Also to introduce Rail Technology as course
By Joseph Erunke
ABUJA–Students of the University of Abuja will not longer graduate without passing foreign languages which are about to be introduced in the university, the Vice Chancellor,Prof. Abdul-Rasheed Na’Allah, has said.
This was as he disclosed that plans were in advanced stage to introduce what he called “Rail Technology” as a course of study in the university.
Na’Allah,while disclosing that the Senate of the University of Abuja would soon be asked to approve the foreign languages that will be introduced, insisted that they will be mandatory for students.
Speaking Tuesday,in Abuja,during a media chat with reporters covering education beat,under the aegis of Education Correspondents Association of Nigeria,ECAN,he said the initiative was aimed at making students “global citizens.”
Hear him:”We want to empower our people to be global citizens and so,we are introducing Foreign Languages and making it compulsory that the students must at least pass foreign language. The Senate will very soon be asked to approve the foreign languages,that you cannot graduate from the university if you cannot pass one foreign language.
“We want to empower this young people to become global citizen. We are introducing foreign languages and we are making this compulsory for our students. We will soon start it , so that you cannot graduate from the university if you have not passed one foreign language. Alongside that, is the strategy for our students to study abroad and anywhere; Japan, India, among others, to see what the world looks like.”
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While saying that the university will soon embark on admission campaign to states that have very few number of students in the institution to ensure that every part of the country is fully represented in the school, Prof. Na’Allah revealed that 49 out of the 50 programmes being run by University of Abuja have been accredited by the National Universities Commission,NUC,and other relevant bodies.
His words: “We have 12 faculties in the University and 50 programmes. 49 of the programmes have been accredited by NUC and other bodies,” adding that the only programme yet to record the accreditation’s feat, Library and Information Science, was commenced in the institution in 2016 and is expected to pass the hurdle in December 2019.
Speaking further, the Vice Chancellor revealed that the university had entered into an agreement with a Chinese company to begin a programme in Railway Engineering.
“We are going to begin a programme on Railway Technology, not the colonial locomotive railway. We are partnering with a Chinese company. We are going to work with NUC in the design of the syllabus,” he said.
According to the Vice Chancellor, the University of Abuja will soon work out a Memorandum of Understanding with the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) that will see to the development of programmes in Forensic Accounting and Forensic Science in collaboration with an India-based university to tackle the problem of crime in the country.
On his zero tolerance for indiscipline and sexual harassment, the VC said as the only public conventional university in the Federal Capital Territory the institution will not allow anybody to bring its image to disrepute, adding that any student or staff that engaged in any unwholesome activities will face the full wrath of the law.
Also speaking at the event, the Director of UniAbuja’s School of Advanced and Basic Remedial Studies, Prof. Abdul Buba, said the University only secured approval from Joint Universities Preliminary Examinations Board (JUPEB) a to begin the sales of forms on the programme from the 2019/2020 session and disassociated the University from the admission offered into the programme in 2018.
He said the university had already set up a committee to look into the sales of form on the JUPEC programme in 2018 without the University’s Senate approval, saying that the institution will take appropriate action on individuals that will be found wanting.
He spoke on how the university will carry out admission thus:”The issue right now is that we are looking for talents,those endowed with talents,no matter where they come from.This is a symbol of national unity, I am going to do my best to ensure that there is a spread all over Nigeria. And I am assuring this nation that the University of Abuja will constantly and always observe this spread because that is the mandate that we have.
“One of the issues that I observed in the initial stage that we have covered now is that there was predominance by some parts of Nigeria but I am going to work hard even with this admission to ensure that there is even spread, I will work all over even if it means going round all parts of Nigeria to interact at local level to encourage parents to send their children to this university, I’m going to do it.
“We have a situation where for example, you just see some states with just one,just three and some have 100 students. I am going to work to ensure that those places where there are very few so far,I encourage people from those states to come forward.
“It is exciting that JAMB,as if they know that this kind if thing can happen, devised a strategy where the students can go to their websites anytime to change universities. So I’m using this medium to call on candidates from these states where we don’t have enough students from to change to this university and we will be very happy to consider them. But they must have 180 JAMB score which is our minimum cutoff point and their completed O’Level results.
“We want to set a pace here at the University of Abuja because if anybody comes to Nigeria, and to Abuja in particular, the first public university he sees in Abuja is the University of Abuja,so we want to be playing that role very well be leading in all fields like Engineering, Medicine,in Arts,Theatre,Languages and others.
“We want to be the university that constantly mobilise this nation to 21st century. That is our goal because we must compete as a nation,because we must explore the advantages of this century to bring our students to be global citizens where they will have the resources from all over the world to develop themselves and develop their communities. That is what we are after and that’s is what we want to achieve. There is no ambiguity about this because we are part of the world.”
Speaking on the university’s entrepreneurial programme, the Vice Chancellor said: “We are working to institute a strong and powerful entrepreneurship programme which every student, no matter what are doing, where Medicine or Arts or Engineering, you must programme. One,as a requirement but we are going to go beyond the National Universities Commission, NUC’s minimum requirement to ensure that everybody did not only tale but have business-created skill before they graduate from the university. We will want them to register with the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC and practice their businesses. The summary of it is that a graduate of this university will never lack what to do,that is by the time they graduate from here,they have already known what to do.That is our goal. You create wealth,that is one fundamental thing that is going to be our charge to all every student-you create wealth.
“Our nation is too rich for anybody to be cracking their brains about what to do,we are beyond that as a nation because of what God has given us,so we want our students and out young people to know that.”