The Registrar

The Bursar

The University Librarian

Provosts of the College of Medicine and of 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

I am greatly delighted to welcome you all to the second day of the three-day graduation ceremonies of the University of Ibadan for admission to higher degrees of Master and Master of Philosophy. I am most delighted to distinctly welcome parents and guardians, guests, well-wishers and the University Alumni to this occasion.

To say this is a remarkable event in the lives of the graduands is to say the obvious. Permit me to be a bit historical about this. The first Degree or rank of Master was conferred about 800 years ago in Europe, specifically University of Toulouse. At that time it was a token designed to show that the awardee (or the graduand) had fully and totally mastered their discipline. It meant, for the larger part, that there were no questions or arguments in their discipline which the awardee could not remarkably tackle or even resolve. It also meant that being a Master or Magister (as it was originally called) the awardee was qualified to teach their others in the university.

Therefore, as we sit here today, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, we are not just about to confer a very important degree on the graduands, we are also about to make a public statement, a clear attestation to their quality, competence, and worth in learning and character. We are saying to the world: each of these ones has mastered their discipline and now sit magisterially on top of it. We are telling the world that these ones are fit and ready to teach, that is, to shine the torch of knowledge and illumination, on the paths of others.

The confidence with which we make this statement arises from the quality of the postgraduate training that these graduands have been through. The Postgraduate College of the University of Ibadan has consistently maintained an unparalleled level of excellence in postgraduate education and research in Nigeria and beyond. Led by a team of excellent academic administrators, the College has maintained that delicate balance between quantity and quality. Thus, we graduate the highest number of the best crop of academic manpower in Nigeria and indeed in West Africa. Part of the testimony to this is the rising number of applications for postgraduate admission that we continue to receive from different parts of Africa. Another part of the testimony is the performance of our students and graduands. It is hard to count the number and frequency with which our Master’s degree graduates write to inform us of the fully funded PhD admissions they obtain in top-level and ivy-league universities.

In fact, just as tomorrow’s lion distinguishes itself as today’s cub, many of them begin to distinguish themselves internationally while still on the Master’s programme. Recently, a colleague informed me of a Master’s degree student who won a fairly big UN agency research grant. Another told me of a Master’s student that just published an article in a high-impact journal. Such events, important and remarkable as they might be, have become rather regular occurrences in the University of Ibadan. For this, we must congratulate the Postgraduate College and our college of postgraduate teachers and mentors. Excellence begins with a careful and meticulous admission process, followed by conscientious teaching, mentoring and assessment. Besides admission, the Postgraduate College has continued to support teaching and learning in many ways especially through seminars and workshops. Going beyond just the academe, the Postgraduate College has also continued to organize a series of interdisciplinary discourse on the broad theme of “Education and National Development”. All of these are meant to make our products harbingers of light and ushers positive change wherever they go. With these graduands going out, we know that for Africa, the future will surpass the present in glory and honour.

At this juncture, I wish to reiterate that the vision of the University is anchored on the pursuit of the national goals of development through knowledge creation and dissemination, with a view to promoting national transformation. Our relentless pursuit of this vision is reflected in our commitment to the continuous development of teaching, learning and research programmes that would provide the requisite skills for internalizing the development process, and serve as a catalyst for the political, social and economic development of the nation and the continent.

Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, yesterday, the 2021 undergraduate convocation had a total number of 7,827 graduands from the various Faculties. This morning, a total number of 4,147 candidates, whom I call change agents, are graduating with higher degrees from the various faculties as follow:

Master of Philosophy: 20;

Academic Master: 3,567;

Professional Master: 489;

Postgraduate Diplomas: 71.

Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, let me at this juncture, commend some of our members of staff and students who have distinguished themselves in various ways on both the local and international scenes. Space and time would permit the mention of only a few of these:

Ø The Department of Geology hosted, from March, 16 – 18, the 59th Annual International Conference and Exhibition of the Nigerian Mining and Geoscience Society. The hybrid conference which was the first of its kind in the Society’s 60 years history, attracted over 1200 participants both physically and virtually globally.

Ø Professor M. N. Tijani of the Department of Geology was elected as President, Nigerian Association of Engineering Geology and the Environment. Dr. Akinade Olatunji was elected as Vice President of the Nigerian Mining and Geosciences Society and Dr. I. A. Oyediran was elected a non-executive member of the Nigerian Mining and Geosciences Society.

Ø The Dean, Faculty of Multidisciplinary Studies, Professor Isaac Albert was also appointed a member of the Advisory Board for the Migration, Urbanization and Conflict in Africa (MUCAN) Research Project supported by the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and the African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA) with a budget of two million Pounds for a period of three years (2021 - 2023). The multi-stakeholders project, which has since taken off, is domiciled at the Institute for Peace and Security Studies, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia.

Ø Professor Tajudeen Akanji, the Head, Department of Peace, Security and Humanitarian Studies in collaboration with Dr Margaret Ebubedike of the Open University, London won an award of the Academy of Medical Sciences Global Challenges Research Fund Networking Grant Scheme to work on “A ‘hidden’ crisis-in-crises: a transformative agenda for ‘Boko-haram and education’ in the countries of the Lake-Chad region through visual narratives”. On the Nigerian side, the grant provides Prof. Akanji a valuable opportunity to develop international collaborations and establish long-term sustainable research links in Niger, Chad and Cameroun.

Ø Professor O. A. Fakolujo, the Dean, Faculty of Technology, has been elected a Fellow, the Nigerian Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineering (FNIEEE). Also, Dr. N. A. Adewole, Head, Department of Wood Products Engineering was recognized as a Fellow of the Forestry Association of Nigeria (FFAN) in November, 2020.

Ø Emeritus Professor Olufemi Bamiro and Professor E. A, Ajav both of the Faculty of Technology were recently appointed to the Board of Technical Institution under the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI). While Emeritus Professor Bamiro FNSE was appointed Chairman, Prototype Engineering Development Institute (PEDI) Ilesa, Osun State, Professor Ajav was appointed as a Board Member, Advanced Manufacturing Development Technology Institute (AMTDI), Jalingo, Taraba State.

Ø Three (3) of our students in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering emerged first in the Cloud and Network Examination at the 2020 Huawei ICT Competition. The team defeated over 150,000 other students who participated in the competition.

Ladies and gentlemen, I like to express deep appreciation on behalf of the University to all our numerous benefactors in the outgoing year. These are already listed separately in the order of proceedings. We pray that God will continue to bless your endeavours and multiply your resources!

Convocation Lecture:

Later Today, we will have a convocation lecture that would be delivered by Aare Afe Babalola, SAN,.

My Charge

Distinguished graduands, once again, I heartily congratulate you for coming through that crucible called University of Ibadan Master’s Programme. You are now Masters: scholars who possess a masterly command of their discipline. But I ask you: what have you mastered? What really are you Master of? 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 Master of the University of Ibadan; go forth to prove its worth in your daily display of learning and character.

From this point on, you now carry a burden of history, a heavy and sacrosanct burden that is seventy years old: everywhere you turn, you hear quiet whispers or loud calls saying: if it is from the University of Ibadan, it is certainly of the best quality. Therefore, upon you is placed the charge, today, to live up to that expectation and defend that reputation in word and action.

Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, may God Almighty grant you all journey mercies back to your various destinations.

Thank you for your attention.

Professor K.O. Adebowale, FAS


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