Twenty five inmates across the Correctional Centres nationwide are among the 22,250 graduands in the 11th convocation ceremony of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olufemi Peters, has said.
Prof. Peters said this during a press briefing the university held at its headquarters, Jabi, Abuja, on Tuesday, March 22, 2022, which also served as a formal introduction of the VC to the media since his assumption into office.
While giving the breakdown of the graduating students, Prof. Peters stated that 22,250 students are graduating, out of which 16,679 were undergraduates, 5,571were postgraduate students and 25 were inmates with one of the inmates being a masters degree student.
Peters thanked the media for their continued support and cordial relationship with the university, and expressed that it was his first meeting with the press and hoped that it would be the beginning of a lasting relationship.
The Vice-Chancellor also mentioned that the public lecture leading to the convocation will be held on Friday by Professor Osita Ogbu and will explore the essence of NOUN and its role in the society and its exploitation of technology to dispense information to every nook and cranny of Nigeria.
He also mentioned that every programme the school offers was accredited by the National University Commission (NUC) and the school's law graduates were blazing trails at the law school, stressing that the Legal Council was even reviewing the terms they gave to the school after realizing they had a well rounded education same as any conventional university.
Peters added that the age range of the students had significantly dropped from more mature adults to teenagers so there was a need for the school to move with the times, which it has already done with its incorporation of technology in its day-to-day operations.
He also touched on the topic of the simultaneous convocation ceremonies that will be held both at the school's Abuja headquarters and its various study centres, saying that only 48 centres were exempted from the events.
This, he explained, was because of low student numbers but the centres were merged with bigger centres within their states and that the number of graduating students was the largest of any Nigerian university ever.
He said the simultaneous event made it easy for parents to attend their children's convocation ceremonies without having to travel all the way to Abuja.
On his part, the Director of Media, Mallam Ibrahim Sheme, thanked the media houses for their unwavering support of the university even when the VC had not met with them yet.
Sheme hoped that they would continue to support the school and that preparations for the interaction had been in motion since last year and that he was glad that it had come to a head and that the press finally met with the VC.
He also said the media serve as the bridge between the school and the general public and had a duty to correct impressions and report correctly the happenings of the university.