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NUC, COREN HAIL OOU Investment in Engineering, other Programmes

The massive investment in intellectual and material resources in Engineering and other academic programmes by the Management of Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago-Iwoye has received the nod of both the National Universities Commission (NUC) and Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN). The two bodies, which respectively have statutory and professional regulatory powers over the University, also commended the commitment to staff welfare by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ganiyu Olatunji Olatunde.

The NUC Accreditation Teams, which recently reassessed some of the University’s programmes, praised the Olatunde-led Management in particular for its humane disposition to prompt payment of salaries towards enhancing the productivity of academic and non-teaching staff of the institution.

The programmes presented for reaccreditation include Industrial Relations and Personnel Management, Christian Religious Studies, English, French, History and Diplomatic Studies, Philosophy, Yoruba as well as Electrical and Electronics Engineering. The exercise commenced on 28th November, and was concluded on 9th December, 2021.

It should be noted that the NUC usually carries out accreditation of programmes with a view to ensuring compliance of tertiary institutions with the laid down minimum academic standards.  Some of the criteria often used for assessment include philosophy and objectives of programme, curriculum, library resource, human resources, physical facilities, funding and administration of departments, among others.

Welcoming the teams at various times in his office, the Vice-Chancellor, who was represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic, Prof. Deji Agboola, noted that accreditation was a significant exercise that provides the framework to have quality assurance evaluation of the University programmes from accrediting body through peer review activities. He assured them of the readiness of the University Management and officials to cooperate with the assessors towards making their assignment hitch-free.

The Vice-Chancellor, who traced the history of the University from inception in 1982 to 2001 when it was renamed after the first Civilian Governor of Ogun State, Chief Olabisi Onabanjo and also to  current developments, said virtually all the programmes being run by the institution have full accreditation. He recalled how the University had invested huge resources on training of academic and non-teaching staff to develop their capacity for optimal performance.

The University Management in a group photograph with the Accreditation Team of COREN

After visiting the various Departments to assess their respective programmes, the Accreditation Teams usually returned to the Vice-Chancellor’s Office to submit their Exit Reports. According to them, the essence of accreditation was to improve standards in the Universities and not for undue witch-hunting. In their briefings, many of the Panel Chairmen admitted that there were tremendous improvement in the University in terms of infrastructures and facilities. They further expressed satisfaction with the prevailing ambience and serene environment of the campus as well as the safety arrangements put in place by the Management.

Presenting the Exit Report of the Accreditation Panel on Electrical and Electronics Engineering, the Team Leader, Prof. Adagbonyin Obiazi, specifically lauded the Vice-Chancellor’s dedication to promotion of staff welfare.

“The staff confirmed to me that their salaries are paid before the end of the month,” Obiazi stated. “That is something commendable. We appreciate the VC as a human being for doing that.”

“You will all agree that the challenge of this country is not just about the system; the system is another thing but you need a good human being in a good system. We want to appreciate the Vice-Chancellor for being a human being. It takes a human being to recognise that workers need their pay to be able to take care of their families,” he added.
The Team Leader described as “very adequate” the programme philosophy. He noted that the curriculum was satisfactory; adding that the assessors even saw some innovative courses in the University. He also confirmed that the admission requirements in the University were in accordance with the benchmarks stipulated by the NUC.

“Internal quality assurance mechanism is in place from the documents we have seen. This is very commendable and I want to encourage you to strengthen internal quality assurance mechanism,” he stated.

On Library facilities, the Accreditation Teams hailed the efforts of the University. They noted that most of the books and journals in the Faculties and Departments visited were current and highly relevant, adding that the University e-library was functional and up-to-date in subscriptions. They also said they were impressed with the speed and connectivity of the internet service.

Although the Accreditation Teams largely commended OOU for striving to meet and sustain the Benchmark Minimum Academic Standard of the NUC, they observed some shortcomings in the area of funding and staffing in few Departments. They advocated the need to provide adequate furniture and teaching aids, especially for junior lecturers, just as they called for recruitment of technical and support staff for certain Departments.

Meanwhile, COREN has also acknowledged the University’s investment in qualified personnel, modern equipment and other infrastructure for teaching-learning process in engineering programmes. The Chairman of COREN Accreditation Team, Engr. Dr. Okodugha Dauda Aluyah, gave the commendation while presenting the summary of the Exit Report to the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ganiyu Olatunji Olatunde, at the Main Campus of the University recently. The Accreditation Team, made up of experienced, skilled and highly knowledgeable professionals from the industry and academia, also included Engr. Gabriel Okechukwu Ozoude, Engr. Dr .Joel Osarumwense Egwaile, Engr. Atinuke  Owolabi, Mrs Jimoh Zikrah, Mrs Onyinye Okafor, Mrs H. A. Mohammed, and Mr.Terfa Calistus Ushir, who was the Secretary to the panel.

“We are not unaware of your massive lot for engineering programmes in Olabisi Onabanjo University. Apart from the school adequate deployment of modern technology in the overall teaching and learning process as epitomised by the largely available access to internet by staff and students, the school has made commendable investment in the procurement of laboratory equipment for the programme visited and this should be sustained and probably improved upon,” Aluyah added.

Earlier in his speech, Prof. Olatunde, who had assured the team of the University’s cooperation for a hitch-free exercise, welcomed the COREN delegation after three days of rigorous examination and scrutiny of the Electrical/Electronics and Civil Engineering programmes. He, particularly, commended COREN for the good work the professional regulatory body was doing to Nigeria’s educational system. “As the third eye, we always want to believe the Council is for partnership and growth, not for witch-hunting. It is aimed at building, not destroying,” the Vice-Chancellor added. He further noted that the University had developed, as a matter of principle over time the habit of not running foul of professional bodies’ requirement.

While giving a brief history of the University, which he said, was established in 1982 as the premier University in the State, the University’s helmsman disclosed that the institution had transformed significantly with records of model achievements over time.

He said the University now has 13 Faculties, 53 Departments, and 75 academic programmes with 96.9 percent NUC accreditation of all the programmes offered in the University, including the Engineering programmes. He, thereafter, appreciated the team for their objective assessment of the programmes and promised that his Management team would in its usual style promptly do the needful in the other grey areas observed by the team.

The team leader commended the good working relationship existing among staff members, and the Management’s on-going efforts at improving the staffing needs of the departments. This, according to him “is evident in the Management willingness to engage academically and professionally qualified teaching staff on full time, sabbatical and adjunct basis”.

Speaking further on the essence of the COREN visit to the University, Engr. Dr.Okodugha noted that “Accreditation of engineering programme is a major mandate of the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), in accordance with the Act setting it up”. He disclosed that the Accreditation Scoring Criteria for Undergraduate Engineering Programmes (ASCUEP) and the Benchmark Minimum Academic Standard (BMAS) constitute the COREN Outcome-Based Engineering Education.

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