Prof. Ademola Oladapo Popoola of the Faculty of Law, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife has stated that the rapid and unparalleled infrastructural development witnessed at the budding Kwara State University, Malete is challenging to older universities in Nigeria.
The don made this statement in his lecture at the combined 8th and 9th convocation ceremonies of KWASU held at the institution’s Mini Convocation Arena.
Popoola who is the convocation lecturer lauded the efforts of the current management in complementing previous efforts to make KWASU a leading varsity on the global scene.
The lecture was also witnessed by Prof. Mohammed Mustapha Akanbi (SAN), Vice-Chancellor of KWASU.
Speaking to the title, “Higher Education Nigeriana; A Journey Across Time and Space”, Prof. Popoola who is also a veteran legal luminary told the story of universities in Nigeria and how higher education came into existence in the country.
“By 1908, the government had started to provide some form of higher training by establishing departmental training schemes. The policy was to train the lower echelon only. The departmental training courses were instituted between 1908 and 1935,” he noted.
“Meanwhile, agitation for a higher educational institution where the Nigerian Youth could receive higher training without going abroad had begun towards the end of the 19th century. The upshot was the establishment of the Yaba Higher College, Lagos which was officially opened in 1934. The Yaba college had many shortcomings and did not satisfy the yearnings of Nigerians for a higher education in Nigeria.”
He gave a deep insights into how the British pattern of education was imported to Nigeria and West Africa.
“In 1948, the University College, Ibadan was established as a College of the University of London. Thus, the British pattern of higher education with all of its strengths and weaknesses — and with London and Cambridge Universities serving as models — was imported to West Africa.
“The University College, Ibadan became a full-fledged University in 1962 as the University of Ibadan. Meanwhile, regional universities were established at Nsukka in 1960, Zaria in 1962, and Ife 1962, and a Federal University was established in Lagos in 1962. Benin joined the league early in 1970s. An avalanche of universities (Federal, State and Private) have since followed. The education landscape is also blessed with other higher institutions including Colleges of Technology, Polytechnics, Monotechnics, Colleges of Education, Colleges of Agriculture, Colleges of Nursing and Midwifery, etc.”
The lecturer also discussed the features that qualify a university to be a world class.
Among others he cited: an international reputation for its research, an international reputation for its teaching, number of researchers and world leaders in their fields, recognized not only by other world class universities but also outside the world of higher education, provides a high-quality and supportive research and educational environment for both its staff and its students (for example, high-quality buildings and facilities/high quality campus).
“The rate of infrastrucutural development in KWASU poses a very top challenge to older universities in Nigeria; all thanks to the management of the citadel since the inception. And a very big achievement to the current management who are on a mission to make KWASU a leading university at the global stage,” he submitted.
He congratulated all the graduands, advising them that there isn’t a particular time for success in one’s life.
The event hosted the creme de la creme of the institution, including Chairman, Governing Council, Prof. Kpotum Mohammad Baba; Pro-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Omololu Fafojuwo; Deans of Faculties; Heads of Departments; University Scholars and selected members of the public.