Augustine Varsity VC Urges Govt to Support Private Universities

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The Vice-Chancellor of Augustine University, Ilara-Epe, Prof. Christopher Odetunde, says the recent announcement by the Federal Government that it will start paying bursary and teaching allowance to education students in tertiary institutions should be extended to students in private universities too.

He also urged the government to extend the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) to private institutions.

He stated this while outlining the activities lined up for the third convocation ceremony of the university.

“Both public and private institutions are producing graduates for our country and even the world at large. The quality of the graduates would show where they work. Also, all of us contribute to the purse from which the funds to execute these things are drawn,” he stated. “TETFund should support everybody. The recent gestures by the government regarding teaching allowance and bursary for education students should also not be limited to public schools. We are all Nigerians and deserve to be adequately taken care of.”

Odetunde further noted that Nigerian universities are not ranked high globally because of some peculiar factors militating against their growth in the country.

“We can all see it that when Nigerians go abroad, they excel, even with what was used to train them here. We just need to be encouraged, and things will work out well. We don’t lack the talents here, but the conducive atmosphere is not there,” he said.

Odetunde added that since the establishment of the university seven years ago, it has grown greatly and commended the Lagos Diocese of the Catholic Church for its vision and support.

“AUI commenced operation with 13 programmes across nine departments and got approval from the National Universities Commission (NUC) to run additional seven programmes in 2021. The programmes are Mass Communication and Political Science in the Faculty of Humanities, Management and Social Sciences. Biotechnology, Fisheries and Aquaculture, Cyber Security, Information Technology and Software Engineering in the Faculty of Science,” he stated.

As part of the ceremony, a Nigerian in the diaspora, Edward Okpa, would deliver the convocation lecture, and 45 students will be awarded degrees in various fields.