Zaria (Kaduna State) – No fewer than 50 students would graduate with first class degree during the 40th convocation ceremony of the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) scheduled to hold on Saturday Nov. 25.

The Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof Ibrahim Garba disclosed this on Thursday while addressing a news conference held at the main campus of the university in Samaru, Zaria, Kaduna State.

The vice-chancellor said: “This year, we are graduating a total number of 8,260 undergraduates students, out of this number, 50 have made first class and these first class achievers were spread across almost all faculties.

“The university has 13 faculties at the moment which include; Administration, Agriculture, Engineering, Medicine, Life Sciences, Arts, Social Sciences, Education, Law, Veterinary Medicine and Environmental Design, among others.

“The university had continued to move more and more into a postgraduate university.

‘‘Our postgraduate population has been increasing, so also the graduands, so this year we are graduating 3,600 postgraduates,” he said.

Giving the breakdown, Garba said, 256 Ph.Ds and 2,300 masters degree would be conferred with their degrees.

He recalled that in the past the institution hardly graduate five Ph.Ds in just one year.

This, according to him, showed that people were actually studying into higher degrees in Nigeria.

“The numbers are so huge that we hardly can afford to accommodate all the applicants for higher degrees, because every given year, we receive nothing less than 12,000 applications for higher degrees annually.

“But our carrying capacity cannot allow us take, maximum is 3,000. So, at any one time you have close to about 10,000 postgraduate students studying in the university,” he said.

He said in the course of the year, the university had recorded some achievements and continued to develop the system being the largest university in West Africa.

According to him, ABU has the largest carrying capacity, largest diversity and it remained the most sourced university in view of the fact that people still prefer to come to the university as matter of choice.

“Given our resources and provision by government, our carrying capacity will not allow us to take all the candidates that applied, that is why it has become incumbent on us to open up the space more in any innovative way.

“This will pave way for more people to meet their aspirations of taking ABU degrees, so, what we have is to increase our affiliation with tertiary institution.

‘‘Now many Colleges of Education particularly in the north are taking their degrees from ABU through affiliation.

“So all these Federal Colleges of Education in Zaria, Kano, Zink, Taraba State, Sokoto, Kwara and Kontagora in Niger State, among others have affiliations with ABU to run degree programmes,” he added. (NAN)

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