The Vice-Chancellor, National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), Professor Olufemi Peters, has challenged the new students of the institution to demonstrate at all times to the society that NOUN offers quality education delivered with equality and flexible access.
According to him, this is what makes it possible to “learn at your pace and at any place."
Peters stated this on Saturday, October 15, 2022 at the 23rd Matriculation Ceremony of the university, which took place virtually across its 108 study centres nationwide.
The new entrants, comprising of 11, 851 undergraduates and 4, 808 postgraduate students in various faculties, will join the over 150,000 returning students of the university.
Peters told them: ‘’As our ambassadors, therefore, I expect you to be well behaved and demonstrate at all times, to your family members, friends and associates, the value that distinguishes you from your counterparts.
"Our country needs your resourcefulness to excel in the competitive world of today."
The vice-chancellor added: "It is my steadfast desire that you will acquire, at this university, appropriate knowledge and skills, as well as the requisite strength of character and tenacity to sail through the challenges of a modern world of global competition.
"This will enable you to contribute meaningfully in elevation of Nigeria to its deserved place of greatness in Africa and the world."
He further reiterated that NOUN is the only accredited single mode Open and Distance Learning (ODL) institution in Nigeria, established by the enabling Act No. 6, 1983 CAP N63, fulfilling its mandate of equal access for all Nigerians and bringing education within reach.
‘’It is a proof of our commitment to equity for the teeming population of Nigerians that seek to gain access to university education for better prospects and self-actualisation," he said.
Emphasising on the openness of the university, Peters stated that the openness as associated to the university simply means that the mode of teaching and service delivery is not restricted by the barriers of distance and location, or the bias of creed.
He said: ‘’Our university uses modern and emerging technologies to impart knowledge to students, you will require some basic ICT skills. With an internet enabled computer and, in some instances, a smart phone, you will have online access to our study materials, instructional videos, tutorials, library resources and facilitation classrooms."
He implored the students to dedicate themselves to timely and appropriate use of learning materials and teaching aids which are available at the study centre of their choice as the flexibility and access to study materials and learning aids is a unique attribute of the university in ensuring equity in the right to education for all.
Speaking on the e-ticketing platform, the VC stated that the system was successfully deployed in last academic session as a feedback system to resolve complaints that students may have during the course of their studies.
He said: "This and other service delivery applications, including the simplified assessment processes (tutorials, tests and examinations) will make your study at NOUN a most rewarding educational experience.
"Due to the special mode of teaching and learning at NOUN, our graduates are usually the focus of exceptional interests from people that are eager to determine the quality of training received whilst studying with us."
He further intimated the new students that the university has assembled dedicated teams of counsellors, professional ODL administrators, academics and facilitators across the 108 study centres in Nigeria to attend to their concerns in case of difficulties and challenges in the course of their study.
The Registrar of the university, Mr. Oladipo A. Ajayi, administered the matriculation oath on the students via the Zoom platform, urging them to abide by all the rules and regulations of the university in order to avoid expulsion.
This was the first matriculation ceremony conducted by the registrar since his assumption of office on September 5, 2022.