ADDRESS DELIVERED BY THE ACTING VICE-CHANCELLOR AT THE 4TH MATRICULATION CEREMONY HELD ON TUESDAY, 27 APRIL, 2020
Members of the University Management
Acting Deans of Faculties and Students’ Affairs
All Acting Heads of Departments and Ag. Directors of Units
Other Academic and Non-teaching staff members of the KolaDaisi University
All Parents and Guardians here present
The Matriculating Students
Gentlemen of the Press
Ladies and Gentlemen
It is with great honour and delight that I welcome you on behalf of the Founder, Chief Kola Daisi CON, Bashorun of Ibadanland, the BOT, Governing Council, Senate and Management of the KDU to the 4th Matriculation Ceremony of the University.
We are indeed pleased that despite the uncertainties as a result of the global pandemic which crippled almost all activities in the year 2020, the University is, today, matriculating 220 new students which is a great improvement on the 135 matriculated last year. May I use this medium to express my sincere appreciation to the Founder, Board of Trustees and the Governing Council, for their continuous support to the University.
I must congratulate all the matriculating students for the privilege of being among thousands of students given admission out of millions of candidates who wrote the last Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME). Choosing KolaDaisi University, Ibadan is one of the wisest decisions you had made. You are however advised to be focused in terms of the type of associations you make, regular attendance at lectures and other areas of discipline in order to make a good success of your studentship. You must be determined not be deterred or distracted on your journey to success here at KolaDaisi University. Please, make the Students’ Information/ Regulation Handbook your companion by reading it regularly and carefully, in order to be familiar with its contents and thereby maximising the advantage of your studentship. It is pertinent that you abide by all the rules and regulations of the University, as ignorance will not be taken as an excuse for any form of misconduct.
Permit me to share with you some of the highlight of activities in the University since I assumed office as the Acting Vice-Chancellor of this University in August 2020.
1. Approval of the Council of Legal Education for Commencement of the Law Faculty
The University now has the approval of both the National Universities Commission (NUC) and the Council of Legal Education – the two bodies which has the responsibilities of regulating the Law programmes in Nigeria.
2. Fulbright Scholarship
As part of our drive towards establishing partnerships with credible universities and organisations within and outside the country. The University has now become a hosting institution for the Fulbright Scholarship programme in the United States of America. Consequently, the Public Affairs Officer and other staff of the United States Consulate General Office visited the University on Wednesday, 10 February, 2021. The Fulbright Scholarship will provide an avenue for exchange programmes for both staff and students of the University.
3. Central State University, Ohio
This University has agreed to endow scholars in the Law, Economics and Business Administration programmes, in other to enhance quality teaching and research in these programmes.
4. Florida University, U.S.A.
The University is already interacting with this University in the area of exchange programmes for both students and lecturers.
5. Media School of Indiana University
KDU is already enjoying partnership with this University in the area of book acquisition.
6. Other Collaborations
In the bid to enhance the visibility of our University and to ensure that our students are well groomed to become employable or be self-employed after graduation, Management had signed agreements with Bredhub, New Horizon and Talent Builders in the areas of Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, ICT and Entrepreneurship. Bredhub an AI/Robotics company will train interested students who will get certification that would be useful to them in the competitive job market. New Horizon, a world-wide renowned ICT company, will as from next Semester bring in its computers and instructors to train our students in certificated courses. Talent Builders is the Consultant in charge of our Entrepreneurship Centre, which will train students starting with 400 level in their choice area of interest.
All the above collaborations and partnership is to live up to our Vision to “be a world class institution for excellence in the production of graduates, able to respond to the socio-economic needs of knowledge-driven economy”. We must not also forget that our Mission is “to nurture graduates with high employability attributes ….”
7. Students Enrollment
As I have stated at the beginning of my address, the University is matriculating a total of 220 new students, this include students who were admitted into 100 level UTME, 200 level Direct Entry and Transfer students from other universities. This is the highest number of new students in any admission exercise since the inception of this University. May I use this medium to express my sincere appreciation to the Senate, members of the University Management, the Admissions Committee and all other stakeholders for their concerted efforts towards achieving this feat.
Let me also inform you that the University has concluded arrangements to commence some programmes that would further increase her visibility and enrolment. Management would soon consult experts who would advise on the establishment of programmes like Nursing and Medical Laboratory Science.
It is heartwarming to let you know that the KolaDaisi University shall be graduating her pioneer students later in the year and all our esteemed parents will be invited to the maiden Convocation ceremonies in due course.
May I use this avenue to thank our parents and guardians for entrusting us with the university education of your wards and for your continuous support over the years. You can be rest assured that we, as Management and staff of the University, shall continually give our best in training them both in character and learning. However, we solicit your support in prompt payment of your wards’ fees. It is indeed worrisome that the University is being owed a substantial amount of money, even for the past academic sessions. The University can only meet its ever increasing obligations if fees are paid and promptly too.
I will like to introduce to us those students who had excelled in their studies and are called “University Scholars”. These are:
It is also very pleasing to note that new set of scholars have joined them, they are:
These scholars are brought out to encourage our new matriculating students that they have a choice to make, either to join these wonderful students as University Scholars or not. It is my prayer that you will be as focused as these ones too. It is note-worthy that all our University Scholars have a rebate of 50% on their tuition, which would be another impetus for encouraging good performance in your academics.
Lastly, let me urge the matriculating students to endeavor to shun all forms of vices, ungodly peer pressure and depraved characters. The University has rules and regulations guiding the conducts of all students and you are expected to familiarize yourselves with these regulations and abide strictly by them. On our part, we shall continually ensure that your stay in the University is worthwhile. We are ready to play our part towards ensuring your success as undergraduates of this University and we encourage you to also play your part by being hardworking, focused and dedicated to your studies. By the end of your programme in the University, you will be expected to go out into the world to be positive change agents that would be the pride of the University. I pray that none of you would fall by the way, but you shall all end well and end strong.
Once again, I thank all parents, guardians and well-wishers for your presence and wish you all journey mercies back to your various destinations.
God bless you and God bless KolaDaisi University.
Professor Adeniyi I. Olatunbosun
Text of speech delivered at the matriculation ceremony of the new students of KolaDaisi University, Ibadan, Wednesday, February 27, 2019.
I give all the honour and glory to the Lord God Almighty who has granted us the grace to hold this second matriculation programme of KolaDaisi University, Ibadan, KDU. It is perhaps important on an occasion like this to refresh our mindset about the happenings in our first academic year and let you know our focus for greater achievements in the course of our second year, and the next few years. Academic activities commenced on 16th of November 2017 following our licensing in November 2016. The maiden matriculation was held on the 17th day of March 2018 with 32 students admitted into 12 programmes. I am glad to report that today we are matriculating a total of 112 students ( 59 males and 53 females, 78 UTME and 34 DE) in 13 programmes; 53 in the Faculty of Applied Sciences and 59 in the Faculty of Arts, Management and Social Sciences. These students are from 19 states of Nigeria. You can thus see that we are growing steadily under the guidance and support of the Founder and Members of Board of Trustees and Governing Council. Although we are still far from where we want to be but by the special grace of the Almighty God we will be there sooner than later. We lost a very rare gem in the person of our Mother, Madam Sherifat Agbeke Kola Daisi, MFR, the wife of our Father and Founder in October 2018. I urge you all to please continue to support and pray for our Founder, the children and the KDU family.
While congratulating the lucky students, I must appreciate you the parents for entrusting these your children and wards into our care. I also appreciate all the stakeholders especially the Founder, the Proprietor (KDF), Members of the Board of Trustees and Governing Council and Friends of the University for standing by us this past year. I must also specially thank our Pioneering class of 32; 26 of whom are still with us in their second year. We have benefitted this past year from the services of two accomplished Professors in the field of Biochemistry who have offered their services non-gratis to the University. Please join me in appreciating two of my dear friends, Professors Musbau Adewumi Akanji and Temidayo Adenike Oladiji of the Department of Biochemistry, University of Ilorin, for this very kind and unusual gesture. Much encouragement and support have been received from the Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission, Professor Abubakar Adamu Rasheed, mni, MFR, FNAL, and some of his directors including Mr. Ibrahim Usman Yakasai, Dr. Salmon Yusuf and Dr. Noel Abiodun Saliu, and the Registrar of JAMB, Professor Ishaq O. Oloyede, FNAL, to these I am very grateful. I equally appreciate the Vice chancellor, University of Ibadan, Professor A. I. Olayinka, and a number of staff of that University who have been of much assistance to us. The University benefitted from the visit of Dr. Olusegun Soetan, a Visiting Postdoctoral candidate from the Department of African and Cultural Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA and also hosted a doctoral student from the Department of History at the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, Northwestern University, USA, who was here for three months researching on West Africa Intellectual History, Indigenous Medicine and Healing Culture. We look forward to more collaborations and contributions from our friends and well-meaning individuals towards the growth and development of this University. Indeed the contributions in cash, endowment, equipment, materials, services and in any other way by you who are present here today and by other friends of the University will be highly appreciated. Please get in touch with us on how you can partner with us and as you do, you will be blessed richly by the Lord.
Our Resolve It is in realization of the fact that government alone cannot adequately fund qualitative education that made the Founder, Chief Kola Daisi, CON, the Bashorun of Ibadan Land, embark on the establishment of KolaDaisi University as an institution that will deliver quality education to Nigerians and people from all races and countries. Our focus at KDU is on producing quality graduates who are well equipped to make their mark anywhere they find themselves. Since one cannot or perhaps should not give what he or she does not have, it is pertinent that students are well equipped while in school with what they will need to serve in future. It is therefore our responsibility to prepare the students in such a way that each can excel while here in the University so as to serve well in the communities where they will find themselves upon graduation. In line with our commitment to establish and nurture a world class university, we hope to introduce more courses that are of great impact to the society, after due approval by the National University Commission. As from next session, the University will be engaging highly experienced and qualified industry players and professionals but with requisite academic qualifications to join our faculty. This will enable them impart their professional experience on the students and make them better equipped to excel during their training and thus possess the skills to serve upon graduation.
Our Role On our part we are committed to high quality teaching and research, engagement of highly qualified faculty, attraction of international and highly talented students and scholars, academic freedom, good governance structures, well- equipped facilities for teaching and research, good student life and contribution to society. My dear students, for you to excel here and succeed in life, we will help you develop the following attributes: Diligence, Integrity, Smartness, Consistency, Persistency, Self – Awareness, Spirit of Team Building, Self-Accountability, Excellence and Leadership QualitiesI assure you that we will provide a conducive environment needed for your total growth and development and provide the needed support, training, mentoring and protection from this University during and even after your stay here. We will continue to strive in the provision of adequate extra-curricular engagements and experiences so as to broaden your knowledge. We will continue to maintain high academic standards in line with the vision and mission statements of the University. I assure you that we will continue to place premium on skill acquisition, entrepreneurship and character molding so you can excel here in the University and go out there to serve and excel in the labour or employment market.
YOUR PRIVILEGES AND BOUNDARIES Let me make it very clear that your admission to KDU is a special privilege. You are therefore expected to work hard, make the best of this golden opportunity and excel here at Koladaisi University so you can go out there and serve to excel. At a point in a person’s life, he or she must defer gratification in order to succeed in life. Although it is easy not to see the need to defer gratification because we almost always want the here and now, the reality is that there is no gain without pain. Let me borrow from the word of Apostle Paul in I Corinthians 9: 25 which states:And every man that strives for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible It is important therefore that you defer the present temporary pleasures so you can excel and be of better quality in the future. Be ready to sacrifice for the sake of the future. You must defer certain pleasures, sweat it out now and burn the night oil in order to excel. Note that success is not a straight line but much more of a dance that is open to so many possibilities but with a lot of up and down with its turnings and twistings. I assure you that you can still enjoy the music and dance while you are here but within the limit of guided freedom. You must constantly remember that the primary focus of your training here is your academic and character molding. Therefore be very mindful of your status as an undergraduate and future ambassador of this university. I therefore plead with you to conduct yourselves in such a manner that would enable you earn a degree of this university. Please shun all vices, and respect the University rules and regulations especially on academic regulations and moral conduct on campus. I advise you to reject all those things which can serve as impediments to your excelling here in the university. This University has zero tolerance for indiscipline and all forms of vices. Expulsion is the simplest reward for bad behavior and misconduct; a reward we hesitate to offer. Please take advantage of your admission into this University so that you can become leaders, researchers, entrepreneurs, etc who will contribute positively to the development of our country. This will be in tandem with our vision and mission statements. So I urge you to focus on your books, lectures and other activities or programmes designed for you by the University in order to attain the highest level of academic, professional and moral possibilities. I enjoin you to be good Ambassadors of this University and of your families. I assure you that you can become the best of yourself.
CANDID ADVICE My dear students, it is important that you don’t concentrate much effort on improving your social status, image, appearance, trendy social matters and news. In order to have a better future it is essential that you focus on your studies rather than fashion trends, musical idols, premier league, La Liga, European Leagues etc. The process of becoming a good student who will excel here and be equipped to excel in life is not difficult. It requires three simple basic requirements: COMMITMENT, DEVOTION and PROPER TIME MANAGEMENT. You need to study effectively, be active in class, pay attention to all that you are being taught and take part within the classroom. Take time to review what you are taught every day and do your assignments. You should manage your time well and prioritize all activities. Develop interest in all your subjects and be sure not to miss classes, practicals, quizzes, etc. You should develop study habits gradually and increase your study and listening skills. You are expected to work very hard from this very beginning. I assure you success as you follow these guidelines. Religious activities are encouraged within the framework of your freedom as we believe that godliness is required in all human endeavours if we are to succeed. I wish you a very happy and successful stay in KDU, your home for the next three or four years.
TWO NATIONAL ISSUES In closing, let me share my thoughts on two major challenges facing our youths today: moral decadence and unemployment. I believe that we as a nation need to be more sensitive and responsive to the academic and moral training and needs of our youths. A good name or being worthy in character is of greater significance than success in life. It is perhaps right to say that an ungodly or immoral character can never truly make anyone succeed in life. It is important therefore that we as a nation show more concern about the moral upbringing of our youths. We should start the moral training early in life by making deliberate policies and taking the right steps if our nation is to become the giant we claim it is. The irony is that it is actually the adults who are corrupting the youths and not giving them a good moral compass to follow. Therefore, we all need a change of heart, life and attitude. We also need to create hope and confidence in our youths through motivation and mentorship. The worrisome case of sexual harassment in many of our higher institutions need to be tackled more positively. Although the anger has almost always been more towards teachers and lecturers, I believe that this is a societal challenge that needs the attention of all. I firmly believe that our educational institutions should lead by example and put in place preventive measures for both groups (staff and students). Staff, as adults, are loco parentis to the students under their watch and cannot claim to have succumbed to the harassment of the students by the way they dress provocatively, walk invitationally, talk suggestively or behave indecently. We just have to live above board. A dog cannot eat the bone tied round its neck should be our watchword. Koladaisi University will develop implementable sexual harassment policies that will make reporting easy and safe, justice promptly discharged and violators sanctioned. This University would protect you, our students from being taking advantage of. We also enjoin parents to pay surprise visits to the schools to check on their wards, apart from giving them good training at home, being good role models and mentors, being their friends, and praying with and for them. The unemployment rate in the country has become really worrisome. The steady shrinking of formal jobs is becoming the most formidable obstacle graduates of higher institutions in Nigeria face in their struggle to survive. If any meaningful result is to be achieved in fighting corruption, poverty, crime, youth unrest and the growing divide between the rich and the poor then youth unemployment has to be confronted more seriously. This is largely because the trainings the youths are exposed to merely prepare them for already existing white collar jobs which have almost but disappeared as most local, state, federal ministries and agencies and majority of the industrial and international organizations are no longer employing. According to the recent unemployment report released by the National Bureau of Statistics, unemployment among youths with postsecondary education has almost tripled in the last three years from 12% in 2015 to 30.5% in 2018 with a national unemployment rate at 23.1% in the third quarter of 2018. Considering the fact that education is the right of every child and key to social and economic development and poverty eradication, then the nation should put measures in place to improve access, affordability and quality of education in our country. We need to do something about the accusation that our dear country is deliberately sabotaging the education and future of her citizens especially the children. This is based on the very low annual educational budget; more so when it is being alleged that a group of four thousand individuals or less have more money allocated for their welfare in the annual federal budgets than the education of more than 120 million children and adolescents in a population of about 200 million. Worse still is the continuous denial of Private Universities the opportunity of benefitting from the TETFUND intervention which would have enabled faster development and more significant contribution to the education of more youths in Nigeria by the private institutions. The stark reality in the face of the economic downturn is that we have to turn out graduates who can work for themselves and perhaps employ others. We therefore need to make deliberate efforts to equip our graduates for jobs that are not there. Towards this end, we need to come up with curricula that fit into present day realities. We need to produce graduates who are self-motivated, skilled enough, who are employable and who can employ others. The government and the university have to help the youths maximize their potential, take full advantage of their raw talents and energy, and encourage those with entrepreneurial potentials. There must also be a national safety net system to alleviate or provide stop gap reprieve for graduates. If our undergraduates must maximize their potentials and excel while in the university so they can graduate and serve the nation and the world, then we must provide them with the needed resources. In view of the recent admission figures into higher institutions in Nigeria, the 79 Private universities if properly supported by Government can certainly absorb more students and provide better qualitative training to our youths. Therefore Government need to be more involved in financing education at the tertiary level, especially by financially supporting the Private Universities. On our part, we are rebuilding our curriculum into the digital age so that students can acquire employability skills no matter their chosen course of study. Apart from mounting courses in entrepreneurial studies, all our disciplines are made to include the profitable business ventures of their programmes. We therefore encourage all our students that even while in school they can be self-sufficient and create businesses on their own, provided this does not negatively affect their major reason for being in this University.
ON THE FINAL NOTE My dear students, it is my wish that you take every word you have heard today as serious and hearty wishes. The University is committed to producing the world’s future best scholars and leaders; and these we want you to become. Therefore work hard here so you can excel to serve and go out there and serve to excel. Familiarize yourself with the University, study and digest the Students’ Handbook and academic regulations, make the best of the facilities the University provides and make the best of the opportunities you will be presented with. Please accept my best wishes as I formally welcome you to your home for the next three or four years.
PLEASE, EXCEL TO SERVE SO YOU CAN SERVE TO EXCEL.