Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, on Friday graduated a total of 6,255 students out of which 109 bag first class at all levels of academic degrees.
The Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Eyitope Ogunbodede, made this known in his address at the 45th Convocation Ceremony of the University, held at the Oduduwa Hall on the campus, on Friday.
Ogunbodede welcomed visitors, the university governing council led by the Pro-Chancellor, Owelle Udoji, and congratulated parents, guardians of the graduands on the great occasion which also coincides with the activities marking the 60th anniversary of the university.
He charged the graduands to positively impact the various sectors of the Nigerian economy and help in resolving the challenges facing the nation as they step to the next phase in their lives and careers.
Ogunbodede reminded them that they were not trained only for the Nigerian environment, but to also function effectively anywhere in the world as ambassadors of ”Great Ife”.
He said that 4,643 graduands bagged bachelor degrees (classified) from 13 faculties, while bachelor degrees (unclassified) were 561.
According to him, this is in addition to 903 post graduate degrees and 146 non-degree diplomas. Ogunbodede stated that the university had achieved rapid growth and development particularly in the areas of academic programmes, research, infrastructural and human resources development.
The VC described OAU as a leading institution in Engineering, which hosts the African Centre of Excellence in Software Engineering Project.
“The first iLab in Africa, South of Sahara was developed and established in OAU in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); Transcript Processing Software are also part of good success story of the university.
“The university has developed a robust entrepreneurship programme supported by the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) to improve the employability and ability of the graduates to contribute effectively to national development,” he stated.
He said the university is presently collaborating with relevant government agencies and corporate organisations to construct an airstrip that would be capable of serving as a training ground for the newly established Aeronautical Engineering Programme.
Ogunbodede, however, complained about Energising Education (8.03MW) power that suffered setbacks due to paucity of funds.
He appealed to Federal Ministry of Power and Federal Government to the project the desired priority and ensure its speedy completion.
Ogunbodede said that in spite of the modest achievements, funding had been a major challenge to the university, saying that government subvention had been grossly inadequate for its running.
He commended TETFund, the university alumni association and friends who had been of great assistance in supporting its various projects and programmes.
He pledged to prioritise modern technology in the implementation of the university’s objectives so as to take it to higher levels with the support of all stakeholders.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Ohanekwu Favour Ebuka, a student of Electronic & Electrical Engineering, Faculty of Technology, emerged as best overall student of 2018/2019 set with a 4.89 GPA and got nine prizes.
NAN further reports the Grand-Finale of the convocation will commence on Saturday.