By Usman Aliyu
The University of Benin has granted amnesty to more than 500 students who had overstayed in the university.
Prof. Lilian Salami, the Vice-Chancellor of the university announced this on Thursday in Benin in her address at the 46th and 47th combined Convocation and 51st Founders’ Day ceremonies of the institution.
Salami said the university had also carried out several academic reforms, milestones and accreditation under her watch.
Part of these feats, she said was the introduction of a method whereby certificates of granduands would be available for collection right from the day of graduation.
She said that the institution had also successfully introduced teaching methods through e-learning and physical teaching process as fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.
To achieve this, the vice-chancellor said a Directorate of Quality Assurance was established to standardise academic activities and ensure quality service delivery across all academic programmes in the university.
“At the inception of this administration, a major source of concern was gross disequilibrium in the ratio of teaching to non-teaching staff.
“The figure available put the teaching staff at 1,779 while the number of non-teaching staff was approximately 6,063.
“With the continuing embargo on employment, something drastic needed to be done to address the situation. The administration then began they process of sourcing from among non-teaching staff, qualified persons who were subsequently redeployed to teaching cadre.
“So far, over 250 of such qualified staffers have been re-deployed to academics. The administration did not stop there. As at today, over 200 adjunct lecturers have also been appointed, to bridge the gap in teaching positions,” she said.
Salami also said that the university under her administration had introduced five new programmes into the academic curriculum which are Bachelor of Arts in Music and Psychology, as well as Master of Science, Master of Philosophy and Doctor of Philosophy in Maternal and Child Health Nursing.
The postgraduate programmes, she said were funded via the Centre of Excellence in Reproductive Health Innovation (CERHI).
Meanwhile, the Chancellor of the University, Prof James Ayatse, who is the Tor Tiv in Benue, has called on tertiary institutions in Nigeria to be more innovative in tackling the enormous challenges inhibiting access to quality education.
The chancellor Noted that Nigerian universities must engage in profitable ventures, without compromising the core objectives of setting up of the institutions, to augment their dwindling subventions.
He, however, commended the vice-chancellor, members of the management team and other members of UNIBEN community for ensuring peace and stability on campus.
Speaking in the same vein, Dr Sonny Kuku, the Chairman of the Governing Council of the University advocated increased funding of education in Nigeria to achieve the desired result of producing highly skilled and competent manpower to drive the country.
Kuku identified electricity supply, constant upgrading of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure as urgently needed facilities in order to keep up with the dynamics of technological advancement.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that 17,517 students graduated for the 2018/2019 and 2019/2020 academic sessions