With the presence of the Vice Chancellor, University of Ibadan: Professor Abel Idowu Olayinka, Pro Chancellor and Chairman of the Council: Nde Waklek Joshua Mutka, MNI, Members of the University Governing Council: Professor A.A. Aderinto (DVC Academic), Professor Kolawole Adebowale (DVC. administration), Professor Olanike Adeyemo (DVC, Research, Innovation and Strstegic Partnership), Mrs. Olubunmi Faluyi (University Registrar), Mr. Tunji Oladejo (UI Public Relations Officer), Deans and Sutdents, the 70th anniversary of the University of Ibadan has kicked off at Trenchard Hall, University of Ibadan on Friday, October 5, 2018.

The Anniversary kicks off with anniversary lecture titled “UI@70: Strategies for Attaining World Class Status by 2028 and Beyond” which was delivered by Professor O.S. Adegoke, a 81 years old and 53-years experienced University Teacher, Researcher, Oil and Gas Industry Consultant and Trainer.

Professor Adegoke in his introductory statements, in order to place the institution’s feet to achieving a status of world class spoke about how education was like in his days and the quality of students’ life involving the condition of electricity and general welfare of students. He said in his words, “I enjoyed every moment of my time then. The quality of education was very high.

So was discipline and sense of community life. Student Hostels were of High quality, with majority of the students having a room to himself or herself. Electricity and water supply were stable and students could study freely in the well-equipped University Library till 10:00pm every day.”

He further said that “Each of the Halls of residence that existed at my time had a student committee elected by the inmates of the Hall. Their task was to look after the general welfare of the members of the Hall. One weekend every month, the students of each Hall of residence had the privilege of sitting at a formal dinner with Senior Academic and Administrative Staff who are assigned to each Hall.

The dinner was presided over by the Hall Master who was a very senior Professor. The formal dinner was designed to expose us students to the quality of life and the kind of interactions that occur outside the University and in the world at large. That was in my opinion, a wonderful foresight by the founders of the University.”

He recounted that the institution made him to forge ahead both in Nigeria and overseas, quantifying the quality of education he reduced as one which made him to get admitted to program of the Department of Paleontology of the University of California, Berkeley, USA, restating that challenges have to be overcome in order to achieve the goal of the University.

He disclosed that “we ought to focus not only on the success of the journey so far, but also on the challenges that must be overcome in order for our dear University to attain greater heights, albeit considerably lowering our digit of Global Ranking that is now a little below 900 to some figure like: top 100 or better still top 50, by any of the agencies that Carey out the Academic Rating of World Universities. My suggestion is that we give ourselves the next decade (2028) or two (2038) to attain our desired goal.”

Speaking about Universities being engines of growth, innovation and wealth creation, he stated that “our Universities should not be content with being listed as unclassified Ivory Tower Institutions that concentrate their energy largely on teaching and some research only. We must instead, strive to simultaneously embrace all of the three key properties and virtues that are globally associated with to ranked Unversities,” saying “we as well as the University must strive to be: Engine of growth, Centers of Innovation and Excellence and Agents of Development and Wealth creation”.

He later gave suggestions for tee he development of the University of Ibadan’s college of Medicine stating that “for a better understanding of the potential and limits of regenerative medicine, it is suggested that further effort be made to define the underlying mechanisms regulating stem cells before their clinical application”, saying, “one thing that is clear to us now is that only a Research Center like an Institute that is well structured, equipped, funded, and endowed with outstanding clinician-scientists and biomedical scientists can properly pursue Stem Cell Research in Nigeria”.

“Based on the shortcomings in our health system, it is suggested that UCH being the leading Federal Teaching Hospital should lead the waiting research innovations and learn from the NIH Core Strategic Vision of four pillars of improving healthcare, known as the four Ps: Transforming medicine and health from a curative to a preemptive paradigm (Preemptive), Support basic research to identify the earliest molecular stages of disease in complex biological systems (predictive), Accelerate translation of findings from the bench to the bedside to the community (personalized), Provide the evidence and knowledge base to allow her for a rational transformation of healthcare system to one that is patient-centred and pro-active (participatory).”

Part of the challenges discussed are Medical discoveries, research integration with clinical practices, research priorities and funding research, making Government, and Private and Public Partnership choices.

“The aim is to strive to build World-Class faculties for World Class students with the objective of attaining and sustaining World Class performance. A considerable level of autonomy is needed to attain such lofty goals”, he said.

By: Adedokun Seyi

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