‘We are committed to making quality education accessible to many’
Prof. Adewumi Babatunde Idowu is the Vice Chancellor, of Glorious Vision University (GVU), Ogwa, Edo State. In this interview with MICHAEL EGBEJULE, he spoke on the milestone of the institution founded by the Apostolic Church Nigeria, LAWNA Territory, with a vision to provide quality and affordable education for all. Excerpts:
This institution was formerly Samuel Adegboyega University, what informed the change of name?
YOU may have read in the papers that the university’s name was changed to Glorious Vision University in June 2022. The change was necessitated by the burning desire of the proprietors, The Apostolic Church Nigeria, LAWNA Territory, to go back to the name that was divinely given to the Church through prophecy in 2005.
However, owing to some administrative red tape, the University was registered and licenced as Samuel Adegboyega University on March 7, 2011, as the 45th private University and 117 overall in the Nigerian University system.
Is the vision to change the University Name From SAU To GVU divinely inspired?
I did mention the desire of the proprietor of the University to change the institution’s name from Samuel Adegboyega University to Glorious Vision University. I am glad to announce to you that the National Universities Commission has granted our request to change the name.
Worthy of note is that the change of name is not necessitated by any contention but borne out of the desire of the proprietor who had always wanted the institution to be so named in line with the prophecy that birthed the University.
The founders established this faith-based institution 11 years ago, what is the vision and mission?
Since the first NUC accreditation in November 2014, all the programmes of the University have continued to enjoy full accreditation status till date. Happily, the National Universities Commission (NUC) 2021 announced Glorious Vision University among the top 48 universities in Nigeria and among the best 23 private universities in the country.
We have taken concrete steps to do better in the next ranking. We have also had six consecutive and two special convocations since inception. To the Glory of God, we just had our 8th convocation ceremony.
Could you share with us some milestones recorded by this university under your watch?
Since its inception, GVU has produced six sets of graduates with a total number of 670 undergraduates, 8 postgraduates and 9 Honorary Doctoral Certificates. And by the grace of God, this year, we are producing 101 with seven (7) graduating with First Class honours, thirty –Three (33) with Second Class (Upper Division), forty – Six (46) with Second Class (Lower Division), seven (7) with 3rd Class and Four (4) Postgraduate.
One of the uniqueness of the 2022 graduating class is the set of twins from the Olude family, both graduating today with First Class Honour. Taiwo Abigail Olude emerges as the best graduating student from Economics Department and Kehinde Mary Olude also emerges as the second-best student from the Department of Chemical Sciences.
What incentives do you have for students seeking admission into GVU?
I will say the introduction of 100 per cent and 50 per cent Tuition Rebate Programmes. In our commitment to offering the best, the University proprietor, TAC, LAWNA Territory, in its quest to make quality education accessible to many and in line with the founding fathers, has approved a 100 per cent tuition fee for B.A. Religious Studies and B.A Philosophy and 50 per cent tuition free for B.Sc. Mathematics, B.Sc. Physics and B.Sc. Statistics is effective from the 2021/2022 academic session.
Parents, children and wards are therefore encouraged to take advantage of this unique opportunity to develop themselves in their chosen careers.
Do you have academic programmes that are unique to the university?
It gladdens my heart to announce to you that an application has been made to the NUC to approve the commencement of PhD in all the programmes in the three Colleges that have produced Master’s Degree graduates.
The University awaits NUC’s approval after the verification visit for the programme to fully commence.
The University, through the Centre for Research and Development of Esan land (CERDEL), has commenced Certificate and Diploma programmes in Esan Language. We realised that the Esan Language is one of the languages that may go into extinction if drastic actions are not taken to sustain it.
As such, the university has drawn up curricula to help in the development and teaching of the language to both children at home and in the diaspora through virtual learning.
Any groundbreaking records you wish to share?
Toward the end of 2021, the NUC released the ranking of Nigerian Universities. It is a thing of joy to announce to you that our University scored 94.52 among the universities with the highest score, emerging no 48 in the overall Nigerian Universities and 23 among Private Universities.
Among the 13 indicators that were analysed, which include universities with full accreditation, percentage of programmes, and knowledge economy, among the private Universities in the South–South, our university came first.
How’s your relationship with the host community?
The relationship between the university and our host community, Ogwa, is very cordial. The University and its staff enjoy peaceful coexistence with the community, as most of the staff members reside in the peaceful community. All thanks to the Onogie of Ogwa, HRH, Zaiki Victor Agbonmere Ehizogie II, (JP) for his fatherly role and counsel.
Over the years, management has engaged in some community social responsibility projects as a corporate organisation. These include the extension of borehole water to the community by locating fetching points directly in front of the university gate; the Employment of qualified indigenes when there are vacancies; Yearly scholarship through payment of WAEC Fees for 20 candidates from Ogwa Grammar School, the host community Secondary School; Participation in the social and cultural activities of the community like the Ikhuen Festival when invited.
Is the university undertaking any Corporate Social Responsibility project?
For the past five years, through the Mass Communication Department, we’ve been embarking on what we call the Uniform a child project. Over the years, the university has bought uniforms, school sandals and stockings for over 1200 students. This year, the gesture was taken beyond the host community to include other neigbouring communities. This action has further strengthened the cordial relationship between the communities and the University.
Worthy of note also is the fact that the university has also taken this relationship to the palaces, as we actively participate in the festivals and anniversaries of the kings in Esan land whenever we are invited.
Let’s talk about your Alumnus, how do you track their development in the labour market?
As stated above, we have graduated close to one thousand students over the years. The reports from the field, as we keep track of our graduates, show that our alumni have been great ambassadors of the University. We have many of them who have proven themselves to be great and proud products of this great University. Some of them are employers of labour, while others are amazing employees of many firms.
Do you run any partnership programme currently?
It has been the idea of the founding fathers to graduate our students with three (3) Certificates; certificates in the chosen profession, entrepreneurship and IT. In line with this, the University entered into a partnership with New Horizon, the foremost IT training and Certification organisation in Nigeria, with the aim of developing professional competence in the area of ICT for our students, and preparing them for international certification. This partnership is still running, and mandatory for all our students.
This has put Glorious Vision University as one of the Big 17 Universities in Nigeria that have joined the 4th Industrial Revolution League. This training has also been extended to the University staff to further boost their capacity and increase productivity.
Where do you see the institution in another decade?
Gloriouss Vision University has remained undaunted, striving to become a world-class university as envisioned by our founding fathers the past 11 years. Despite the lean finances at our disposal, GVU by the grace of God, though not there yet, has made tremendous progress in the realisation of this laudable dream of becoming a top-choice university in the country.