THE authorities of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) will award First-Class certificates to 12 out of 5,975 graduating students of the institution at its 6th convocation ceremony holding on 21st January, 2017.
Vice-Chancellor of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), Prof. Abdalla Uba Adamu, made this known in Abuja while briefing newsmen as part of activities marking the 6th Convocation of the University, since it was established in 1983.
He also disclosed that a professor of political economy and management expert, Professor Patrick Utomi, is expected to speak at the 6th Pre-Convocation Lecture of NOUN to be held at National Universities Commission (NUC), Abuja on 20th.
According to him, Utomi would deliver the pre-convocation lecture, which is on the Nigerian economy and how Open and Distance Learning could be factored into the overall national development.
“Utomi is brilliant intellectual and we are very lucky to have him and he will be looking at how Open Distance Learning could be factored into the overall economy of Nigeria,” he said.
He said the university would graduate a total 5975 students who have been found worthy in character and in learning across various disciplines from its 8 Faculties.
The Vice-Chancellor said he has confidence in the quality of students of the university, saying that there was no doubt that graduates of NOUN have the ability to go places.
He said there was no basis for discrimination against graduates of the institution since it met all the requisite academic minimum benchmark set by the National Universities Commission and all the programmes approved by the Commission.
According to him, NUC has vowed to sanction any university that refused admission to NOUN graduate for further studies on the basis of certificate. “NOUN certificate is rock-solid,” he said.
Adamu, noted that the university now has a total students population of 254,000 in 78 study centers across the country, disclosing that Lagos alone has over 30,000 students and three active study centers.
He said the university also have special study centers in some prisons across the country with purpose of providing free university education to prisoners who desire to acquire more knowledge as part of their reformation.
On rejection of NOUN law students by the Nigerian Law School and the mandatory one-year, National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme, the Vice-Chancellor said the issues were being resolved and that very soon the students would be admitted into Law School while those qualified for Service would be appropriately mobilised for national service.
He explained that the Act establishing the university which created barriers in some of its provisions is currently being reviewed in the Senate while public hearing on the amendment bill would be held on 16th of this month.
He added that what the Law School used against NOUN was the provision in the enabling Act that the University delivers education by correspondence, saying that “Correspondence” has been deleted since it was obvious that students of the university have regular contacts with their instructors in their various study Centers across the nation.
He also noted that there was the provision in the Act that the university is run on part-time, which was what NYSC capitalised on to deny NOUN students opportunity of participation in the service scheme. “The barriers of part-time and correspondence will be removed for the students to serve and go to Law School,” he said.