By Ozioruva Aliu – Benin City
THE Vice Chancellor, University of Benin, Professor Lilian Salami Monday said the school had graduated 17,517 students in two seasons which was slowed down by the global COVID-19 pandemic and has also granted ‘amnesty’ to 500 students who had overstayed in the school for several reasons.
Briefing journalists at the Senate chamber of the University on the school’s 46th and 47th convocation ceremony and 51st Founders’ Day, Salami said a total of 282 of the students graduated with First Class in the combined sessions.
She said while 125 bagged First class in the 2018/2019 session, 157 made First Class in the 2019/2020 academic session adding that a total of 8,996 and 8,521 graduated from the two sessions respectively.
She said “The two sessions had to be compressed, even at great stress to the lecturers and students in order to ensure that the students graduated as planned and that no student lost any year. We commend the lecturers and students for enduring the strain.
“Furthermore, the cases of more than five hundred students who had overstayed in the university were looked into by the Senate and granted ‘amnesty’ to graduate them from the system.
“We have also introduced a method whereby certificates of graduands are available for collection right from the day of the convocation.
According to the Vice-Chancellor, for the both sessions under the higher degree, 361 graduated with Doctorate Degree, 2,511 Masters Degree and 556 with Postgraduate Diplomas.
Salami further disclosed that, as part of activities for the convocation, the University would be conferring Honorary Directorate Degree on Lt. General Theophilus Danjuma; Chief John Odigie-Oyegun; Dr. Natalia Kanem; Mr. Oluwakemi Pinheiro, SAN; Dr. Thomas Illube, adding that the former Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Osayuki Oshodin would be invested as Professor emeritus.
Speaking on what she referred to as disequilibrium between teaching and non-teaching staff despite the embargo on employment, her administration was able to convert over 250 staff from non-teaching to teaching staff.