NOUN graduates 18,000, insists on 1 million target enrollment

The National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) is set to graduate a new set of students totalling 18,000 nationwide across departments at the diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate studies levels at a convocation ceremony holding in Abuja, the federal capital territory between March 22 and 23.

The university has also re-emphasised its determination to double its students’ enrollment from the current half a million across all departments by 2024.

The Chairman of Governing Council of the university, Prof Peter Okebukola, made this disclosure on Thursday in Lagos while addressing newsmen shortly after the 54th meeting of the council with the vice-chancellor, Prof Abdalla Adamu and many others, in attendance.

He disclosed that the Federal Government had now gazetted the NOUN’s Amendment Act 2018, saying the development had provided full legitimacy to the university as a full-time open and distance learning institution.

He reaffirmed that the graduates from the university would now be participating in the one-year mandatory National Youths Service Corps (NYSC) scheme and the law graduates attending Nigeria Law School.

On the proposed, one million enrollment, Okebukola, who is the former Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC),  said the vision is in accordance with (and a follow-up to) the three-year ministerial strategic plan which started since 2016 to increase access of qualified Nigerians to university education.

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He explained that NOUN was already repositioning itself not only to significantly improve the quality of learning delivery system such that its graduates becoming the best in the Nigerian university system and employers’ delight by 2025, but also the best open and distance learning university in Africa five years after.

While declaring that the university has set in motion mechanism to implement the recently granted World Bank African Centre of Excellence on Technology Enhanced Learning (ACETEL), he said the project, which is in five years circle, would gulp between $4 million and $6 million.

He also disclosed that the university had now lifted the ban on the university’s alumni association and also promoted a new set of six staff including Prof McCarthy Eserinume, charging them to see their new positions as a call for greater service.

The vice-Chancellor, Prof Abdalla Adamu, on his part, explained that, only prison inmates who are qualified for admission that those granted free tuition by the university irrespective of their courses of study and levels and the scholarship not extended to students with special needs.

He said the aim of giving scholarship to prisoners is because their movement is restraint and they don’t also have means of livelihood.

He said the university would continue to provide quality education to qualified Nigerians irrespective of where they live and work across the country.

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