CONVOCATION SPEECHES :DAY 1: MONDAY, 15 NOVEMBER, 2021

ADDRESS BY THE VICE-CHANCELLOR, PROFESSOR K.O. ADEBOWALE, mni, FAS, AT THE CONGREGATION FOR THE AWARD OF CERTIFICATES, DIPLOMAS AND ADMISSION INTO FIRST DEGREES OF THE UNIVERSITY OF IBADAN ON MONDAY, 15 NOV., 2021.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Administration

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic

Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research, Innovation and Strategic Partnerships

Registrar

Bursar

University Librarian

Provosts of the College of Medicine and of the Postgraduate College

Deans of Faculties, and of Students

Directors of Institutes and Centres

Heads of Departments

Members of Senate

Members of Congregation

President and members of the University of Ibadan Alumni Association

Members of the Students’ Representative Council

Honoured Graduands

Parents and Guardians of our Graduands

Gentlemen of the Press

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen

Chairman and members of the Governing Council

My Lords Spiritual and Temporal

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen

It is with great pleasure that I welcome you all to the University of Ibadan, on this special occasion of the first day of the 73rd Convocation and Graduation Ceremonies.

I want to specially welcome our guests and well-wishers to this great occasion, and to congratulate especially the proud parents and guardians of our graduands, who have come to share the joy of today with their children and wards. I welcome very specially all the academic and non-teaching staff that God has used to nurture our graduands while on campus, and at one point or the other.

For more than half of the people here, today is a day of remarkable firsts. For some in the audience, it is their first time of being a university graduand; for others, it is their first time of being the parent or guardian to a university graduand. For yet others, it is their first time in this historic Hall, and on this campus where great women and men have trod. For me, it is indeed a remarkable first: it is my first time of addressing a convocation ceremony as the Vice Chancellor.

Like Janus, firsts are two-faced: they confront us with the limitlessness of our hope and the sobriety of our humanity. So, as we stand here today we must savour the taste of success that we all share but must remain alert to the challenges ahead.

Our graduands today deserve double congratulations. Graduating from a university is an arduous task that ordinarily calls for felicitations. Graduating at a time like this makes it doubly so. Ours is a world struggling to overcome the chokehold of multiple viruses: the novel Corona virus COVID-19 is only one of them. More lethal viruses that pose threats to our world and civilizations include violence, insecurity, sheer phobia, and economic downturn. If, in spite of these multiple viral attacks, our graduands have all made it to this mileage in their journey, they indeed deserve double congratulations. They have individually applied themselves thoroughly to the intensive academic challenges in the last few years. They have in the process earned our hearty congratulations and warm wishes.

Dear graduands, one would readily agree that you all deserve to celebrate your success and some of you have been heard to say after this experience you would not study anymore; in fact, some say they would not read anything beyond the daily online newspapers again. It is heart-warming to note that in spite of the obvious academic challenges, you have invariably been found to be worthy both in character and learning, hence your graduation today. The University of Ibadan is truly proud of you all!

Ladies and gentlemen, after the University contended with the prolonged industrial actions, there came further disruptions in our academic calendar as a result of the outbreak and subsequent containment of the COVID-19 pandemic which led to the closure of our great institution. In view of the problems posed by the pandemic, the University opted for alternative virtual Classroom learning after the last Convocation ceremonies. However, it is cheering that despite the news of a third wave of the pandemic, the University has successfully completed another session, and our final year students for the 2018/2019 Academic Session have successfully completed their programmes.

It is important to note that Senate cancelled the 2019/2020 academic session as a result of the prolonged lockdown and industrial action. In spite of this, the University of Ibadan is ranked number one (1) in Nigeria and West Africa; seven (7) in Africa, and Top 500 in the Times Higher Education World Universities Rankings 2021. Permit me to say that the University of Ibadan is home to all. It also prides itself in its excellence. This is, indeed, a great University that all of us should be proud of!

Distinguished audience and graduands, it is heart-warming that a total of 8,474 candidates will be awarded First Degrees and Diplomas today. Some are participating physically, while most are joining virtually.

The breakdown is given in table 1.

Today, our graduands are from the Faculties of Arts, Science, Basic Medical Sciences, Clinical Sciences, Dentistry, Agriculture, The Social Sciences, Education, Renewable Natural Resources, Distance Learning Centre, the Affiliated Institutions, Veterinary Medicine, Technology, Law, and Pharmacy. These candidates will receive their First Degrees and Diplomas in various programmes.



FIRST DEGREES

PROGRAMME

1st Class Honours

2nd class Honours (Upper Division)

2nd Class Honours (Lower Division)

3rd Class Honours

Pass

Unclassified

Total

1. ARTS

34

252

244

16

1

547

2. SCIENCE

37

137

209

42

6

431

3. MEDICINE

(i) MBBS

-

-

-

-

-

113

113

(ii) BDS

-

-

-

-

-

23

23

(iv) B. (Physiotherapy)

-

13

18

-

-

-

31

(v) B.Nsc. (Nursing)

5

26

12

1

1

45

(vi) B. Sc (Biochemistry)

-

11

37

3

1

52

(vii) B. Sc (Physiology)

1

23

22

2

-

48

(viii) B. Sc. (Human Nutrition)

1

18

36

1

56

4. AGRICULTURE & FORESTRY

24

96

123

9

-

252

5. THE SOCIAL SCIENCES

9

104

53

5

1

172

6. EDUCATION

23

235

261

10

1

530

7. DISTANCE LEARNING CENTRE

25

403

1145

198

12

1,783

8. AFFILIATED INSTITUTIONS

63

721

2,365

677

69

3,895

9. VETERINARY MEDICINE (DVM)

-

-

-

-

-

79

79

10. TECHNOLOGY

43

120

135

7

-

305

11. LAW

-

1

10

3

3

17

12. PHARMACY

-

-

-

-

-

72

72

GRAND TOTAL

265

2,160

4,670

974

95

287

8,451

SUMMARY

1st Degree: 8,451

Diploma 23

TOTAL 8,474

A further breakdown of the graduating list shows that 3.5% and 27.3% of our students finished with First Class and Second Class Upper (Division) Honours, respectively.

These outcomes are noteworthy, showing a lot more significant improvement in the academic performance of our graduating students.

Table 2. Analysis of Degree of the 2018/2019 First Degree Guardians

at the University of Ibadan

Class of Degree

Number of Candidates

Proportion of the Total (%)

First Class

265

3.1

Second Class Upper

2,160

25.5

Second Class Lower

4,670

55.1

Third Class

974

11.5

Pass

95

1.1

Sub-Total

8,451

100

Unclassified

287

Grand Total

8,474

It is therefore with pleasure that I report that these graduands, who are being awarded the various Diplomas, and Degrees of this University, have kept to the Oath to which they subscribed during their Matriculation.

My Charge

I charge you to be creative, be courageous, enterprising and technologically savvy. Acquire employability and professional skills in addition to your educational prowess. Do not be afraid but be focused and, determined and, success is yours.

I leave you with the quote by Nora Ephron,

“Your education is a dress rehearsal for a life that is yours to lead”.

Distinguished graduands, without intending to dampen the spirit of this season, I must return to that two-faced nature of firsts. Life will throw challenges and punches; life will fling lemons at you where you prefer sweet oranges. When that happens, remember that the University of Ibadan is a spring-board, and graduation is a call to greater challenges and aspirations in life. Do not allow any problem to overwhelm you. As it is said, when life throws lemons at you, make lemonade out of them. When life forces you into its wresting ring, remember the words of Edmund Burke:

“He that wrestles with us strengthens our nerves and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper”.

Distinguished Ladies and gentlemen, it is my pleasure to inform you that members our academic staff and students continue to make commendable strides for their unrelenting contribution to knowledge in their various fields. Time and space will permit me to report only a few of these accomplishments:

Ø The Department of Communication and Language Arts won this year’s Future Creative Leaders Academy, Pitcher Festival Competition in May, 2021. It is cheering to note that three (3) undergraduate students in the same Department: Goodness Okusanya, emerged as the overall winner of the Future Creative Leaders Academy Competition, winning a Gold medal; Theodore Ogedengbe came second with a Silver medal while Niniola Olobayo came third winning the Bronze medal. It is worthy of note also that, Dr Bisi Olawuyi won the Lecturer of the year Award while the University of Ibadan won the University/Institution of Year Award. These Awards attracted various prizes which had been communicated to the winners.

Ø The Faculty of Law produced the First Overall Best in Written Submissions and Semi-Finalist in John H. Jackson Moot Court Competition (Africa Round), held in Nairobi, Kenya in 2021. This implied that it produced the First-ever Nigerian Team to qualify to the World Round of the John H. Jackson Moot Court Competition to be held in Geneva, by the end of the year.

Also, a 300 level Law student, 20-year old, Oyinkansola Siminsola Komolafe emerged the overall best student among the eighteen successful students of the National Intellectual Property essay competition. One hundred and sixty-seven (167) entries were received from tertiary institution across the country. Among others, a cash prize of N300,00.00 was attached to the award.

Ø The Department of Aquaculture and Fisheries Management in the Faculty of Renewable Natural Resources was approved as the African Centre of Excellence in Aquaculture and Inland Fisheries at the Extra-ordinary Session of African Union in January, 2020.

Ø Many Departments in the University also won numerous grants both local and international within the past one year.

Ø Programmes within the Faculty of Public Health have gained international recognition while many have attracted international linkages and partnerships.

Ø There has been an increase in the undergraduate admission into various courses at the Faculty of Environmental Design and Management.

Ø Mr. Benjamin Ajayi, who is currently a 200 Level Student won the Professor Matthew Scott Emuakpor Award, as the Best 100 Level Student at the Department of Microbiology for 2018/2019 Academic Session.

Ø A group of students from the Department of Biomedical Laboratory Science (BLS) formed themselves into a group of young student researchers and named the group “Ibadan Bacteriophage Research Team (IBRT)”. The group presented their discoveries at the 7th Unibadan Conference on Biomedical Research held between 13 and 18 September, 2021. That laudable act uplifted the image of that Department.

Closing Remarks

I felicitate once again with you all our graduands on your academic attainment. I also felicitate with all parents, guardians, relations and teachers for your support, for your words and this joyous occasion.

As you go into the world of the unknown, my special appeal to you is to be good ambassadors of this University and of God. His infinite mercies will continue to be with you in all your future endeavours.

You bear the U.I torch so; let it shine across the world. The worth of a university degree is not in the number of years spent to acquire it; neither is it in the amount of industry or hard work that was expended while one was a student. The name and reputation of a university may matter but these do not singularly decide the worth of its degree. The worth of a university degree is in the industry, learning and character that the holder of that degree displays on a daily basis from the moment of obtaining the degree. You now have the degree of the University of Ibadan; now go forth to prove its worth in you daily display of learning and character.

Finally, as you move on from here, do not forget to give back to your alma mater as the Lord gives you grace.

I wish you journey mercies back to your various destinations.

Thank you and God bless you.

Professor K.O. Adebowale, mni, FAS

13th Vice-Chancellor

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