By Mary Obaebor

Vice Chancellor, Augustine University, Ilara-Epe, Prof. Christopher Odetunde, has advised that Nigerian universities should focus more on areas where they have comparative advantage than trying to be masters of all trades.

He said doing so would also make them to be renowned globally for being masters in those areas.

He stated this while briefing newsmen on activities lined up to mark the third convocation ceremony of the university.

He recalled that some years back, Nigerian universities had core areas people knew them to excel.

“In those days, when people mentioned the University of Ibadan, Medicine would come to the mind. The University of Lagos was reputed for Engineering, Ahmadu Bello University for Architecture and the then University of Ife for Pharmacy among others. This did not mean they were not doing well in other areas too, but one should be known for something,” he said.

Odetunde gave the analogy in response to the call by some people that some universities in the country be designated for postgraduate studies only.

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But to the VC, performance measurements differ from one varsity to the other and subtly compelling people to attend some universities for postgraduate studies could be counterproductive.

On the recent announcement by the Federal Government that it would be paying bursary and teaching allowance to education students in public tertiary institutions, he said the policy should be extended to students in private universties too.

This is just as he also called for the extension of the intervention activities of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund, TETFund, to private schools.

According to him, “both public and private institutions are producing graduates for our country and even the world at large. The quality of the graduates would show where they work. Also, all of us contribute to the purse from which the funds to execute these things are drawn.

“TETFund should support everybody. The recent gestures by the government regarding teaching allowance and bursary for education students should also not be limited to public schools. We are all Nigerians and deserve to be adequately taken care of.”

On the activities in his university, he said, “AUI commenced operation with 13 programmes across nine departments and got approval from the National Universities Commission, NUC, to run additional seven programmes in 2021.

“The programmes are Mass Communication and Political science in the Faculty of Humanities, Management and Social Sciences. Biotechnology, Fisheries and Aquaculture , Cyber Security, Information Technology and Software Engineering in the Faculty of Science,” he stated.

As part of the ceremony, a Nigerian in the Diaspora, Edward Okpa, would deliver the convocation lecture and 45 students are going to bag degrees in various fields.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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