Odugbemi bemoans dysfunctional state of varsities
Speaking during the public presentation of a book, “Experiences on Starting a New University in a Developing Country Setting, Nigeria –OSUSTECH,” which he authored, Odugbemi lamented that most universities were not doing enough to achieve the goals of higher education.
The book, co-edited by Taiwo Ipaye, Amos Akinwande and Adeyinka Adekalu, gives a simple account of practical experiences of starting off of a new university, and how beneficial university education could be to the individual, community, state, nation and the global community if well managed.
Odugbemi, a former vice chancellor of UNILAG, therefore charged governments and stakeholders to rethink the purpose of university education and allow it function optimally for the benefit of mankind and the society.
“Universities by their nature should be true centres for learning, teaching, research and community services. It is rather unfortunate that university education in a developing country is riddled with unpleasant and unproductive consequences because of the misunderstanding of what universities should be, by various stakeholders. The governing council/board members appointed by the government sometimes do not have a sufficient understanding of the educational system. The various communities also see universities in their locations as their personal property. There is undue and unacceptable interference by outsiders in the running of our universities,” he said.
Odugbemi continued, “It is a known fact through the ages that universities are cradles for acquiring and disseminating knowledge, especially technological and innovative ventures relevant to societal needs. We have to reconsider and rethink how to redirect and reshape our universities.”
Vice Chancellor of UNILAG, Prof. Rahaman Bello who chaired the occasion, commended Odugbemi for providing a good and relevant documentation of how to successfully establish a new and functional university.
Book reviewer and Head, Department of Education Foundation, Prof. Ngozi Osarenren, who was represented by Prof. Ifunanya Nwokoro of the Department of Regional Planning, said the 406-page book is a compendium of experiences flowing from determination, perseverance, sacrifice and painstaking efforts.