The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Maiduguri, Aliyu Shugaba, says the institution’s refusal to close down at the peak of Boko Haram insurgency has attracted a N2 billion Distance Learning project.
The vice-chancellor made this known when he spoke with newsmen in Abuja.
He said the project, which, was courtesy of Muhammad Idimi, a philanthropist and founder of Oriental Energy Resources, had a state-of-the-art facility among other things.
While appreciating Mr Indimi for deeming the institution fit for a project that would impact positively on the lives of people within and outside Borno, he assured that the university would continue to work towards maintaining its name as a Centre of Excellence.
“We are moving on as a university and we are at our best now.
“Presently, all our programmes in the university have been fully accredited and about 21 more are due for accreditation this November,” he said.
The vice-chancellor recounted the school’s ordeal at the heat of the insurgency, saying that the number of applications for admission dropped to as low as 3000 per session.
“The early years of insurgency affected the number of applications received.
“We were used to receiving applications in tens of thousands.
“However, when the insurgency started between 2010 and 2011 session to 2013 and 2014 sessions, the applications for admission received both in terms of UTME and Direct Entry reduced to below 3000.
“By 2014 and 2015 session and 2016 session, however, we received 60,000 applications and at that time our admission quota was only about 8,100.
“By 2017 and 2018, admission request was almost 80,000 and our admission quota had increased to about 10,000.
“The admission quota is now 11,000 but our applications have always been in the neighbourhood of 70,000 and 80,000 requests per admission,” he said.
Mr Shugaba, a professor, further disclosed that besides the drop in the number of applications, external examiners kept away from the institution at the peak of the insurgency.
He assured that the school would continue to stand out, particularly in the area of medicine, law, social sciences and sciences.
“We have now improved our collaboration with universities within and outside the country.
“We have collaboration with universities in Malaysia, Thailand, China and most of the Asian countries as well as the UK and U.S.
“So, the number of collaborations has increased and that has now made us look at other things deeply in terms of research and everything.
“Teaching, research and community service have been maintained.
“At the moment there are many staff from other universities that want to come to Maiduguri for sabbatical leave, research leave and all of that.
“Currently, one from the University of Lagos and another from the University of Nigeria Nsukka have written to come to Maiduguri for sabbatical.
“So, we still maintain our position as a Centre of Excellence.”
He pointed out that in spite of the challenges, the university could boast of having the highest number of students in the country.
“Our student population including undergraduate, postgraduate and distance learning amounts to about 75,000.
“Ahmadu Bello University is trailing us with about 65,000 student population,” he said.