From James Ogunnaike, Abeokuta
The Pro-Chancellor, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), Dr. Adeleye Ogunleye, has called for establishment of Distance Learning Centres, Part-time studies Centres or expansion of existing facilities in all Nigerian Ivory Towers to create opportunity for the large number of qualified students who cannot be admitted annually into Nigerian Universities due to lack of space.
Dr. Ogunleye made the call at the 21st and 22nd convocation ceremonies of the University in Abeokuta.
He said out of about 1.5 million applicants who seek admission into Nigerian Universities, only about 35 percent gain entry, saying this has resulted in many Nigerian students seeking admission in other Universities outside the country.
He said “a recent study by the World Bank indicated that there are over 75, 000 Nigerian students studying in Ghana and paying about $1billion annually as tuition fees and for their upkeep as against the annual budget of $751 million approved for all the Federal Universities in the country”.
The Pro-Chancellor appeal to the Senate and the Governing Council of the institution to seek for the approval for the establishment of the centres from the National Universities Commission (NUC) to approve their recommendations for the establishment of additional Colleges which include College of Medicine, College of Law and the College of Social Sciences, without necessarily requesting for any take-off capital funds from the Federal government, to meet the yearnings of the citizens of Ogun and others outside the state.
Ogunleye called for the establishment of a symbolic relationship between government policies, planning, programmes and linkages with researchers from Nigerian Universities, explaining that “there can never be industrial revolution without the involvement of researchers in the Universities and Polytechnics”.
“The automotive policy in the agricultural transformation, aviation policy and transportation policy must all have linkages with these institutions”, he said.
He called on the Federal and State governments to, as a matter of policy make annual budgetary allocation for specific innovations that are assigned to Universities.
Ogunleye also appealed for inter-disciplinary co-operation among Federal Universities in the sharing of research information and collaboration of researchers in similar fields.
On his part, the institution’s Vice Chancellor, Olusola Oyewole appealed to the federal government for approval to the institution to establish College of Health Sciences “With the inauguration of the University’s Teaching Hospital, College of Law and Governing Board” saying that in order to bring education to the teeming youths yearning for University education, his administration was working on a proposed Distant Learning Programme to meet the needs of the youth.