The Pro-chancellor of the University, Prof. Ahmed Modibbo ,made this known in Abuja during a retreat organised by the Governing Council of the University for principal officers,Deans , Directors and University based Unions.
Prof Modibbo while delivering a paper on the topic ; Navigating Myriad of Challenges in Managing Universities in Today’s World, said there is need to re-strategise on how to surmount day to day challenges in the university.
According to the Pro-chancellor, the University of Abuja is making every effort to partner with International Organisations,Foreign countries and overseas universities”
“Almost every week,we have one Ambassador visiting the University of Abuja ,in about three weeks consistently the Ambassadors of China,Switzerland,Netherlands have been to the University recently,they selected university of Abuja to pilot some of it collaboration they want to do with Nigerian government and the universities in the country”
The Pro-chancellor also disclosed that the government of Netherlands is establishing a diary research center in the university thereby serving the Faculties of veterinary medicine and Agriculture.
“This will enable us build our students while we also attract granted from these countries, our graduates will be empowered via this ,they will become skill inclined , entrepreneuship will be infused and they will become self reliant”
Speaking on innovative ways of attracting additional funding, the Pro Chancellor said that the University is currently getting alot of support from International Organisations and some United Nation agencies.
“We are also currently attracting endowment support from philantropists in the country and they are Willing to erect endowment buildings and centres for research ,all of these are to support funding for the university”
Responding to the increasing issue of Sexual harassment in the institution, Prof.Modibbo disclosed that the university Council has referred some cases of sexual harassment to the university disciplinary committee.
According to him, “the university has drawn a line against sexual harassment, extortion , examination malpractices and the likes ,we have so many cases of Sexual harassment at hand ,we even have cases that involved some Professors and students in the sexual harassment matters and we have resolved that the cases must be established ,investigated and addresses”.
Speaking further on the issue of grant system, Professor Modibbo stated that Nigerian Universities desire autonomy ,he called for review of the Universities activities saying autonomy without responsibility will amount to problems.
“Universities in Nigeria must review it activities and also re-examine what autonomy really is, you cannot depend on government’s funding 100percent &inturn say the government must not supervise how the university utilise the fund”
his remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Mr Sonny Echono, challenged universities in Nigeria to be more proactive in it response to funding of the institutions.
Echono challenged participants at the event not to always depend on government budget to run the university but look inward for alternative funding to keep the university going.
He further said that in the face of dwindling funding, unproductive courses not meant to be offered in our universities system need to be removed.
“ On University sustainable funding, I am of a very strong view that as long as we depend on government budget to run our university, our expectations from the budget will continue to remain a problem.
“I would prefer we go to the old tradition of bottom-up based approach on the actual need of the and that funding will be such that is determined by cost.
“ You go to the system where you determine what it takes a year for a student in a particular course of study and what it takes to produce a student over the course and every stakeholder should partake in it.
“ We should adopt a grant system that will enable the university to practice what it preaches about autonomy and it will enable the governing council to operate on the strength of their balance sheet, that way you can eliminate some very unproductive programmes from the university.
“ You don’t need to have every university in this country offering courses in certain course area where you now have more lecturers than students across our university and at the end of the day add up to the wage bill,” he said.
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