The Vice Chancellor of the University of Port Harcourt, Prof. Ndowa Ekoate Sunday Lale had confessed that the major part of the problems he faced on assumption of office was anchored on his determination to do things differently for good.
“My insistence that lecture must start on the first day of resumption each semester has firmly taken root, despite initial resistance by people with vested interest in perpetuating the old way of doing things”.
Prof. Lale while briefing the press at the School premises ahead of the University of Port Harcourt 32nd Convocation Ceremony made it clear that cultism and examination misconduct attracts automatic expulsion or rustication in the University of Port Harcourt.
Prof. Ndowa Lale used the opportunity to reel out some of his administration’s achievements.
According to him, “all the programmes in Uniport enjoy full accreditation status and this is a testimony to the quality of our academic programmes and the personnel who handle them. Also the over subscription we are currently experiencing in the number of students seeking admission is on account of the quality of our teaching, research, public service and peace we enjoy”, he noted.
The VC further disclosed that students no longer enjoy the luxury of returning to the university whenever it pleases them, adding that they now promptly attend lectures on the first day of resumption.
“We took the matter further by persuading the school’s Senate to approve that only students who have attained 75% attendance are eligible to write examinations”.
Prof. Lale said the policy has caught on as lecturers now report fully to the classrooms during lectures, adding that these are global best practices that bring respects to universities.
He said the conferment of degrees, higher degrees, diploma, certificates and prizes would hold at the university from March 29 to March 30.
According to him, the University graduated 9,452 students adding that the convocation was mainly for students who finished their academic programmes for the 2016/2017 and 2017/2018 academic sessions. “In the undergraduate category, a total of 4,771 students were harvested with 3,205 and 1,566 for the 2016/2017 and 2017/2018 academic sessions respectively. “Out of the figure, 106 graduands will receive the First Class Honours, 1,799 Second Class Upper Division, 2,533 Second Class Lower Division while 132 will receive Third Class degrees. “Also, a total of 70 will receive Bachelor of Pharmacy degrees; 105 will be admitted into Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery while 26 students gets Bachelor of Dental Surgery degree,” he said.
Lale said no fewer than 4,681 students would also be conferred with the Doctor of Philosophy degree, Master’s degree and Postgraduate Diploma in various specialisation and programmes.
The vice chancellor said the students were drawn from eight faculties which included Humanities, Social Sciences, Science, Education, Engineering, Management Sciences, Agriculture and Pharmaceutical Sciences. Others were School of Science Laboratory Technology (SSLT) and College of Health Sciences. “The Minister of Science and technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu will deliver a convocation lecture on March 28 entitled: “Higher Education as a Driver of Economic Recovery and Growth Plan of a Nation.” “UNIPORT will continue to produce quality graduates that will compete favourably with their counterparts locally and internationally,” he said.
Lale said that since he took office in 2015, several programmes had been introduced with the focus of making UNIPORT a world class university in academics, research and development. He said that students and lecturers now take attendance to class and other academic work seriously due to stringent measures introduced in the university.
“We have completed rehabilitation of 15 hostel accommodation and nine lecture halls and classrooms in collaboration with the National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS). “Also, 16 of the 32 housing units that we initiated at the University Park have now been completed and allocated to staff.
The vice chancellor said that UNIPORT would continue to play a leading role in research and development in order to solve practical problems of industries and the larger society