OAU celebrates 60 years of existence

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…outlines iconic achievements in Agriculture, Science & Tech

Anu Oyeleye

As Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) commences its 60 years celebration of existence, the Vice Chancellor of the Institution, Prof. Eyitope Ogunmodede at a World Press Conference outlined the numerous contributions of the institution to national development.

The press conference which held yesterday was deliberately organized to align with the same date,  June 8th, 1961 which the instrument establishing the University was passed into law.

Prof. Ogunmodede in his speech to the press declared that the institution has to a large extent been able to fulfil its mandate of being a University of highest standard and worldwide repute.

According to him, the University has achieved rapid growth and development, particularly in the areas of academic programmes, research, infrastructural development and human resources development.

The University which started with 244 students, 64 academic members of staff and 15 Senior Administrative and Technical staff in five Faculties, now has over 25,000 students and more than 4000 members of staff.

Prof. Ogunmodede stated that OA U is undoubtedly the leading institution in Engineering considering that it is hosting the African Centre of Excellence in Software Engineering Project and offers innovative short term courses like Cyber Security; Cloud Computing; Database Management; Data Warehouse; Web Technology; Design and fabrication of Machine Components; Robotics; Mechatronic; Machine Vision; Automobile maintenance; software application in Drug prescription and Inventory management and Research Uptake and Management.

He said the University has greatly improved its service delivery in teaching, research and community service as this is evidenced in its performance in the annual Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings.

In the last six decades, the University pioneered kidney transplant in Kidney transplant in Nigeria in 2002, the first Renal Transplantation to be undertaken by a team of indigenous surgeons in any public institution in Nigeria, the first separation of Siamese twins in sub-saharan Africa, cochlear implantation and can boast of 24 highly significant patents obtained by staff of the University from 2016 till date.

The University is presently collaborating with relevant government agencies and corporate organization to construct an airstrip located on the University land along Ibadan-Ilesa Expressway to serve as a training ground for the newly established Aeronautic Engineering Programme and also support national and regional movement of goods and services.

Inspite of these modest achievements, Prof Ogunmodede stressed that funding has been a major challenge to the growth of the University; the sporadic and insufficient financial allocation to the University has affected capability in teaching, research and community, social responsibility.

The Vice Chancellor appreciated the  University Alumni and friends who have been of great assistance to supporting various projects and programmes of the Institution.

A major highlight of the celebration was the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the University and University of the Gambia on capacity building and collaboration in the field of information technology and entrepreneurship.

The Pro-Chancellor of the Institution in his remark stated that OAU will continue to give priority to harnessing and adapting modern technologies in the implementation of its objectives  while ensuring that its graduates meet not only the employment requirement of the nation but the World at large.