For universities to produce enterprising graduates and assure their local relevance and global visibility there is need to be entrepreneurial and create innovation ecosystems for instigating, nurturing and sustaining emerging research-mediated enterprises, ventures, hubs and new firms. Such ecosystems must necessarily reflect the triple helix of industry-academia-government partnership.
This was part of the main thrust of the fifth convocation lecture of the McPherson University, a private university established by Foursquare Gospel Church in Nigeria (FGCN), which delivered by the former Vice-Chancellor of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) and former Secretary- General of the Association of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities (AVCNU), Prof. Michael Faborode.
Faborode, a Professor of Agricultural and Environmental Engineering, in his lecture, entitled: “Sustainable Development, Post-COVID-19: Is Nigeria’s Population a Curse or Multiple Blessings?”, said that an enterprising graduate must have, in good measure, appropriate technical competence, modern digital skills and a large dose of life surviving soft skills to successfully confront life challenges. “Universities must strive to produce such resilient, knowledgeable and skilled graduates, to enable them fit into the global expectation of SGD-compliance.
The future lies in the hands of highly skilled, patriotic, educated, entrepreneurial and technologically enterprising youths, who would embrace agriculture to turn Nigeria’s large population into an asset of growth and development,” he added.
In his remarks, the Vice- Chancellor, Prof. Adeniyi Agunbiade, who lauded the guest lecturer for the lecture, who described as captivating and stimulating, however, noted that despite the complete lockdown of the entire country as a result of COVID-19 pandemic, the tradition of running a trouble-free academic calendar approved by Senate was sustained by engaging the students through virtual platforms.
He said: “The management administered the university virtually through numerous meetings held online. The university Senate, the Governing Council and the Board of Trustees held all their meetings virtually during the period of the lockdown. Again, the various organs of governance put in place at McPherson University continued to function well.
Our lecturers taught and examined our students online. In addition, examination results were processed rapidly and transmitted to parents and guardians via electronic means within a short period after examinations.
The outcome of all these is that our graduating students, again, will receive their certificates, as part of today’s programme.” No fewer than 92 graduating students received their scrolls for the award of degrees at the event. Given the breakdown of the graduating students, he noted that of the 92 graduates from the College of Humanities (COLHUM), College of Natural & Applied Sciences (COLNAS) and College of Social & Management Science (COSMAS), 12 obtained First Class, 33 graduated with Second Class Upper, 41 students had Second Class Lower, and six graduated with Third Class.
The pack was led by I am delighted to report that Aduekpe Precious Edinaeval, of the Department of Accounting and Finance, who emerged the overall best graduating student with a Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 4.97 points, being the highest in the last four academic sessions.