The University of Benin has granted amnesty to more than 500 students who had overstayed in the university.
According to NAN the Vice-Chancellor of the university, Lilian Salami, announced this on Thursday in Benin in her address at the 46th and 47th combined Convocation and 51st Founders’ Day ceremonies of the institution.
Ms Salami said the university had also carried out several academic reforms, milestones and accreditation under her watch.
Part of these “feats”, she said, was making certificates of graduands to be available for collection right from the day of graduation.
She said the institution successfully introduced teaching methods through e-learning and physical teaching as fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The vice-chancellor said a directorate of quality assurance was established to standardise academic activities and ensure quality service delivery across all academic programmes in the university.
“At the inception of this administration, a major source of concern was gross disequilibrium in the ratio of teaching to non-teaching staff”.
The figure available put the teaching staff at 1,779 while the number of non-teaching staff was approximately 6,063.
“With the continuing embargo on employment, something drastic needed to be done to address the situation. The administration then began the process of sourcing from among non-teaching staff, qualified persons who were subsequently redeployed to teaching cadre”.
“So far, over 250 of such qualified staffers have been re-deployed to academics. The administration did not stop there. As (of) today, over 200 adjunct lecturers have also been appointed, to bridge the gap in teaching positions.
Ms Salami also said that the university under her administration introduced five new programmes into the academic curriculum which are Bachelor of Arts in Music and Psychology, as well as Master of Science, Master of Philosophy and Doctor of Philosophy in Maternal and Child Health Nursing.
The postgraduate programmes, she said, were funded via the Centre of Excellence in Reproductive Health Innovation.
The Chancellor of the university, James Ayatse, who is the Tor Tiv in Benue, in his remarks, called on tertiary institutions in Nigeria to be more innovative in tackling the enormous challenges inhibiting access to quality education.
The chancellor said Nigerian universities must engage in profitable ventures, without compromising the core objectives of setting up the institutions, to augment their dwindling subventions.
He commended the vice-chancellor, members of the management team and other members of the UNIBEN community for ensuring peace and stability on campus.
The Chairman of the Governing Council of the university, Sonny Kuku, called for increased funding of education in Nigeria to achieve the desired result of producing highly skilled and competent manpower to drive the country.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that 17,517 students graduated for the 2018/2019 and 2019/2020 academic sessions.