The Vice Chancellor of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Prof. Eyitope Ogunbodede, has urged universities in Nigeria to explore and harvest resources lying fallow in the society.
The Vice Chancellor gave the urge at the 11th Anniversary Foundation Lecture of Achievers University in Owo, Ondo state which was titled: “University Education in Nigeria: Matters Arising”.
Ogunbodede said OAU was taking the lead in this direction in spreading its tentacles and extending invitation to all those who wished to sow their knowledge and experience in the development of the university system.
“It must be noted that each university must carve a niche for itself, achieving some uniqueness, if it must enjoy national and global recognition.
“In a fast changing and challenging world ruled by vision, clarity of mission and creativity, developing efficient, relevant and functional education system has become the linchpin of socioeconomic development.
“There is a retinue of skills, knowledge and experience outside the university that can be tapped,” the VC stated.
Ogunbodede also enjoined the Federal Government to include private universities in allocation of TETFUND grants, adding that the students there are also Nigerians.
He said a time would soon come when private universities would take the lead in Nigeria tertiary education as had happened in primary and secondary school education.
“Government will be caught unawares if it is not sensitive to this move. The decay that affects public primary and secondary schools is now rapidly creeping into our public tertiary institutions. This aberration should never have been allowed in the universities.
“A university is meant, among others, to generally cultivate the mental skills of both staff and students, to symbolize and maintain in the society the respect for intellectual excellence, truth, honesty, curiosity and inquisitiveness,” the VC added.
Earlier, the VC of Achievers’ University, Prof. Tunji Ibiyemi stated that the institution currently had 1,700 students with 13 professors and three readers, adding that the university had graduated eight sets of graduates, with eleven courses fully accredited while Nursing Sciences and three other courses were temporarily accredited.