Efforts are currently apace at the the University of Lagos to pool resources in support of local schools through remediation and preparatory classes for kids studying for their examinations, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Kola Ogundipe, said on Thursday.
Mr. Ogundipe, a professor of botany, made this know in Abuja when he paid a courtesy visit to the head office of Premium Times, where he also proposed that Nigerian universities need to face the urgent challenge of social relevance if they will help turn the fortunes of the society towards positive end.
“Our university system has focused disproportionately on the teaching arm of of its three-pronged educational approach at the expense of research and community service; and the time has come for balancing all three approaches” Mr. Ogundipe said.
At the University of Lagos, the vice chancellor explained that aside from current efforts to support local schools, there are also ongoing efforts to swell the pot of funds that will back proper research, “which is at the heart of the most important work of developing any society that has an eye to the future.”
The professor, who took office in October 2017, spoke of the University of Lagos as “a major brand that my team and I are moving towards this new balanced approach to tertiary education.”
He believes it is only appropriate for the University of Lagos, “highly regarded as the University of first choice in the country” to be orchestrating change in the tertiary education system. According to him, while there are admittedly bottle necks in the financing and by extension effective administration of tertiary institutions, the university can innovate around its core approaches to generate funds to further advance its cause.
As part of the leadership-by-example approach of the University of Lagos and the drive to re-energise and reinforce the UNILAG brand, the vice chancellor is instituting a leadership training program for senior lecturers and above to better equip them for their all important role of shaping future leaders. Also, the university is encouraging her lecturers to pursue avenues and opportunities for research both locally and globally.
Asides from engagements and partnerships with the private sector, the university will be reaching out with a deliberate approach to her alumni both within the shores of the country and in diaspora. The vice chancellor recommends that tapping into the illustrious alumnus of the school has potential for driving and sustaining her initiatives.
The vice chancellor also revealed several initiatives directed at increasing the internally generated revenue of the university some of which include increasing the profile of the university to attract more foreign students, partnerships with private sector to found mutually beneficial initiatives, as well as exploring tourism focused on the school’s famed lagoon front.
It is hoped that with more focus on research and community service, solutions driven development will follow that will ricochet through the entirety of the educational system and bring about a renewal hinged properly on teaching, research and community development.