By Okon Bassey in Uyo
No fewer than 8, 012 students, 22 of them with first class, will today at the combined 22nd and 23rd convocation of the University of Uyo (UNIUYO) in Akwa Ibom State graduate from the institution.
The Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Enefiok Essien (SAN) who disclosed this at a pre-convocation briefing at the main campus stated that some projects completed within his two years in office would also be inaugurated.
He listed some of the projects to include 1000 and 500 capacity lecture theatres, academy staff building, student hostel block among others while others were at various stages of completion.
Professor Essien revealed that his initial challenges on assumption of office were to tackle strike by a major staff union on campus, the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), as well as the national economic recession.
Since then, he said there was no local strike either by the staff or students in the institution linking it to his style of administration which allowed communication flow with open, focus and transparent administration.
Essien said his vision was to improve on the present 26th position in the ranking of the UNIUYO among other tertiary institutions in the country.
He indicated that many of the programmes offered in the school had received full accreditation from the National Universities Commission (NUC) while few others were under-going accreditation.
“Talking of excellence, both our staff and students have won prizes, awards and honours within the last two years,” he said.
The University, he said, had won first position in the Nigerian Universities Research and exhibition fair (2016); overall best from the south-south geopolitical zone in an engineering competition (2016).
Essien also revealed that the University whose petroleum engineering students were overall best in society of petroleum engineers PetroBowl (quiz) competition, Africa region in 2017 would represent Africa at International PetroBowl in Texas, USA.
“Our Law students won 1st position in International Humanitarian Law Moot Court competition just this month in Port Harcourt. By this victory, they alone will represent Nigeria at the All-Africa Moot Court Competition at International Court in Australia, Tanzania,” he added.
The Vice Chancellor who also noted that two of the students had 1st class at the Nigerian Law School in the Bar final results recently released pledged to continue to uphold and enhance academic traditions and best practices of the university.
Although he said his administration accorded prime attention to the welfare of staff and students, Prof Essien stressed that while rewarding anybody that deserved it, those that erred were sanctioned and discipled.
The Vice Chancellor said the challenge of the university was funding, explaining that since its inception, take off grant had not been given to the University in order to meet its numerous needs.
He equally said encroachment on the university land because of not being fenced was another serious challenge to the institution.