By Jacob Akintunde, Akure
The Vice-Chancellor of Adekunle Ajasin University Akungba-Akoko (AAUA), Ondo State, Prof. Igbekele Ajibefun has emphasized that the issue of finance was one of the major setbacks of his tenure at the ivory tower which also clocked 20 years of existence this year.
Prof. Ajibefun stated this on Monday while addressing journalists during the media briefing for the institution’s week-long 9th convocation ceremony.
Ajibefun who will be signing out as substantive Vice-Chancellor of the institution in few weeks time after his five year tenure said despite the bottlenecks of financial dire straits alongside other sundry challenges, the University has been able to pull through and made significant progress.
His words, “The past five years have been eventful in the history of the University and of this administration.
“No doubt, when I came in five years ago, I was in a hurry to build on what was on ground, and today, I make bold to say that we have not only sustained the success achieved in the past but also opened up new grounds of development and had taken the University to a greater height.
“It is worthy of note that despite the national situation of generally prolonged and unstable academic calendar in our tertiary institutions, this University has been able to regularize its academic calendar.
“In few days’ time, I will be completing my tenure as the fifth substantive Vice Chancellor of this great University. No doubt I will be leaving with wealth of experience and knowledge that I will always treasure. Working in the University has been a fantastic learning experience and I am pleased with the skill I have acquired.
“For me, I have tried my best to administer AAUA in the past five years and I must thank God for everything.
“In total, we are presenting 3,804 graduands at this 9th Convocation, with the Faculty of Education leading with 1,112, followed by the Faculties of Science and Social & Management Sciences with 810 and 786 graduands respectively. Faculties of Arts and Law have 590 and 72 Graduands respectively. The Institute of Part-Time Programmes, has 223 Graduands while the Institute of Education has 18 Graduands. Meanwhile, 140 candidates will be conferred with Masters, while 28 will be conferred with Postgraduate Diploma. A total of 16 candidates will be conferred with Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Degree.
“Of the total figure for first degree, 20 candidates made First Class; 933 earned Second Class (Upper Division), 2,007 bagged Second Class (Lower Division) while 623 and 28 are in Third Class and Pass category respectively.”
He added that the turnaround witnessed in the institution within the last five years has not only repositioned AAUA as the best state-owned University in Nigeria but its students have continued to make waves across the globe.
“The University has consistently worked on policies that ensure academic integrity. The University continues to sustain the integrity of its academic programmes in line with the vision handed over to it by its founding fathers 20 years ago. The five kernels that were put in place by the University to drive scholarship and academic excellence, that is, sound teaching and cutting-edge research, merit-driven admission, merit-driven staff appointment and sending young academics for higher degrees in notable Universities at home and abroad as well as training and re-training of academic and non-teaching staff for optimal performance, have all been sustained since I assumed office as Vice-Chancellor.
“It is also my pleasure to report that Law Students of the University have consistently made First Class at the Nigerian Law School in the last seven years. In the 2018 Final Bar Examinations of the Nigerian Law School, Miss Agbede Blessing Olajumoke, also made a First Class at the examinations.
“Just few days ago, we received report that one of our law graduates, Ms. Bamisope Ibidolapo Adeyanju, who graduated in 2014, has just been named as the 2019/2020 Baker McKenzie Scholar at Columbia Law School, for demonstrating extraordinary potential in the field of international human rights”, Ajibefun said.
Prof. Ajibefun who also emphasized that the recent increment in the tuition of the institution has been long overdue saying the old tuition had been unrealistic with the expected standard of university education.
He however advocated for all-inclusive support for the funding of the university system, particularly from stakeholders.