Benue State University was established by the Benue State Government with the enactment of the Benue State University Edict No. 1 of 1991. The University took off in the 1992/93 academic year with four faculties, namely, Arts, Education, Science and Social Sciences. Two Faculties, Law and Management Sciences came on stream in the 1993/94 academic year.
To be a Centre of Excellence in creating knowledge and developing a complete person who is capable of not only responding to the cultural, social, political and economic needs of the environment but also setting the agenda for change.
The mission of the University was clearly defined in the stated objectives as contained in the Edict establishing the University thus:
1. To encourage and promote advancement of knowledge and to hold out to all persons without discrimination of race, creed or political conviction, the opportunity of acquiring University education;
2. To encourage the effective application of higher education to the needs of the State through research and extension and consultancy
3. To provide ready access for Benue State Citizens to higher education for self reliance
4. To promote, preserve and propagate the social and cultural heritage of the diverse people of the state and
5. To engage in any other activities of a developmental University of the highest standard.
The establishment of Benue State University, Makurdi on December 27th, 1991 was a culmination of decades of sustained efforts by successive administration, since the creation of the state in 1976, to address an educational in balance, the roots of which can be traced to as far back as the Colonial period.
Benue State was created in 1976 and by 1980 the Civilian Executive Governor of the State; Mr. Aper Aku has expressed the desire of his administration to establish a University. Professor Jibril Aminu was requested to conduct a feasibility studies for the proposed State University. In 1982, the Benue State University of Technology was established by the State Government with Professor Ochapa C. Onazi as its pioneer Vice Chancellor. This establishment prompted the then President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Alhaji Shehu Shagari to announce the immediate take-over of the Benue State University of Technology and the setting-up of more of such Universities in other parts of Nigeria.