OAU matriculates 6,650 new students, explains reduction in admission figure

Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU)
Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU)

At the matriculation ceremony for new students on Monday, the Obafemi Awolowo University said it has offered admission to only 6,650 students for the 2018/2019 session.

This represents a reduction this year in the university’s admission figure when compared with the previous sessions.

During the 2015/2016 academic session, the school brought in 7,500 students. The university had admitted the same number of students in the 2016/2017 academic session.

Meanwhile, the figure rose in 2017/2018, when the university had 8,158 new intakes.

In an interview with PREMIUM TIMES on Monday, the school’s spokesperson, Abiodun Olanrewaju, attributed the reduction to the loss of accreditation for some courses last admission year.

This newspaper reported how the National University Commission (NUC) withdrew accreditation for Law, Dentistry, Medical Rehabilitation, Fine and Applied Arts, Family Nutrition and Consumer Sciences, and Botany programmes at the Nigerian first-generation university.

As a result of the withdrawal, admission to those departments was suspended for the current session. The Joint Admission Matriculation Board (JAMB) had advised applicants to either change their courses or choice of institution.

“If you had added the numerical strength in those faculties (for example in Law), that would add up to the original figure. That explains the reduction,” Mr Olanrewaju said.

New students demand better welfare

In 2018, this paper published a report on the university admitting more students despite limited facilities.

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The lecture theatres and hostels cannot cope with the number of students, and there have been calls for an expansion of the infrastructure, PREMIUM TIMES reported.

A student of Dramatic Arts Department, Theophilus Adeyemi, urged the school to upgrade its accommodation facilities.

“For the past three days now, water has not been supplied to the halls of residence,” he said.

Another student, Busola Oladele, also called for more halls of residence to lessen the transportation and security challenges associated with living outside the school.

“From my house to class, most times, I spend over thirty minutes just to get on campus. I applied for bed space but I did not get one.

“We need more lecture theatres too. Our Maths class is always rowdy,” she added

The coordinator for Education Right Campaign, ERC, Olowolafe Samuel, noted that most of the hostels and lecture theatres in the university were constructed in its early years. He said the founders wanted the facilities to adequately cater for all the students then.

“But it is so sad that the admission quota has significantly increased over the decades with no corresponding increase in infrastructures and facilities,” he said.

Reacting to the calls for the upgrade of infrastructure and other welfare issues, the university’s spokesperson said the school would address the demands.

“We have 1,000-capacity lecture theatres and we have several 500-capacity theatres. Some students sit on the floor for lectures because of broken furniture.”

“The management plans to renovate the lecture theatres,” Mr Olanrewaju said.

In his address to the new students, the Vice-Chancellor of the university, Eyitope Ogunbodede, promised to address issues affecting students such as accommodation.

“The university management is partnering with investors to increase the current students’ accommodation by additional 10,000-bed spaces within the next one year,” Mr Ogunbodede said.

“The university is also procuring three 30-seater buses to alleviate the challenges of student transportation.”

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