VC Advocates Global Collaboration among Varsities

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Uchechukwu Nnaike

The Vice-Chancellor, University of Ibadan, Prof. Abel Olayinka, has described globalisation as the key to improving on and sustaining the milestones achieved by the university system in the country.

Olayinka said this while delivering the fourth annual memorial lecture titled, ‘Milestones in the Development of University Education in Nigeria and the Challenges of Globalisation’, organised by the Lagos State chapter of the UNILAG Alumni Association, in honour of the deceased Vice-Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Adetokunbo Sofoluwe.

Olayinka, who was represented by a lecturer at the University of Ibadan, Prof. Olugbenga Ajayi, said integrating international and local cultural dimensions into teaching and research and other service functions of universities has become necessary if the system must be relevant and meet up with the 21st century demands.

“The rationale for internalisation includes the need to prepare internationally knowledgeable graduates that would build strategic alliances with institutions abroad. It is also to promote innovation in curriculum and diversity of programmes and to ensure that research and scholarship address international issues.

“The number of students studying in countries other than their own is growing worldwide and it has been estimated that by 2025 there will be about eight million of such international students.”
He stressed the need to attract more foreign students and staff which are almost non-existent in the country’s university system to create a diverse and vibrant university community, adding that the country’s drive towards attaining international standard will involve issues such as encouraging interaction with external partners, individuals, companies and public agencies.

The VC also said there would be the need to ensure that student learnings’ is informed and delivered by international quality research- active academic staff, as well as staff with professional and pedagogical expertise, adding that
He decried the incessant closures of schools in the system, which have been majorly traced to funding, adding that universities are economic enterprise in-so-far as they need adequate financial resources to survive, thrive and excel in carrying out their core mandates of teaching, learning and research.

He noted that the stoppages arising from such industrial disputes have grave implications for the system, adding that the country must strive to maintain its milestones acquired over the years such as the establishment of specialised universities, which must be jealously guarded.
The don also called for solutions on the non-competitiveness, bleak employment opportunities and difficulties in securing admissions into top universities for higher degrees by most of the country’s graduates.

In his remarks, the Vice-Chancellor of UNILAG, Prof. Rahamon Ade Bello, commended the association for sustaining the annual lecture.
Bello, who was represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Management, Prof. Duro Oni, described the memory of Sofoluwe as ever-green. He said the deceased demystified the office of the vice-chancellor and that his impact in the lives of all who came across him cannot be forgotten easily.

Also speaking, the Registrar of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Prof. Dibu Ojerinde, said the country’s university system is on the march for greater glory with the introduction of the Computer-based Test (CBT).
He stressed that the milestone must be sustained so that the country could be at par with others abroad.
Sofoluwe, the 12th vice-chancellor of UNILAG died in May 2012.