THE Federal Government has said that it was taking serious consideration at reintroducing compulsory hostel accommodation at universities, stressing that the system in the past contributed to a better and quality students.
The Executive Secretary of Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Julius Okojie, who disclosed this while representing President Muhammadu Buhari at the 21st convocation ceremony of University of Uyo (UNIUYO) at the weekend, said this has become expedient, as it would address the dwindling quality of graduates being produced from these tertiary institutions.
Also, the NUC boss explained that government was also taking seriously the issue of reducing the lecturer/student ratio and reinventing the universities to become centres of inventions.
He, therefore, challenged lecturers in the country’s institutions of higher learning to do more in the area of researches that would be of great benefit to Nigerians, adding that a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree would soon become the least qualification for all academic members of staff of the country’s universities.
He tasked managements of universities on accountability and prudence in the applications of funds, urging them to endeavour to build synergies with state governments, public and private institutions and organisations to address some of their challenges.
According to Prof. Okojie, universities in the country did not fare well in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) but assured that shortcomings of the country’s tertiary institutions would be carried over to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Addressing the Visitor and graduands of the university, the Vice Chancellor of UNIUYO, Prof. Comfort Ekpo, expressed satisfaction with the progress made by the university during her tenure, noting that the university has become the 10th most preferred university in the country with more than 40,000 applicants selecting it in the 2015 UME examinations while it was given an admission quota of 6,659 during the period.
The university, she also stated, is currently ranked as the 55th best in Africa in 2015 with 98 per cent of its programmes having full accreditation.
“All these progress was made possible because we have maintained a high academic standard. Ninety-eight per cent of our academic programmes have been accredited by the National Universities Commission, including Pharmacy, which always had problems in the past having full accreditation status while we are working on getting accreditation for Efik/Ibibio.
“The university had had full accreditation for seven years with seven programmes presented for accreditation recently found worthy to be accredited. We have also played host to international conferences and lectures attracting resource persons from across the globe.
“Eighty per cent of our academic members of staff have at least Masters degrees while we have also strengthened our student support programme with 41 indigent but brilliant students benefitting from the programme since 2013”, she said.
She commended the university Senate and the two management teams during her tenure for the complementary role they played, saying that she would be leaving the institution better than she met it.
Three eminent Nigerians, including Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang; an industrialist, Mrs. Folurunsho Alakija and a music maestro, Chief Uko Akpan Umana, bagged honorary doctorate degree in Law, Humanities and Music respectively.
The occasion also witnessed the installation of Alhaji Abubakar Maje, the Emir of Hadejia and chairman, Jigawa State Council of Chiefs, as the university’s Fourth Chancellor.
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