By Rotimi Akinola
For the first time in the history of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), two female students have beaten their male counterparts to occupy the first two spots on the graduation ladder.
According to the information gathered from the school’s directorate of academic affairs, Ibok Favour Asuquo, who studied Accounting and Gabtony Flora Nkeiru from Psychology, led an overall total of 91 graduating students who finished in the First Class division. It was also gathered that the best doctoral candidate is female.
Miss Asuquo finished with a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 4.89 which is a mere but decisive 0.01 more than Miss Flora’s 4.88, to clinch the top spot.
Benson Godwin, male, from the Faculty of Engineering, had a CGPA of 4.87 to emerge third best graduating students.
Our findings contradict the information given out to journalists at the pre-convocation press conference of the university a week ago by the Vice-Chancellor Prof. Rahman Bello, who said the three best graduating students were females.
The VC, who corrected the error on convocation Day One, as he changed the figure to just two best graduating students in his speech, did not apologise for the misinformation he handed out during the press conference.
First class decline
The turnover of first class graduates however declined this year, compared to last year. Out of the 6932 graduates, only 91 finished with CGPA of not less than 4.50 out of a maximum 5.0.
This is a 25.4 per cent dip as compared to last year’s figure of 122 first class students. It would also be recalled that the school produced 119 first class finishers in 2011 which was a 59 per cent increase compared to the previous year of 75 first class students.
The fall in the number of first class students in the Faculty of Engineering, which produced the best graduating students (both males) for the 2011 and 2012 convocation, might be responsible for the dip. The faculty is also notable for churning out the highest number of first class graduates.
UNILAG for ever
The VC, while addressing the golden jubilee convocation said if the presidential directive passed to him through the federal ministry of education was anything to go by, the university’s name would remain unchanged.
The professor of chemistry however noted that the university’s would only retain its name if the law establishing the institution does not undergo any change that could rename it.
UNILAG was established by an act of parliament in 1962 and for its name to be changed, the law establishing it would have to be amended.