At the matriculation ceremony for the newly admitted students on Monday, authorities of the Obafemi Awolowo University revealed that a total of 6,650 students were admitted for the 2018/2019 session.
This figure shows a reduction in the number of students admitted in comparison to previous sessions.
In the 2015/2016 and 2016/2017 academic sessions, the school reportedly admitted 7,500 students. This figure rose in the 2017/2018 academic year when the university received 8,158 new students.
In an interview with CAMPUS REPORTER the school’s spokesperson, Abiodun Olanrewaju, attributed the reduction in the number of admissions this year to the university’s loss of accreditation for some courses in the last admission year.
Earlier, PREMIUM TIMES reported on how Law, Dentistry, Medical Rehabilitation, Fine and Applied Arts, Family Nutrition and Consumer Sciences, as well as the Botany programmes, were disaccredited by the National University Commission (NUC).
As a result of this, admission into those departments was suspended for the current session while the Joint Admission Matriculation Board (JAMB) advised affected applicants to either change their courses or choice of institution.
“If you had added the numerical strength in those faculties (for example in Law), that would add up to the original figure. That explains the rationale behind the reduction,” Mr Olanrewaju said.
New students demand better welfare
Fresh students who spoke with Campus Reporter on Monday, clamoured for improved welfare in the university.
In 2018, PREMIUM TIMES published a report on the university’s penchant for admitting more students despite its limited resources and facilities.
The lecture theatres and hostels cannot accommodate the number of students in the institution and the need for more infrastructure has been a major source of contention between students and school management.
A student of the Dramatic Arts Department, Theophilus Adeyemi, emphasised the need for the school to upgrade its accommodation facilities.
“For the past three days now, water has not been supplied to the halls of residence and today is our Matric day.”
Another student, Busola Oladele, stressed the need for more halls of residence to lessen the transportation and security challenges associated with living outside the school.
“From my house to class, most times, I spend over thirty minutes just to get to campus. I applied for bed space but I could not get one.”
“We need more lecture theatres too. Our Math class is always rowdy,” she added.
Also on the need for expanding the infrastructure and facilities in the university, the coordinator for Education Right Campaign, ERC, Olowolafe Samuel, stated that: “A larger bulk of the hostels and lecture theatres we have today were constructed during the early days of the university and they were aimed at adequately catering for the admitted number of students then. But, it is so sad that the admission quota has significantly increased over the decades with no corresponding increase in infrastructure and facilities.”
Reacting to the outcry for an upgrade of infrastructures and other welfare issues, the spokesperson said the school is working towards providing their demands.
“We have 1,000 capacity lecture theatres and we have several five hundred. Some students sit on the floor for lectures because of broken furniture.”
“There are plans to renovate the lecture theatres by the school management,” Mr Olanrewaju asserted.
Echoing this, in the address obtained by CAMPUS REPORTER, the Vice-Chancellor, Eyitope Ogunbodede, promised that issues affecting students such as accommodation and other essentials will be addressed.
Despite mentioning the paucity of funds, Mr Ogunbodede said: “The university management is partnering with investors to increase the current student’s accommodation by an additional 10,000-bed space within the next one year.”
“The university is also procuring three 30-seater buses to alleviate the challenges of student transportation.”
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