Oduduwa University may be six years old but the state-of-the-art structures an educational excellence pervading the institution has placed it in the ranks of the first eleven in Nigerian university system, reports Yetunde Oladejo in Osogbo
Oduduwa University, Ipetumodu (OUI), Osun state is just 6 years old. But a visitor to the private university might doubt the age of the school following the state-of-the arts structures that littered the premises of the institution.
Little wonder why the Executive Secretary of the National University Commission (NUC), Prof. Julius Okojie while addressing newsmen during one of the activities marking the 3rd convocation of the University lauded the authorities for their efforts towards ensuring that the school continues to leave to its dream of being a world class centre of excellence in the development of human capital.
While commending the Proprietor, President and Chairman Board of Trustees of the university, Chief (Dr) Ramon Adedoyin for his prowess in the academia, Okojie said the institution has been producing graduates that can compete in any clime since its inception in 2009.
Okojie noted that e-learning and sharing of education materials through electronic means is becoming necessary thus becoming necessary for universities to break away from the old methods of teaching and learning they are to be at par with others in advanced countries of the world.
The NUC boss who harped on the need or universities to embark on training of undergraduates in skills said ”it has become necessary to stimulate natural abilities of students in vocations to make them alternative to their course of study after leaving school.”
He advised authorities of universities to pay conscious attentions to building of graduates that will be good at their chosen field of study by repackaging syllabuses to reflect today’s realities, saying after this has been successfully achieved, making funds available for graduates to set up businesses should also be looked at.
He expressed hope that universities will be able to use computers to teach students (larger classes) with stimulation, teleconferencing, video conferencing, with cheaper band width, stressing that “we must provide enabling environment for Institutions for industrial training;
we can’t blame universities for not providing the conducive environment for students to learn training and skills, but we are going beyond that to ensure students are taught how to access funds, loans how to set up an office, and be a good employer of labour.
The Executive Secretary added “there should lawyer, doctors, engineers that will own farms, boutiques, business enterprise and employ people. An entrepreneur is someone who has a value and service to provide and earns a living for it. That is what we want our graduates to be.”
Also speaking at the graduation of 263 students from the two colleges of Natural and Applied Sciences and Management and Social Sciences, the OUI proprietor accused the federal government of adopting a wrong approach in the disbursement of Tertiary Education Trust Fund,TETFUND, saying this has resulted to the nation’s universities not finding any place in the top ranked universities in the world.
His words: “TETFUND is the money that belongs to all of us, and as such, there is no reason why government will have to limit it to Federal Universities and State universities. The government is very wrong with what it does with the TETFUND, the money belongs to the private as well.
“But private universities don’t want to take TETfund because of past experiences of the forerunners of private university owners and the fear that government might take over the universities. Education is so important such that the government should sponsor people especially poor people to private universities.”
Adedoyin disclosed that he has set up a full scholarship scheme for new, brilliant and indigent students thus advised the federal government to emulate this gesture by, also assisting poor but brilliant students to secure admission into private universities.
This he said would assist in cushioning admission problem facing the nation’s education system adding that “JAMB should also encourage private schools but sampling students whose parents can afford to pay the fees payable in private schools.”
The president further disclosed that the accreditation exercise for all the programmes of the institution was carried out by the NUC in June, 2015. He said the result of the exercise was published on the 7th September, 2015 thus granting full accreditation for all the thirteen approved Bsc Programmes. Apart from that, he said that the institution has also been granted full operational license.
The acting Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Chibuzo Nwoke said “the institution graduated a total of 263 first degree students of which 17 students came out in First Class Division; another 125 got Second Class Upper Division; and the total number in the Second Class
Lower Division is 99. A total of 22 graduands fell into the third Class category.”
He said: “6.46 % of the graduating students made first class, 47.53 % are graduating in the second class upper Division while 37.64 % are graduating in the Second Class Lower Division and only 8.3 % of the graduands made it to the third class category.”Explaining how Oduduwa University has been striving to compete with others in the developing world, the VC said: “I want to let you know that immediately we got the license to operate the university on the 3rd of November 2009 just about 6 years ago, the first thing I did was that I made sure I look for good professors who can research into a lot of things.
“Our question then was; why is it that seven best universities in the world are domiciled in the United States and possibly the United Kingdom? Why is it that even in West Africa, there is no Nigerian University that passes number seven?.
“What we did then was that I went to the United States and UK to look for those best universities and we were able to research into those problems why our Nigerians Universities don’t have positions in the world or in West Africa.
“And by the special grace of God, you can look at what is happening, it looks magical to me as well because a university that started just 6 years ago has these sets of facilities. Some of the pictures we got there, we were not able to get the actual drawings because of architectural limitations.
“The National University Commission came to this university and was amazed. Some of the Federal Universities that you see around don’t have these facilities we have here despite how older they have been.
Very soon, you will start seeing Oduduwa University ranking very high in the comity of universities in the world.
“And its obvious that government alone cannot shoulder the responsibilities of education. What the government needs to do, just like it is done in the US and UK is to encourage those who assist through privatisation of Universities.
“The best universities in the world are private there is no doubt about that. We hope that the government will encourage schools such that when it comes to ranking of universities in Nigeria, private universities will rank favourably well in Nigeria.”