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Posted December 10, 2012 by Campus Heat in News
 
 

NEWS: New Private University: Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

Education is the fabric of development in any nation; there is now a global shift from human capital to knowledge capital, hence the great importance attached to the development of education sector.
In Nigeria today, despite the liberalisation of higher education to give room for private participation, the existing number of Universities still cannot cope with the increasing number of applicants. The global thirst for higher education has reached such a level that it becomes a social responsibility for both government and well meaning private organisations to rise to the challenge and provide access to higher education for the ever increasing number of candidates. It therefore becomes imperative for Ekiti people, who are occupying an enviable position in the history of education in Nigeria and are in the forefront of educational achievements, to rise up to this challenge. Hence, the establishment of the proposed Afe Babalola University (ABUAD) is a deliberate attempt by a prominent advocate of qualitative education and one of the founding fathers of modern Ekiti to support and sustain the people in their quest for qualitative and rapid educational development in Nigeria.

The proposed ABUAD will be a world class institution of higher learning that will attract quality and motivated students from within Ekiti State, Nigeria and beyond to prepare them educationally and vocationally for a successful life, and contribution to the social, economic and political development of the state and the country.

The primary purpose of establishing the University if to make a difference by offering specialized and non-specialized degree and non-degree programmes especially in areas that are not covered by the existing universities in Nigeria.

The Visioner of the proposed ABUAD, Chief Afe Babalola, a legal luminary, an educationist a philanthropist and a man of many parts, who is one of the Founding Fathers of Modern Ekiti and a staunch advocate of qualitative education in Nigeria. He has a long standing commitment to the holistic development of Ekiti and the advancement of its people. The Visioner’s dream is to provide higher education opportunity for the teeming youths of Ekiti and its environs and to leave an enduring legacy for future generations.

Our Vision & Mission

Vision
To be a Centre of Learning where quest for academic excellence will be on , where service will be the driving force and where graduates of high integrity will be the output.

Mission
Afe Babalola University will be a world class institution, where emphasis will be on development of human capacity and application of scientific knowledge to the immediate environment and the larger society.

Philosophy
The five-fold core values of the University are:

1.Academic Excellence and scholarship;
2.Character moulding;
3.Integrity; and
4.Freedom of thought and expression.
The knowledge revolution in a globalized world is forcing new realities on the nations, motivating the expansion and proliferation of higher education. Hence, emphasis has shifted from public dominated higher institutions even in developing worlds to establishing private higher institutions to complement public ones and increase access. It is the deep belief of the proposed ABUAD that university exists for the main purpose of serving the nation through generation, dissemination and application of business, scientific, technological and humanistic knowledge through research and interdisciplinary collaborations and partnerships that build on a strong foundation of interdisciplinary scholarship. Also, university teaches students to think critically, objectively and creatively, and to be life long learners, leaders and productive ethical citizens. Moreover, a university pursues research to advance knowledge, to meet local, national and international challenges in a diverse, interdependent, knowledge based and technologically dynamic society. Such benefits must therefore be extended to a wider population of the local, national and international community.

ABUAD will be a modern university set up to make a difference and will therefore offer specialized degree and non-degree programmes in media and communication studies, information science, entrepreneurship, and forensic and police science, which are not very common in most universities in Nigeria.

ABUAD will emphasize the incorporation of science and technology and use of Information and Communications Technology to enhance service delivery. The style of teaching and learning will place emphasis on the needs of individual students. The University will also provide a setting for the students to reflect on their individual and collective roles in influencing and reshaping the underlying values and structures that dominate societies.

Moreover, the University will be unique in its approach to training by going beyond the traditional methods of theoretical education thus contributing its quota towards improving the social, political, cultural and economic status and structures of the immediate society and positively influencing the larger society.

In order to reach a wide range of candidates with diverse experiences, the University will reach out to every segment of the society irrespective of tribe, race, colour, gender, status or religion. Superior quality higher education will be the watchword and pursuit of the University. Students will be encouraged and exposed to hands-on practical education. A Centre of Creative and Lifelong Education will be established to house the non-degree programmes of the University

Goals and Objectives
To achieve its mission and fulfil its purposes, ABUAD has set forth specific goals and objectives. The goals describe the results desired from the University’s educational programmes, and the objectives set forth general guidelines to be followed on the road to reaching those goals.

Goals
As a unique University, we seek to achieve the following goals:

•To encourage a balance between academic excellence, professional ethics, and practical competence among students;
•To encourage daily consistency and personal integrity among the students. To pursue academic excellence through outstanding teaching and the promotion of research and community service on the national and international level. To create and promote interdisciplinary and international scholarship and education, while sustaining foundational disciplines;
•To define and lead emerging disciplines and intellectual paradigms that create knowledge and to promote the translation of that knowledge to the benefit of society;
•To develop new learning opportunities that build on these paradigms and create student engagement in the context of a community of scholars; and
•To foster effective concern for environmental well-being, justice, peace and compassion and commitment to their promotion in the contemporary world.
Objectives
In order to achieve these goals, we intend to pursue the following objectives:

•To develop in Ekiti State an institution of higher learning deserving of respect for the quality of its academic standards and of its research;
•To establish new programmes to meet the expanding needs of the Ekiti State;
•To provide the means whereby the University may reach out to all the people;
•To retain academically credentialed lecturers who balance intellectual stimulation with practical application;
•To assemble and maintain a library that contains a maximum amount of material consistent with the University’s goals, objectives, and curriculum;
•To encourage research and publication;
•To promote a “community of learning” atmosphere by encouraging open teacher-student relationships both in and out of the classroom;
•To provide and encourage the continuing growth of graduates through refresher courses and seminars;
•To provide an environment for broadening the mind, encouraging analytical thinking and individual initiative and responsibility thus becoming a place for growing, liberating experiences, stressing not only learning through classroom situations but also learning outside the classroom through the exchange of philosophies and experiences with other members of the campus community;
•To provide means for the development of capacities for leadership and service through academic programmes, campus activities, and opportunities for community involvement;
•To provide flexible, innovative programmes and support services that are responsive to a broad range of student and societal needs as well as professional staff and an effective administration;
•To provide a wide range of learning opportunities for students interested in undergraduate and postgraduate programmes;
•To promote effective communication among staff, students, administration, and the general public as well as provide a diversity of intellectual, cultural, social and recreational activities and experiences for the University and surrounding communities;
•To foster academic research, which contributes to human knowledge and the vitality of the institution; and to require high standards of teaching and scholarship, also to encourage participation in professional activities;
•To train specialists who will make research and practical contributions towards the technology development of Nigeria and to advance knowledge for wealth creation and multiplication;
•To establish a system of self-evaluation whereby the goals of the institution serve as the criteria for determining the institution’s effectiveness. To establish a Centre solely devoted to original thinking, breakthrough discoveries and creative inventions;
•To establish a centre for entrepreneurial studies to stimulate job creation in the students right from the onset of their studies; and
•To establish a Creative and Lifelong Education Centre for the purpose of facilitating the non-degree programmes.

OUR STRATEGIESStrategies for Achieving Stated Objectives
The major University-wide strategies to be adopted in achieving the objectives of the proposed ABUAD will be premised on a platform of three basic characteristics:

•Excellence in educational programmes that are affordable to students;
•Commitment to attracting and retaining world-class teaching and non-teaching staff, along with competitive employee compensation and support for success; and
•Institutional agility and resource flexibility in order to capture emerging opportunities, and to be readily and creatively responsive to the needs of constituent stakeholders at the state, national, and international levels.
Hence, for the actualization of the above stated objectives the following strategies will be adopted:

1.There will be undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in various disciplines to meet the students’ need for learning and the societal need for solutions to arts, science and technological challenges. The University will make itself accessible to diverse markets, and will offer curricula designed to serve their needs.
2.The courses will be broad ranged and integrated to facilitate the required creativity and productivity of students.
3.The University will emphasize student-centered learning environments engaging academic variety and student diversity, with the goal of providing a holistic and collaborative approach to learning; learning through discovery, experience, and innovation; and effective use of information.
4.The University will develop student financial assistance from both public and private sources, with due regard to competitive recruitment of qualified students, cost of education and student need, enrolment characteristics, scholastic achievement, and educational enrichment.
5.There will be continuous development of information technology and its widespread access, and use as a catalyst in the execution of other strategies, especially in the creation of new mechanisms for effective engagement of service.
6.The University will create and expand academic facilities – classrooms, library, laboratory, and studio spaces – to support innovative teaching and learning.
7.There will be service learning experiences for students through hands-on community service opportunities and internship opportunities that complement their career objectives.
8.The University will effectively communicate and promote institutional achievements and staff and student accomplishments among the constituent stakeholders, and enhance national and international visibility.
9.There will be formal assessment of student outcomes at the University level at least every other year and, more frequently, assess the outcomes and effectiveness of academic programmes, courses, and targeted initiatives in the interest of continuous improvement.
10.There will be compulsory courses to cut across all programmes. They include Use of English and Communication Skills, Logic and Creative Thinking, African Culture and Ethics, and Entrepreneurship.
11.There will be no discrimination in students’ admissions on the basis of gender, tribe, religion, political leanings or physical disability. Only candidates that are highly qualified and able to benefit from good university education will however stand a good chance of being admitted. In addition to the UME, there would be student selection examination/interview.
12.The methods of instruction will be face-to-face interaction – a normal 17 week semester for proper educational impartation of knowledge. The use of modern communication facilities would be employed in imparting knowledge to students. Practical and tutorials will also be designed and students will be given opportunities to think out projects and work under supervision. Online approach to student-teacher communication will also be encouraged to increase student-teacher interactions. To this end every staff will own a computer while student-computer ratio will be 3:1
13.There will be continuous assessment to ensure students are up to date in their studies.
14.There will be periodic curriculum review to take into account feedback from organizations and employers of labour and NUC Minimum Academic Standards.
15.There will be students’ services and enrolled students will have access to these services which will include welfare, career planning and placement, and accommodation.
16.The University will strictly adhere to the projected student population, as stated in the appendices, within its first five years of operation.
17.There will be collaboration with leading scientific, educational, and industrial centres.
18.The University will engage in the motivation of students, teachers, and other employees to integrate traditional academic values, creative and entrepreneurial ideas.
19.The University will assemble a crop of seasoned academicians from within and outside of Nigeria by deliberately attracting them with good remunerations.
20.The University will embark on operation ‘train the trainer’, offering training opportunities and staff development programmes in world class universities to the academic staff.
21.There will be Exchange Programmes for students and staff from other leading universities in the world.
22.There will be adequate funding to ensure that the environment of the University is beautiful and conducive to learning.

Our Prospects

Prospects for Academic Development

1.The proposed University will establish degree programmes in Science; Management; Law; Health Sciences; Environmental Sciences; Agriculture; and Engineering. The University will take off with three faculties namely, Science, Management, and Law. Programmes to be established are such that would meet the needs of the Nation and the aspirations of prospective students.
2.The University is committed to ensuring that it is accessible to everyone who can benefit regardless of background. To this end, the University will recruit students from all walks of life who demonstrate the ability, motivation and potential to succeed in higher education hence, admission will be open to all; irrespective of race, gender, religion, ethnic, or political leaning. Apart from high scores in the University Matriculation Examinations (UME), prospective candidates will undergo another screening exercise.
3.The University will pay adequate attention to its carrying capacity and will only enrol students that could be adequately catered for taking into consideration the human, physical and material resources available. Attention will be paid also to the student population growth rate and the 60:40 science-arts enrolment ratio in line with Government policy on Education.
4.The quality of graduates of any university depends to a large extent on the quality of staff since teachers can only impart what they have to their students. The University will ensure quality learning and teaching through recruiting and retaining good quality staff, both teaching and non-teaching. Payment of attractive salary packages will help in this regard.
5.The University will focus on innovative student-centred teaching, participation research especially as it affects the community, leadership training, professional ethics, State-of-art education in language and cyber technology, international environment, and service activities.
6.The proposed University will establish academic linkages with other universities in Nigeria and elsewhere. The siting of ABUAD in Ado-Ekiti will be an advantage in academic as well as infrastructural development; the establishment of the University is expected to have great economic impact on the community especially since Ekiti is a pacesetter in education.
7.The curriculum of the University will be reviewed from time to time and will be in line with the dictates of the Benchmark Minimum Academic Standards (BMAS) prescribed by the National Universities Commission.
8.Academic and administrative spaces will be adequately provided in terms of quality and quantity. These include classrooms, lecture theatres, teaching and research laboratories, and staff offices. Infrastructural facilities, such as water, electricity, telecommunication, and roads will also be adequately provided by the University.
9.The proposed University will be well-funded to meet its obligations in the provision of adequate land space; prompt payment of salaries and allowances; purchase of goods and services; purchase of teaching and research equipment; and further development of physical facilities.
10.To attract and retain quality staff, the University will pay a living wage which is 15% above what obtains in the Federal universities.

Organisational structure

Introduction
The pattern of governance will be made free of all unnecessary administrative bottlenecks. The University will be effectively organized and administered as detailed below. The main bodies and officers of the University shall be as follows:

1.Board of Trustees
2.Chancellor
3.Pro-Chancellor
4.The Governing Council
5.The Vice Chancellor
6.The Senate
7.The Deputy Vice Chancellor
8.Registrar and Secretary to the Governing Council
9.The Bursar
10.The Librarian
11.Deans of Faculties & Heads of Departments
12.Other Key Officers
13.Administrative Organs
14.Congregation
15.Convocation