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How we made OOU globally relevant – VC

“Olabisi Onabanjo University has continued to experience sustained growth and development in the last 10 years and enjoyed the needed stability to achieve its tripodal mandate of teaching, research and community service, thus making the University, a University of First Choice for candidates seeking admission.”

The foregoing statement formed part of the brilliant submissions of the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ganiyu Olatunji Olatunde, at the 30th and 31st Convocation Ceremonies of the University for the 2019/2020 and 2020/2021 academic sessions, where he recounted the interventions of the current Management in making OOU one of the major Universities to be reckoned with locally and globally.

In his address on the occasion, the Vice-Chancellor declared that the University has continued to experience sustained academic development which he attributed to the commitment of staff to their duties as well as the determination of the institution’s students to engage meaningfully in their studies. He also acknowledged the prevailing peace in the University, saying the situation was an attestation of the resolve of both staff and students.

 Prof. Olatunde restated the resolve of the University Management to continue to engage members of the University Community constructively “so that we can, together, continue to work to achieve the dreams of the founding fathers of the University.”
Giving an account of his stewardship in the last four years, the Vice-Chancellor said the University, under his leadership, has witnessed significant growth and development in its operational and administrative services just as its visibility has improved tremendously through the enhancement of the institution’s web presence. According to him, the University has attained prominence in its webometric rankings and has currently risen to 17 out of 279 tertiary institutions in Nigeria.

 The Quality Assurance Unit established to develop a quality assurance policy for the University, he noted, has continued to monitor and assess quality, adequacy and currency of facilities and resources in Departments, Faculties and Colleges of the University. He added that the Research, Linkages and Advancement Directorate of the University, was also resuscitated to coordinate and drive external linkages with foreign and national Universities and organizations, with the major focus of enhancing the visibility of OOU in its research outputs.
He said, “I once reported that OOU participated in the British Council call for collaborative proposal with British Universities and our submission was adjudged the best amongst a significant number of high-quality applications received, thus OOU and Swansea University, Wales won the grant of £10,000 (Ten Thousand Pounds) to support improvements in funding and sustainability models in the Nigeria Higher Education.”

“In order to facilitate a better atmosphere capable of engaging international collaboration and enable international grant applications, we established Research Grant Management Office (RGMO) in line with the international structure for Grant Management in institutions. The RGMO has also generated the Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number for the purpose of tracking grants in line with international standards.”

“I am happy to report that one of our Research Groups in the Faculty of Clinical Sciences had a joint application for National Institute of Health (NIH) Grant to research on UH3 project titled, “Intensive combination approach to roll back the epidemics (iCARE) among Nigerian adolescents. The first tranche of $112,645 has since been paid to the University and the lead researcher has been credited accordingly to carry out the research,” the Vice-Chancellor disclosed.

Prof. Olatunde, who added that the University also won a TETFund National Research Fund (NRF) grant of N25,759,205.00 in pursuance of a research on “Developing an ethical framework for the Health Workforce and Stakeholders Implementing Quarantine and Isolation in Nigeria,” pointed out that his administration had challenged the academic staff to utilize available support from TETFund to drive basic research that could engender development.

 “It is heartwarming to report that, in one sweep, 30 research proposals have been successfully funded in a Batch B of the TETFund Institutional Based Research Grants. The beneficiaries cut across 10 of our 13 Faculties. This has opened the vista for the development of research activities that will impact on the University immediate environment, the state and the country,” he further revealed.

 The Vice-Chancellor explained that in order to make OOU become a 21st-century citadel of learning, globally relevant and competitive, the University Management adopted the policy of driving the institution electronically to increase efficiency and reduce waste.
With interventions in information and communication technology, he noted that the human resource capacity of the University was increased while the institution’s network was upgraded by 1450% with the deployment of several web portals and websites for each Faculty and College as well as the creation of ICT units on all campuses of the University with students given open access to the internet. He also stated that 40 high-end smart boards, which have the ability to stand alone as a computer system without connecting an external system, were purchased to aid the teaching and learning process.

He said, “Once these interventions were achieved, it became easy for the University to host most of its statutory meetings online thus reducing the stress of staff traveling from other campuses to the Main Campus, automate the undergraduate and postgraduate admission processes through online screening of O-level results and verification of certificates, thus eliminating cases of potential students using fake or falsified results to apply for admission in our institution.”
“We integrated fully the University’s Result Processing and Management System into all the various programmes of the University to make course registration most efficient and make the process of examination results computation seamless and transparent to both lecturers and students, thus making the turnaround time for the generation of examination results short.”

“Students were able to track their academic progress from their portals without having to see any lecturer and the era of missing scripts, and having to paste score sheets on the notice boards went into oblivion. A testament to the success and the efficiency of the Result Processing and Management System is why we are able to successfully graduate two sets today despite the fact that the last set finished their exams in December 2021.”

Prof. Olatunde equally explained that the ICT interventions had helped in revamping the Transcript Office through the setting up of the eTranscript Request system to enable graduates to request transcripts from anywhere in the world without having to pass through any agent or come to Ago-Iwoye.

“The Certificate Issuance and Tracking System was also placed online to ensure that certificates issued by the University can easily be tracked and authenticated seamlessly, within the shortest period of time. We now live-stream all our social events on all our social media platforms,” he added.

A cross-section of graduands at the University’s Convocation

“Without being immodest, we can boast of having the biggest and most equipped University ICT Centre not just in South West, but in the entire country. A 3,000-seater ICT structure that has conference rooms, multimedia studio, eLearning digital lecture rooms, CBT and Prometric centres, training and workshop rooms, all equipped with the latest technological gadgets that meet 21st century standards,” he further asserted.

 The Vice-Chancellor also explained that in the last four and half years, the Management had made a significant intervention in library services and subscription to electronic databases, saying the University’s purchase of an active subscription to over 20 electronic journals, books and major databases was one of the major factors responsible for the full accreditation status of OOU programmes by the NUC from 76% in 2017 to 93% at present.

 On infrastructural development of the University, the Vice-Chancellor stated that two abandoned projects he met on assumption of office, the Modern ICT Building and the Senate Building, had already been completed and commissioned, adding that other building projects were initiated with due cognisance given to the critical needs of the Faculties.

“In all, 38 infrastructural projects were initiated, with 23 completed while 15 are ongoing,” Prof. Olatunde told the congregation.

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