‘How to achieve excellence in faith-based institutions’
Former vice chancellor, Joseph Ayo Babalola University (JABU), Prof Sola Fajana has disclosed that in order to achieve excellence in Faith- Based Institutions (FBIs), they must carve a niche for themselves within the larger group of private universities.
Speaking at the first Distinguished Lecture of Faculty of Social and Management Sciences of Anchor University, Lagos Fajana observed that private universities are the future of education in Nigeria and must readily make the excellent tomorrow of the Nigeria University System visible today’.
With the theme: “Driving excellence in a faith-based institution: A role for all stakeholders,” the former vice chancellor said it behooves on senate and management to ensure that competent and capable hands are attracted and retained to pursue the triple mandate of knowledge generation, transmission and application.
According to him, skill building pedagogies must be adopted adding that a comprehensive plan for the generation of revenue should also be put in place including the establishment of consultancy services, agro-processing industries using the public private partnership platform.
He added that small and medium scale enterprises and alumni relations must be established.Buttressing on alumni associations, he said they could provide scholarships, buildings, laboratories, research, internship and mentoring opportunities, career fairs and counseling among others.
“The attitude of old students to a university is intricately related to his or her experience while undergoing studies in that university. ‘Thus, management and senate are expected to come up with codes of professional practice to provide an exciting school experience today to serve as a future platform to encourage support from alumni members.
Fajana noted that FBIs can also focus on establishment and consolidation of academic linkages. This, he said can be achieved by exchange of staff and postgraduate students and use of facilities for collaborative research.On the role of students, he said they must be driven by self-motivation, commitment to self-discipline, engaging in academically enriching groups and activities, selling the university brand at all times and must be active partners in progress for the university.
In his goodwill message, the institution’s vice chancellor, Prof Joseph Afolayan said driving excellence in a faith-based university requires guts. ‘It requires the courage of noble men and women of unusual conviction and resilience. The need to find men who will stand their ground and walk the talk, men who will rise through rains and storms undeterred. Next to this is the need to continuously develop our personalities to meet the challenges of the 21st century. Beyond all these, there is also a need for a system that works: a system that is capable of supporting the vision for an excellent education.’
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