Prof Idowu Olayinka, Vice Chancellor, University of Ibadan (UI), has said that only 3,000 candidates out of the over 29,000 who scored 200 and above in the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) and chose the premier university would be offered admission.
The Vice Chancellor lamented that poor funding, infrastructure deficit, student-lecturer ratio and limitation of Hostel accommodation would not allow the University go beyond its present carrying capacity.
Candidates who chose the university have been anxious to hear the admission guideline from the premier university since the ban on post-UTME examination which the Vice Chancellor attested had improved the quality of graduates and reduced those asked to withdraw from the University.
While speaking on the topic “Challenges of Building a World Class University” at the 68th Interdisciplinary Research Discourse of the Postgraduate school under the Deanship of Professor Adeyinka Aderinto, Professor Olayinka noted that Nigerian government must decide if it wants her universities to be globally competitive or not by adequately funding research and fixing infrastructural deficits bedeviling them.
While noting that without research a university is a glorified secondary school, the Vice Chancellor noted that Nigerian government should go beyond expressing ‘suspect’ regret at the ranking of her universities at public functions, rather, it should allocate more funds to revatilise teaching and research.
The professor of Geology listed inadequate teaching and research facilities, problem of attracting and retaining top-class faculty, poor funding, overstretched infrastructure, inconsistent policy of education, inadequate suitable staff, and government attitude to education as factors affecting the global competitiveness of the university.
“Funding is needed to make UI a world class university. A globally competitive university is that which can boast of top-class scholars with sound funding of research because without research, a university is a glorified secondary school. While our goal is to train new generation of leaders we have challenges towards achieving this. The mark of a truly world class institution is measured by what her graduates do after leaving the institution.
“Oxford will boast that they have produced more Prime Ministers so is Harvard on world leaders. Of course UI graduates are doing well all over Nigeria but we must do more so that our graduates can be blessing to Nigeria and the global community. Nigerian leaders should go beyond feeling bad at the ranking of our universities. If UI is presently ranked 19 in Africa and the top 4 varsities are in South Africa, then Nigeria government should understudy what they do in south Africa for their universities including research grants and learning environment and infrastructure. We cannot be globally competitive without electricity. We will be more productive if power is available. We should be playing leading role in research and innovation, contribute to local and regional economies and this will drive our global competitiveness.”
In his speech, Chairman of the occasion and former Vice Chancellor, Prof Bankole Oyediran noted that universities are the power house of knowledge designed to contribute to the development and planning through the production of innovative works, ground breaking research and high quality personnel.
However, he noted that while it is obvious that universities and academics can play vital role in development most African countries including Nigeria declared recognition of the role of universities in national development remains mere politically correct rhetoric.
The former VC then noted that a world class university, which by implication is research active can play vital role in regional economy and development.
Okegbemi Olusoji Festus is an Editor/Creative writer at campustori.com, A digital media Executive and a known Social Media Enthusiast.