VC assures NOUN alumni of management’s support to network graduates

By Joy Akiga and Justina Unadianye

The Vice-Chancellor, National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), Prof. Olufemi Peters, has assured the NOUN Alumni of management’s support towards the activities of their collegiate network of formal graduates, which, in turn, will help raise the profile of the university.

He said this when the Association of Nigerian Universities Alumni (ANUA) converged on the NOUN headquarters for a 3-day workshop with the theme: “Developing a Platform for Universities Alumni Association’s Contribution to University Education in Nigeria,” the maiden edition in the history of the alumni.

Declaring the workshop open, Peters said the role of alumni association in the development of university education could not have come at a better time in the evolution of tertiary education in Nigeria.

“It is especially so in view of the various ongoing initiatives of the National Universities Commission (NUC) to review the curricula and improve the quality of delivery of virtually all programmes in our university,” he said.

While expressing happiness of the choice of NOUN to host the workshop, Peters said it was appropriate considering the uniqueness and being the largest university in Africa with the mandate of delivering Open and Distance Learning, making it a melting pot for diverse population of learners.

“This difference, arising principally from its mode of learning instruction, is amplified by the lack of proper understanding of the rigour involved at both the students’ level and the management of learning activities. It has inadvertently attracted some misconceptions about the university and its products,” he said.

The Vice-Chancellor said NOUN has turned out more graduates than any other university in Nigeria in its relatively short period of existence and it was in that wise that he had the incentive to create the Directorate of Advancement and Linkages.

He added that it was the contribution of the directorate that had for the first time agreed to host the conference in the university.

On his part, the Guest Speaker, who is also the Director-General and Chief Executive, National Teacher’s Institute, Kaduna, Prof. Garba Dahuwa Azare, stated that an alumni association offers a chance to develop a career path and build relationships, network and opportunity to bring projects into fruition.

He said it was an opportunity for the alumni to give back to their alma mater, even as he explained that an apt alumnus can provide considerable improvements in providing valuable resources and experiences to their various institutions.

Azare said developing a common alumni association platform or an improvement on the existing one will bring the much needed developments in Nigerian Universities.

Earlier, the ANUA chairman, Dr. Stephen Olawale Fasakin, narrated how it took them many years and efforts to get ANUA registered to serve as an umbrella body for all universities alumni, and how the breakthrough finally came on 24th August, 2020, when the association was registered by the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).

Fasakin, however, said the enthusiasm in the Nigeria alumni tends to wane when it comes to the relationship with the universities and from his general observation and conversation, there appeared to be a far greater scope for a stronger relationship than it currently has.

Victor Imagbe of the Association of Bursars of Nigeria (ABNU), represented by Mrs. Margaret E. Akoje, advised the association to use its current position to make beneficial connections, networking, partnerships and linkages to make connections with local and international institutions for a great positive changes to contribute and impact upon their universities.

The workshop, which was graced with an array of dignitaries and their representatives, had series of deliberations on the way to move the young association forward, which climaxed with the presentation of certificates to participants.                    

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