We take pride in offering flexible, qualitative education, NOUN VC says

By Debbie Nduba
Peters delivering his speech at the 13th convocation ceremony


The Vice-Chancellor, National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), Prof. Olufemi Peters, has said that the university takes pride in offering education that is flexible and qualitative, yet affordable and accessible. 

Peters said this during the 13th Convocation Ceremony of the university held on Saturday, April 13, 2024 at its headquarters, Jabi, Abuja, which also witnessed the investiture of His Royal Majesty, Oba of Benin ,Ewuare II,  as the new Chancellor of the institution.

According to him, NOUN prioritises equity and equal opportunities in education at the university level, striving to widen access and promote lifelong learning.

13th convocation

NOUN Principal officers , Representative of visitor to the university and OUT VC

“Since inception, NOUN has provided scholarships to about 83 inmates in correctional centres, exemplified by a current PhD student in Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution.

“From a very humble beginning, the university has grown in leaps and bounds. We have brought smiles to many people who had thought university education was beyond them. Our student enrolment figures have increased.

“Our programme offerings have also increased. From about 1, 230 students in 2003, the student population has now grown to about 170,000 active students in 2024 and over 100,000 alumni, straddling important sectors of our economy,” he said.

The Vice-Chancellor told the 22,175 graduands as well as the general public present at the ceremony that NOUN has “grown from relative obscurity, where many in the tertiary education sector and employers within the Nigerian labour market tried to question the quality of our products, to a pre-eminent position as the undisputed leader in Open and Distance Learning in sub-Saharan Africa.”

Peters said the university had maintained its leadership role in promoting ODL across the African continent.

This, he said, necessitated the re-election of the institution as the 1st Vice-President on the Board of the African Council for Distance Education (ACDE) during the seventh Triennial Conference and General Assembly held in Kenya.

“The university continues to contribute significantly to Open and Distance e-Learning (ODeL) initiatives,” he said.

He noted that the 2024 convocation ceremony was unique because of the investiture of the institution’s third chancellor, the Oba of Benin, Ewuare II.

“The convocation is also unique because of the award of honorary degrees on Dr. Innocent Chukwuma, founder, Innoson Motors and Hajiya Hafsatu Ahmed, the first female Hausa novelist from Northern Nigeria,” he said.

He further stated that the choice of the awardees reflected the core values at NOUN, which centred on entrepreneurial ingenuity and knowledge-based content creativity.

“Indeed, as a mark of the profound admiration of Chukwuma’s entrepreneurial sagacity, the NOUN, under my management, has decided henceforth, to acquire only Innoson vehicular products as our operational vehicles,” Peters added.


A Cross- Section of  students

Meanwhile, not fewer than 22,175 students in various disciplines participated in the convocation from NOUN’s 120 study centres nationwide.

While 15,768 are undergraduate degrees, 6,407 earned postgraduate degrees, with the Faculty of Social Sciences producing the highest number.

“Of the 6,407 students who graduated at the postgraduate level, 2,362 students obtained the Postgraduate Diploma, 4,039 students the Master’s degree and six students the PhD degree.

“I am also pleased to announce that four of the doctoral students come from our flagship, the World Bank-supported Africa Centre for Excellence on Technology Enhanced Learning (ACETEL),” the VC said.