by the vision and foresight of the founders. The decision of the founder to establish the University was the product of a conglomeration of factors including the personal experiences of the founder garnered in the acquisition of his own academic qualifications majorly by correspondence; the decay in the nation’s educational system; and decision of the founder, in realization of the fact that no government can single-handedly fund education, to answer the call by the Federal Government of Nigeria for private participation in the educational sector.
Aare Afe Babalola is a stickler for standard and discipline. He is a self-made man who believes strongly that nothing is impossible. Indeed, his autobiography is aptly titled “Impossibility Made Possible”. Aare Afe Babalola was for several years the Pro-Chancellor of the University of Lagos and the Chairman, Committee of Pro-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities. In those capacities he observed first-hand, the myriad of problems troubling the University system in Nigeria such as cultism, poor infrastructure, poor work ethics, corruption, and legendary brain-drain. Afe Babalola University is therefore his model of what a University ideally should be.
The University is set up as a practical example of how problems militating against the growth of Nigerian Universities can be solved. The philosophy of the proprietor which is also sought to serve as a guiding principle and beacon to the University itself is to “lead by example”. In recognition of this, all efforts were directed at ensuring that the University began operations from its permanent site with permanent structures as opposed to the practice whereby Universities existed in name alone and operated from rented apartments or buildings with no infrastructure of their own.