I have been on the road all week on behalf of my employers visiting towns and universities in the South East and South South identifying potential CSR projects. With regards to our Ivory Towers, I must say that the houses have not fallen yet; neither do they appear that they would fall anytime soon. Iím sure this is not the type of news Karl Maier would want to hear.
Despite the challenges, I think the Vice Chancellors of some of the universities are doing very well and the students too. I wouldnít worry too much about Nigerian universities not making the global rankings, there is a genuine effort at improving standards and quality. A full pictorial report on this will follow later. I have so far visited Unical (Calabar), Uniuyo (Uyo), Uniport (P.H), IMOSU (Owerri), ABSU (Uturu), UNN (Nsukka & Enugu Campus), Unizik (Awka) and Uniben (Benin) this week. I must say that from the lot, I have been most impressed by ABSU; the environment is really beautiful and is fit-for-purpose with breathtaking views.
My trip to Uniuyo was nostalgic as it brought back old memories. I havenít been back there since my graduation and was happy to reunite with my lecturers again, the likes of Prof Desmond Wilson and Dr. Nkereuwem Udoakah all of the Communications Arts Department. I also met up with an old classmate Dr. Mfon Itek who also now teaches in the department of Communications Arts. I think past students should find time to return to their Alma Matters, identify with them and look for ways of giving back.
I used the opportunity of my trip to Nsukka to collect my PG certificate; the guys at the PG office are complaining that students donít always come back for theirs hanging on instead to their statements of results. Going through the list to check if mine was ready, I counted hundreds if not thousands of names who are yet to collect theirs. I was surprised that the whole process didnít take up to 30 minutes. You only need to pay an official N1, 000 processing fee which is receipted, unless the spirit leads you to buy lunch for the boys around the office. Well if are reading this and finished from UNN, chances are that your certificate may just be lying around collecting dust so better hurry to get it. Mr. J.O Ukwueze and his hardworking team will be glad to assist you.
On a lighter note, I witnessed something at the Convocation arena of the University of Port Harcourt which I felt I should share. Please, this picture is not to ridicule the efforts of the university authorities but should rather get Uniport alumni thinking on ways they can support the university. It appears that general courses lectures are held at the arena as that is the only place where huge numbers usually enrolled on the general courses could all be accommodated. The challenge however is that the arena is not purpose Ė built for lectures but like they say, necessity is the mother of invention, the students now seat backwards at the arena, and this leaves their legs and feet dangling. A thought provoking sight indeed. You can check my blog in a couple of days from today to view the pictures.