Wole Balogun, Ado-Ekiti
Faculty of Sciences, Federal University Oye-Ekiti (FUOYE), has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), with Vaal University of Technology (VUT), South Africa, to enhance research, exchange of academic programmes and capacity building among staff and students of both institutions.
The development was the concluding phase of the 2019 FUOYE International Science Conference, organised by the faculty with the theme: “Innovation and Advancement in Nanonscience and Nanotechnology.” Lead papers were delivered by Prof. Elizer Bobby Naidoo of VUT and Dr. Adekunle Adeyemi, Department of Mechatronics, FUOYE.
Naidoo delivered a lecture entitled: “Nanoscience: Application and Techniques.” He decried that industrial activities have led to a continuous shrinking of clean water, signalling a gradual extinction of the human race if not checked. He posited the application of nanoscience as elixir to the environmental challenge.
Adeyemi’s lecture was: “Advancement in Technology in the New Millennium: Mechatronics’ Stand at a Glance.” He dwelled on the achievements of mechatronics and particularly the various research breakthroughs in the field that fetched garlands for FUOYE in national and international academic competitions.
FUOYE’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof Kayode Shoremekun, promised to extend the collaboration with the MoU to other faculties and programmes to ensure widespread enhancement of human capacity among the staff and students of the institution.
Represented by both Professors Rasaki Ojo Bakare, Dean, Postgraduate Studies and Babatope Alabadan, Dean, Faculty of Engineering, the VC said: “The signing of the MoU is an eye opener and our university is going bigger and wider: collaborating with a bigger university in South Africa is a welcome development. It will not only be useful in Faculty of Sciences but it will affect the whole university. It will soon be expanded to cover all other programmes in the university.”
Naidoo said: “The FUOYE environment looks nice with a lot of green around you. What I have observed is that you have problems with energy because your power goes off very often. But I know that you have huge natural vegetation, which can be harnessed to produce alternative energy and water preservation.
“The MoU will enable us to be exchanging both staff and students in research works in academic programmes such as water treatment, alternative energy, biotechnology and for FUOYE staff to obtain higher qualifications from VUT. That is the resources we have in our university, which FUOYE does not have. We will also learn from your cultures.
“There will be widespread of knowledge that FUOYE will be getting from our university using the facilities that we have which FUOYE does not have. The way we teach and the way FUOYE teaches, we will learn from each other. This will support the idea of broadening our spectrum within ourselves as Africans rather than going abroad for such.”
Dean, Faculty of Sciences, Prof Olayide Lawal, spoke about the MoU: “The major objective of this collaboration is to extend our research tentacles to other universities, this time, with VUT. It is a university that has very a strong reputation in terms of research. We are targeting opportunities for exchange of students and staff and making our students to go there for research works.
“We are of the opinion that once this happens, there will be transfer of knowledge for enhanced productivity. It is going to be a win-win situation. The benefit will be to enhance human capacity in the sense that we know that here the learning facilities are not so available for research but over there they have huge facilities for research. Where we are deficient, we can send our samples for analysis or go over there to do the analysis. We are also trying to see the opportunity of publishing together if the research involves both universities.
“That we should support sharing knowledge within Africa is a very good position. The advantage is that there are certain problems that are peculiar to Africa and which may not be within the knowledge of the western world. But because we are co-African countries, we understand ourselves. Also, it will be easier to apply for visa to travel to South Africa than traveling to Europe or other western world.
“There is an aspect of research that is very crucial. It is the dissemination of research findings, if such findings are not properly disseminated, it adds no value to the society. We organise conferences to showcase these findings and share them with other scholars from other universities to establish a synergy to facilitate further research.
“It is a kind of human capacity enhancement, it provides the opportunity for younger ones to see how the senior academics present their papers. We also are using this forum to showcase a lot of research breakthroughs that are happening in FUOYE particularly, in the faculty of sciences. Our university is a fast growing one and we have a lot to promote this university.”