Paucity of funds killing ESUT’s dreams, VC laments
THE Vice Chancellor of the Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT), Professor Cyprian Onyeji, has called on friends, eminent sons and daughters of Enugu State to rally round the institution and support it financially in order for it to attain academic excellence, a goal it has set for itself.
At a pre-convocation press conference held at the school’s auditorium at Agbani Enugu, Onyeji commended the state government in terms of funding, but said, “We are not yet close to where we ought to be financially. We appreciate that government alone cannot efficiently fund tertiary education and on our part, we shall continue to strive to increase our internally generated revenue.”
Onyeji therefore appealed to “friends of the university, alumni, eminent sons and daughters of the state, philanthropic Nigerians, corporate bodies and the private sector to come to the support of the university.”
Despite what the vice chancellor described as the “remarkable improvements on the overall state of the university since the last convocation,” he admitted that the school was still facing challenges in the areas of physical infrastructures, funding and inadequate support services.
According to him, “infrastructure wise, ESUT is a ‘work-in-progress,’ it now requires another massive funding to kick-start those projects not yet embarked upon.”
On preparations for the 16th convocation ceremony of the school slated for March 21, which was threatened by an ultimatum by the four campus unions – the Academic Staff Union of Universities, (ASUU), Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, (SSANU), National Association of Academic Technologists, (NAATS), and the Non Academic Staff Union of Universities, (NASUU) – the vice chancellor assured the graduating students that the exercise would take place as planned in spite the plans by the unions to disrupt the event.
He commended “the generality of our staff for their demonstration of general resolve towards ensuring peace, industrial harmony, progress and development of the university.”
He said that the ultimatum of the unions to boycott the convocation if the liquidation of 29 months arrears of monetisation was not effected had been resolved.
At a pre-convocation press conference, Onyeji announced that the institution would award degrees to 11,458 graduands, made up of First Degrees, Post Graduate Diplomas, Masters and Ph.D Certificates for 2011/2012 and 2012/2013 academic sessions.
According to the vice chancellor, 10, 920 graduands would receive first degrees, 109 postgraduate certificates while 15 persons would be awarded Doctors of Philosophy (PhD) certificates of the institution.
He disclosed that the institution’s “high academic standards in pursuit of excellence was paying off as only two graduates are passing out with First Class degrees. I believe that the higher the standards, the more difficult it will be to pass out with first class. We have 1, 257 passing out with Second Class Upper degree while 7,426 will graduate with Second Class Lower certificates, 2, 123 with third class and 64 with ordinary pass. We have 48 graduands that had unclassified degrees.”
Meanwhile, the university will confer its honourary doctorate degree in Public Administration and Business Administration on Sir. David Ogbodo, Mr. Nicholas Okoye, Ambassador Adamu Aliyu and Mrs. Ukamaka Anthonia Okoye. Mrs Okoye will be the first female to be so honoured by the institution since its inception.
Taking stock of the university, the vice chancellor reechoed a pledge he made during the 15th convocation ceremony, assuring on the determination of the administration to regularise the university calendar and secure it to commence “in September/ October and end in June/July the following year. I am happy that with the collaborative effort of the staff and non academic staff we have achieved that goal.”
Meanwhile, Onyeji disclosed that the university had introduced dress code in the school with a view to checking indecent dressing on campus.
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