To Attain Optimal Productivity, Universities Must Stick To Established Culture

ersities to continue to be relevant as F ivory tower and engender national development through teaching, research and public service, policy-makers and regulatory agencies such as the National Universities Commission must take appropriate measures to guide the standards of personnel recruited into the system and quality of its output. This was the observation made by erstwhile Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic), Professor Bernard thEfiuvwevwer e, while delivering the 18 Valedictory Lecture entitled, Reflections on University Culture: The Existence, Criticisms and Cautiously Optimistic Sustainability at Ebitimi Banigo Auditorium on Wednesday, September 9, 2020. Professor Efiuvwevwere, who retired from the Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Science, said his choice of the topic was to enable him share his experience of about 39 years in the university system. He traced the history of university culture to 1088 when the first modern university which is the University of Bologna, Italy, assessed the oral defence of its Postgraduate students in public arena with all stakeholders including the examiners, parents, students and the public in attendance.   “Quality assurance culture should be emphasised and put in place at various levels (departmental, faculty and University) since it is an integral part of the University culture. As a result of economic competitiveness and globalisation, more objective measures should be taken in the input/admission process of students since this affects the quality of the outputs,” Professor Efiuvwevwere submitted. thThe 18 Valedictory Lecturer advised managements of universities and government agencies to make frantic effort towards improving the ranking of universities. He urged staff and students to commit themselves to quality education by eliminating all forms of misconduct. “The University culture is characterised by individuality, academic features, diversity and creativity. Consequently, if the University deviates from its cultural heritage, it is no longer a place for the continuation of learning and academic prosperity, hence it must be vigorously defended,” he said, listing innovation, research, knowledge economy and quality teaching as key imperatives that university leadership must address to achieve sustainability of the University culture. Reacting to the Lecture, the Acting Vice Chancellor, Professor Stephen Okodudu, extolled Professor Efiuvwevwere for putting up 39 years of quality service to the University, adding that the number of years Professor Efiuvwevwere had spent in teaching and administrative positions had exposed him to share knowledge of the University culture. Conceding that there are changes in the University culture, the Acting Vice Chancellor added that universities should however, endeavour to blend emerging developments with established culture for the overall growth of the system.

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