The Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission, Professor Abubakar Rasheed, MFR, FNAL, has clarified that the Commission has not done any ranking exercise or ranked any university in Nigeria in the past 14 years.
Professor Rasheed made this known in a goodwill message at the 5th Convocation ceremony of Baze University, Abuja, where he said that the purported ranking of Nigerian universities making the rounds in the social media, some of which had been attributed to the Commission were not only false, but should be disregarded.
The Executive Secretary who was represented by the Director, Executive Secretary’s Office, Mr. Chris Maiyaki reassured that the commission being the sole regulatory agency of university education in the country, would remain steadfast in the task of ensuring qualitative and orderly development of university education.
He maintained that it was only by so doing, that the universities could be globally relevant and competitive and advised that universities must strive to be truly universal entities wherein all the attributes and international characteristics including good reputation and academic credibility could be found.
“we are living in an age of knowledge , an age of where education or human capital holds the key to our successes as a people and as a nation. Only education, particularly the type of quality education produced in good universities can instigate rapid social, economic, scientific and technological changes needed to guarantee our march to the future with pride and confidence, education still remains our most potent weapon for injecting hope in our youth and in our ability to negotiate better quality of life for our people”.
Professor Rasheed further stated that the Commission, under his supervision had recently embarked on a number of reforms aimed at repositioning the Nigeria University System (NUS), which included comprehensive review of curricula and Benchmark Minimum Academic Standards as well as review of parameters which would eventually lead to an acceptable ranking of regime for Nigerian u in line with global best practices.
He said that the Commission was proud to associate with Baze university’s success story, stating the conscious and huge investments in building a world class university, attraction and retention of quality personnel modern and stable learning environment and achievement of appreciable accreditation status, was commendable.
While congratulating the parents and graduants who had been found worthy in both character and learning for the feat, Professor Rasheed enjoined them to fully contribute their quota to nation building and to be good ambassadors of their alma mater by pursuing greatness, honor and due diligence, as well as quality and excellence at all times.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Visitor to the university and Emir of Zazzau, HRH. Alhaji (Dr,) Shehu Idris, commended the Founder and Proprietor of the university, who he described as the a worthy son of the Emirate, accomplished politician and Philanthropist to have effectively mobilised resources to invest in a capital-intensive venture such as education.
He recalled that “According to records of history, the Zazzau Emirate is recognised for both Islamic and western education and in post-independence Nigeria, because of our continued commitment and support to all forms of education. We currently have more than fifty (50) educational institutions with students and staff from all parts of the country and abroad”.
He reemphasised that there was no alternative to education as it was the only priceless and timeless gift that could be offered to any child and that no investment was too much in the education of a child. He advised that as responsible parents, all must do all possible to send children to school and monitor them to ensure that ensure they received the needed guidance to complete their studies well. He stressed that Nigeria was a great nation and it would be even greater if all stakeholders gave education the attention it deserved.
The Visitor expressed delight that Baze university had become a household name that was associated with excellent tertiary education, calling on the graduands to strive to continue on the path of glory the university had set towards their respective careers. He said that Baze university was a brand and all hands must be on deck to raise the banner high.
In his address, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Tahir Mamman, informed the gathering that it had been observed with satisfaction that graduates of Baze university had continued to excel in many fields both locally and internationally, while many had come out with distinction in postgraduate programmes. He said that the management of the university was delighted to announce that its first set of Law students who just graduated from the Nigerian Law School had made the university proud by recording notable successes in their results as one of them, Mr. Dike Chijioke Obalum made First Class in the Law School examination.
He also expressed the university’s appreciation that an Alumni Association had been established and being active, encouraging the members to do more to showcase the unique competences instilled in them by the university.
Professor Mamman said that the University’s commitment towards providing quality programmes, services and facilities was ensured through provision of adequate and qualified teaching staff from Nigeria and abroad as well as competent non-teaching staff, This, he said, had ensured steady increase in academic programmes.
He disclosed that in the 2016/2017 academic year, two additional Faculties, Environmental Sciences and Medical Sciences were approved by NUC and that the university currently had 40 academic programmes, which had given the university the opportunity to expand. He added that steps were at advanced stage of signing an MoU with the Federal Capital Territory Hospital Board to use the services of some of the FCT hospitals to commence full fledged College of Health Sciences, expressing gratitude to the FCT Minister and the Board for the positive disposition.
He further stated that approval had also been granted to run 9 postgraduate programmes and non-Executive courses in virtually all the older Faculties
The Vice-Chancellor also stated that in line with its goal and the tradition of frontline universities worldwide, Baze university had opened up its doors to generate and foster beneficial linkages and partnerships with renowned universities and institutions in the United States of America, United Kingdom, Asia and Africa as well as Diplomatic Missions in Nigeria.
“Furthermore, in the preceding year, 2017/2018, the university had run joint programmes with the National Universities Commission in organising some capacity building workshops and trainings for senior academic and non-teaching staff on teaching and entrepreneurship. It is envisaged that this cross-breeding of ideas and research will deepen the scope of knowledge and competence within the academic community to reposition the university to become a leading institution in academic excellence, research and innovation”. He stressed.
On welfare, Professor Mamman assured that the university had continued to place priority on security of the university community by stepping up measures to checkmate any form of criminality and antisocial behavior through the use of high tech security surveillance gadgets on campus. Related to that, he said that the university was also concerned about the wellbeing of the students and staff with a robust policy on drug abuse and sexual harassment which was being handled through the Student Support Unit (SSU), to guide and counsel students. He disclosed that had recently dismissed and terminated some staff that were found wanting on the grounds of student’s harassment.
He appealed that despite all the stringent measures taken to inculcate disciple and commitment on the students, parents should complement by monitoring their wards and encourage them to attend lectures regularly and respect the university’s regulations as well as avoid drugs, warning that the university operated a clear policy that frowned at and decisively dealt with any form ofindiscipline and destruction of properties as students had channel of communication through the Students Representative Council (SRC).
To the graduands, he said that the university was optimistic that the education obtained would give them the foundation and framework to launch into meaningful careers either as employees or employers as well as being responsible citizens of the society.
The Convocation ceremony had 230 graduands out of which 10 had First Class degrees from the three Faculties of Computing and Applied Sciences, Management and Social Sciences and Law.
Present at the event were Lieutenant General Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma (rtd), GCON, Jarmai Zazzau, His Royal Highness, Alhaji (Dr.) Shehu Idris, CFR, the Emir of Zazzau and the Chancellor and Chairman, Board of Trustees (BoT), Baze University.