The Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola on Tuesday called on Universities in the country to impact positively on the Nigerian society rather that the role of just admitting students and awarding certificates at the end of their academic exercise.
The Governor while giving the charge at the fourth and fifth convocation ceremonies of University of Osun at the University’s convocation arena, main campus, Osogbo also named the university auditorium after the former Governor of the state, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola.
He held that university education should be a sector that should impact on the society, saying the country is daily beset with life threatening challenges in wars, hunger, diseases that are defying solutions.
Aregbesola also admonished Universities to be prepared in providing leadership for the country to be able to overcome it’s present economic challenges.
He stressed that their will be hope for Nigeria if Universities in the country start preparing students for a self-reliant post-graduation life and guiding society with the ideas and philosophy of change, science, technology, finance and entrepreneurship.
”Our universities are primarily suffering from the crisis of mission. While they may have beautifully crafted mission statement, in practice, they are giving the impression that their raison d’etre is to admit students and award certificates to them at the end of their studentship.
”How impactful on our society and governance have these institutions been? We are daily beset with life threatening challenges in wars, hunger, diseases that are defying medical solutions, homelessness and just anything imaginable. Of course, it could have been worse.
”Where there is no vision, the people perish, says the holy writ. Lack of mission consciousness inevitably leads them to in-fighting and other self-inflicted crises.
“It is therefore the case that apart from graduating students, another veritable product of Nigerian universities is jostling for power, influence and resources with factions as many as there are faculties and petitions as powerful and numerous as academic journals. Where there is no vision, the people perish, says the holy writ,” Aregbesola said.
The Governor chided most Nigerian University for relying on grants and subventions, adding that no serious institution will think of surviving with subventions.
He said, “Most universities are underfunded. They rely mostly on subventions from their proprietors. Yet, there is nowhere in the world where a good university lives only on subvention.
“One of the disingenuous ways to fill the gap is to charge exorbitant tuition fees. While tuition is universal, it is lazy and unimaginative to make this the basis for generating revenues to sustain a university.
“Universities must learn also to generate revenues through endowments and creative revenue yielding ideas in patents, copyrights and so on”. Aregbesola stressed.
In his speech, the Acting Vice Chancellor, Prof. Jelil Oguntola Alamu, remarked that the University has been sustaining it’s reputation as an institution purposely established to promote academic excellence and sound moral education.
He revealed that the University has continued to grow in leaps and bounds with the recent accreditation of six more programmes by the National University Commission, bringing the programmes the school is running to 32 mature academic programmes.
Professor Oguntola equally disclosed that the university has become a member of the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) as well as signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN).
According to the Don, the school also excelled both nationally and internationally as students of the state, who participated in debating competition organised by African Regional Inter-University Debate Competition organised by UNESCO, came 3rd overall.
“Osun State University continues to sustain it’s reputation as an institution established to promote academic and moral standard.
“My greatest joy today is the relative peace and high level of academic excellence attained by the institution since I became the Acting Vice Chancellor about a year ago.
Barring all odds, the University successfully completed 2014/2015 academic session promptly without any form of interruption in our academic calendar,” Prof Oguntola said.
In his valedictory speech, the overall best student of the institution for 2013/2014 session, Adeyemo Kazeem Adekunle, was full of appreciation to the Government of Osun for the establishment the University.
Adekunle, with the best CGPA of 4.7 from Civil Engineering Department, commended Osun Government for catering for thousands of students from Osun and other adjoining states.
He stated that the school will continue to serve humanity in numerous significant ways as long as it is in existence.