A professor based in the United States, Oluwafeyisola Adegoke, has tasked Nigerian universities to refocus their teaching and research services to engender innovation and wealth creation.
It is this way, according to Mr Adegoke, that Nigerian universities could rise to meet the standards of the world-class universities going forward.
This was the highlight of a lecture – titled ‘UI @70: strategies for attaining world-class status by 2028 and beyond’ – delivered by the don as part of the ceremonies marking the 70th foundation anniversary of the University of Ibadan at the school’s Trenchard Hall last night.
“There is nobody that says our job is to teach the students every day and go home and wait till they go on strike,” he said. “Instead, we must simultaneously embrace the virtues associated with top-ranked universities.”
“We must strive to be: engines of growth, centres of innovation, excellence and agents of development and wealth creation.”
He bemoaned the state of Nigerian universities, saying they have “witnessed 50 years of basic problems without strategic plans to solve them.”.
Therefore, the don said Nigerian universities had a wide gap to cover when compared with other institutions ranked top in the world.
To address this, he stressed the need for the University of Ibadan especially to go beyond teaching and researching alone. Instead, he called for creative engagement and giving room for innovation and robust wealth creation plan.
On the paucity of funding that has always been Nigerian universities’ major challenge, he stated the need for the university to invest some time and fund in engaging all its alumni at home and abroad.
He mentioned contracts and commercialization of patents, copyrights; involvement in goal-oriented researches; commercial alliance with public and private sectors through the establishment of startup projects, technology triangles, venture capital as other means of sourcing revenues for universities.
“If we do not try to get solutions to our problems, we will remain poor,” he said.
Similarly, he said that the reform Nigerian higher educational system is due. He canvassed “selecting council members of universities on merit, strengthening UTME to attain the status of SAT, granting autonomy to Nigerian institution.”
“We need to review of our programmes,” he added.
UI is Nigeria’s premier university, established in 1948. Alongside another Nigerian school, Covenant University, Ota, UI is named among the 1250 universities in the world, according to Times Higher Education World University Ranking.
Covenant University and the University of Ibadan are ranked 601 and 800, respectively. The University of Nigeria, Nsukka, is ranked 1001.
In Africa, the three – Covenant, UI and UNN – occupy 5th, 6th and 23rd positions respectively.
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