Emmanuel Ugwu in Umuahia
The Vice-Chancellor of Abia State University, Uturu (ABSU), Professor Eleazar Ikonne said the institution has consistently maintained its reputation of intellectual harvest over the past 38 years of its establishment.
He stated this at the 26th convocation ceremony of the institution, where 4,117 graduands were given the university’s “crown of glory” in various disciplines at the first degree and higher degree levels.
Out of the 3,767 that received first degree certificates, 18 made first class, while 511 graduated in second class upper division; 2,532 in second class lower, 365 third class and seven in pass level. Medicine and surgery turned out 203 graduates, Optometry 131, while 350 received higher degree certificates.
“We have equipped you with relevant knowledge, skills, adequate moral conduct and service-orientation that you need for the competitive global economy,” the VC told the graduands, adding that they would live up to expectation having emerged from sound academic base.
He said the infrastructural development of ABSU has received a boost following intervention from the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), adding that allocations from the fund was used in the construction of new building complexes for Faculties of Engineering and Optometry.
Ikonne added that TETFund’s allocations were used to refurbish and upgrade laboratories for microbiology, biochemistry and physics with state-of-the-art structures and modern equipment.
He also listed the engineering department among the beneficiaries of TETFund interventions as it received computerised modern equipment while the e-library has been electronically equipped and is functional.
In the area of research, the don said ABSU has witnessed exponential rise in research activities from the inception of his administration, adding that 38 research topics in various disciplines have been selected for TETFund sponsorship.
According to him, one of the research topics submitted by the university’s research team won the highly competitive National Research Fund allocation to the tune of N37 million, adding that the feat was made possible by the Director of Research, Prof V.O Nwaugo and his team.
The VC regretted the incessant disruption of academic activities at the national level through strikes by staff unions, saying that such strikes constitute “the worst culprit in the perceived lowering of standard of education in the country.”
He therefore called on “government and union leaders, as academics to work out a self-regulatory mechanism that will periodically address staff demands without disrupting academic activities.
“Hurried agreements between unions and the federal government that are not sustainable are precursors to further strikes in the nearest future.”