The Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), Prof Joseph Fuwape, has unfolded plans of the university to focus more on the training and production of postgraduate students.
According to him, the university will very soon emulate the University of Ibadan (UI) in ceding 40 per cent of its admission quota to postgraduate students, while 60 per cent would be for first degree and certificate.
He disclosed this during the graduation of the university for 2016/2017 and 2017/2018 academic sessions, where 138 students obtained Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), 996 obtained Masters and 570 students with Postgraduate Diploma, while 13 students graduated with Masters in Space Science and Technology.
He said: “The university established the first School of Computing in the country and introduce new academic programmes in Information Technology (IT); Information System; Cyber Security; Software Engineering and Computer Engineering.
“The institution is committed towards being positioned as the best university in Nigeria for innovative and market-responsive computing education.”
Meanwhile, the President and Visitor to the university, President Muhammadu Buhari asked universities in the country to key into the entrepreneurial/ technology policy of the Federal Government.
The President, who was represented by the Director of Accreditation at the National Universities Commission (NUC), Dr. Noel Saliu Biodun, said the roles of universities in economic growth and national development could not be underemphasized.
This was even as he urged tertiary institutions in the country to intensify efforts towards the actualisation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for economic growth and national development.
Universities, the President added, are pivotal to the economic recovery of the Federal Government, saying: “In this age of ICT, we believe strongly that our universities of technology are pivotal to the actualisation of our national development agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations.”
According to the President, the training would go a long way in helping to produce highly qualified manpower to solve the myriad of problems facing the nation such as insecurity and unemployment.
President Buhari, who reiterated the commitment of the Federal Government to developing the education sector through massive infrastructural development and increased funding of the universities, noted:
“The government is also determined to improve access of our children to quality educational, while government will conscientiously play its role in placing Nigerian universities on a higher pedestal.
“The Federal Government will continue to provide necessary interventions for infrastructural development, training and retraining of staff and research through the instrument of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) and other sources.”
Therefore, he urged the universities to effectively fulfill their mandate in teaching, research and community service, as well as to rejig the educational system for sustainable funding.
The Chancellor, Alhaji Rilwanu Adamu, on his part, called on both the federal and state governments to increase funding to Nigerian universities to improve the quality of teaching, learning and research.
The Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council, Senator Joseph Waku applauded the government’s effort in funding education, but appealed for more funding allocations to the institutions.
“As the needs of universities have been on the increase in order to meet the challenges of global competitiveness, I wish to crave the indulgence of the Federal Government for more financial support especially for the release of the shortfalls in Personnel Grant to our university,” Waku said.