The Federal College of Education, Obudu was established as a regular College on November 30, 1982 by the first Executive President of Nigeria, His Excellency, Alhaji Shehu Usman Aliyu Shagari. At inception, the College operated in a temporary site within the premises of Government Secondary School, Obudu. Today, however, that initial temporary site is now the permanent site while the then proposed permanent site of the College at the Bebi village in Obanliku Local Government Area, eighteen kilometres on the Obudu- Cattle Ranch Resort road has become a satellite campus.
At the initial period, the College was controlled by the Federal Ministry of Education. As a result, only the Ministry's staff were appointed to head the institution. The pioneer Provost, Late Mr. G.O Talabi was therefore a Staff of the Federal Ministry of Education, and he held sway until 1985 when he was re-deployed back to Lagos, the then capital of Nigeria.