By: Ade Adeleke
…..AAUA produces 20 first class.
The outgoing Vice Chancellor of the Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko (AAUA), Prof Igbekele Ajibefun on Monday described the ranking of the institution as the ninth Best University in Nigeria and Best State University this year as his administration’s greatest achievement in the last five years.
He stated this in Akure, the Ondo state Capital at a News Conference on the institution’s week-long 9th convocation ceremony which had started last week.
The Vice Chancellor noted that when he took over five years ago, the university was ranked 33 among all the Nigerian Universities, saying it was heartwarming to him and his management team that he had improved on the status of the institution which is now rated 9th overall and first among state universities in the country.
Prof Ajibefun however said that poor funding in the university system nationwide remains his greatest challenge while maintaining industrial harmony at the university was the most tasking for him in the last five years.
He also described as unsustainable the funding of universities by government.
Prof. Ajibefun who advocated for all-inclusive support for the funding of the university system, particularly from stakeholders, emphasized that the recent increment in the tuition of the institution has been long overdue which he said the old tuition had been unrealistic with the expected standard of university education.
Disclosing that out of the 3804 graduands, 20 made the first class category, Prof. Ajibefun who will be signing out as Vice-Chancellor of the institution in few weeks time after his five year tenure emphasized that the issue of finance was one of the major setbacks of his tenure at the ivory tower which also clocked 20 years of existence this year.
“The past five years have been eventful in the history of the University and of this administration. Despite the bottlenecks of financial dire straits alongside other sundry challenges, the University has been able to pull through and made significant progress.
“No doubt, when I came in five years ago, I was in a hurry to build on what was on ground, and today, I make bold to say that we have not only sustained the success achieved in the past but also opened up new grounds of development and had taken the University to a greater height.
“In total, we are presenting 3,804 graduands at this 9th Convocation, with the Faculty of Education leading with 1,112, followed by the Faculties of Science and Social & Management Sciences with 810 and 786 graduands respectively.
“Faculties of Arts and Law have 590 and 72 Graduands respectively. The Institute of Part-Time Programmes, has 223 Graduands while the Institute of Education has 18 Graduands. Meanwhile, 140 candidates will be conferred with Masters, while 28 will be conferred with Postgraduate Diploma. A total of 16 candidates will be conferred with Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Degree.
“Of the total figure for first degree, 20 candidates made First Class; 933 earned Second Class (Upper Division), 2,007 bagged Second Class (Lower Division) while 623 and 28 are in Third Class and Pass category respectively.”
Prof. Ajigbefun added that the turnaround witnessed in the institution within the last five years has not only repositioned AAUA as the best state-owned university in Nigeria but its students have continued to make waves across the globe.
“The University has consistently worked on policies that ensure academic integrity. The University continues to sustain the integrity of its academic programmes in line with the vision handed over to it by its founding fathers 20 years ago.
“The five kernels that were put in place by the University to drive scholarship and academic excellence, that is, sound teaching and cutting-edge research, merit-driven admission, merit-driven staff appointment and sending young academics for higher degrees in notable Universities at home and abroad as well as training and re-training of academic and non-teaching staff for optimal performance, have all been sustained since I assumed office as Vice-Chancellor.
“It is also my pleasure to report that Law Students of the University have consistently made First Class at the Nigerian Law School in the last seven years. In the 2018 Final Bar Examinations of the Nigerian Law School, Miss Agbede Blessing Olajumoke, also made a First Class at the examinations.
“Just few days ago, we received report that one of our law graduates, Ms. Bamisope Ibidolapo Adeyanju, who graduated in 2014, has just been named as the 2019/2020 Baker McKenzie Scholar at Columbia Law School, for demonstrating extraordinary potential in the field of international human rights.”