Tech-U: The epiphany of a changing narrative
The First Technical University, Ibadan, is fast becoming a formidable educational brand. Upon entry into the academic space in 2017, the university’s management vouched to offer two key values: relevant technical education and innovative entrepreneurship model. Two sessions after, it seems poised to live up to the billing.
Just within two years of commencing academic activities, Tech-U, which prides itself on being Nigeria’s premier technical university, has upped the ante, registering its first patent –a remarkable feat by any standard. Again, the university was noted in the 2018 Webometric ranking to have emerged as one of the most impactful universities in the country.
And now that the governor of Oyo State, Engr Seyi Makinde, has assured that Tech-U will receive all necessary support needed to succeed during his administration, the narrative certainly holds better promise.
While receiving the governing council of the university, led by its pro-chancellor and chairman of council, Professor Oyewusi Ibidapo-Obe, on a courtesy call in his office recently, the governor noted how impressed he was with the calibre of eminent professionals who constitute the council.
“Looking at the composition of the council, I can say you are men and women of great accomplishment. You are some of the best we can get around. When we were dissolving boards, we made an exception to Tech-U, because we looked at the profiles of the people involved and we were convinced that you are there on your own merit. If I were to choose members of the council, I would have also chosen majority of you,” Makinde had said.
With the decisions taken so far, the Makinde administration is commendably prioritizing governance over politics. Surely, this is an indication that the Tech-U train will have a smooth cruise to its destination of becoming a world class university.
Over the last two years, Tech-U’s journey has evidently signposted an increasing wave of success. Its mission to produce exceptional graduates who are not only abreast of recent technological breakthroughs and developments in their fields of endeavor, but would also be fully groomed in entrepreneurial practices, unique innovation and sustainability can thus be said to be fully on course.
Founded to raise the bar in tertiary education, the university’s effect is already being felt and embraced as the Tech-U fragrance spreads across the country. Not too long ago, 157 youths from the Niger Delta region of the country underwent intensive training in a Youth Empowerment Programme facilitated by both Tech-U and Dosmack/CJ Oil and sponsored by the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs.
The beneficiaries, who included returnees from Libya, have testified that with the highly qualitative technical, vocational and entrepreneurship training they received at Tech-U, the university is irrefutably on a journey to becoming one of Africa’s best.
In just a little over two years, Tech-U’s gown and town relationship is already nearing skyscraper status. It culminated in a two-week youth empowerment programme and contract recruitment programme for hundreds of beneficiaries across the state. The programme was designed to build participants’ capacity in industry-relevant technical, vocational and entrepreneurial skills essential to start and efficiently manage need-based micro and small scale enterprises. The Centre for Vocation and Entrepreneurship Studies has filliped the students into young men and women who believe in their dreams and are already working towards becoming job creators.
When the vice chancellor, Professor Ayobami Salami, said “Tech-U is not grooming people who would graduate and be looking for jobs”, he meant business. Students are already founding startups and building profitable businesses. Thanks to the positively disruptive educational model they are trained with, which enables them to do much more than their mates in other universities.
One thing many may not know about the university is its ‘never subsidize the rich nor deprive the poor’ creed which is being adhered to very scrupulously. Over and over again, it has been made clear that the university is not exclusively for the rich. Through Tech-U’s scholarship bank, contribution from both the public and private sectors is used to support indigent but brilliant students unable to afford the qualitative education offered by the university. That on its own gives hope and additional momentum to those brilliant students who would ordinarily not have been able to undergo university education.
And now that the governor of Oyo State has cleared the air on the ownership of the university and pledged support, Tech-U will no doubt continue the peak performance that is extending its relevance by the day.
*Adejumo works as the Media Assistant to the vice chancellor, First Technical University, Ibadan.