In 1965, when the Institute of Education was first established there were three senior staff members. The Professor and Head of the Department of Education of Ahmadu Bello University then under the defunct Faculty of Arts and Social Science, Professor A. G. Joseline who served as part-time Acting Director). The Ministry of Education of the Northern Region seconded two education officers to the Institute as full-time staff members. One served as Secretary of the Institute and Organizing Tutor for History and the other as Organizing Tutor for Primary Education.
From this beginning and over the next three years, the British Council, the Ford Foundation, the Northern Nigeria Teacher Education Project (NNTEP) and the Overseas Educational staffing the Institute. On April 1, 1968, the correspondence section of Ministry of Education of the former Northern Region was transferred to the Institute of Education. By 1969, the institute had 16 senior academic staff.
The second Director of the Institute. Professor S I Hicks who took over in December1967 was also a part-time Director and Head of Department of Education. He however set up the Institute in the pattern of the Institute of Education of London University. Which helped to establish a close relationship between the two Institutes.