EKSU Convocation: Professor Advocates for Academic and Financial Autonomy for Universities

At the 28th Convocation Lecture of Ekiti State University (EKSU), Professor Abel Idowu Olayinka, a former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, delivered a compelling address on the future of the Nigerian University System.

EKSU Convocation: Professor Advocates for Academic and Financial Autonomy for Universities

In a thought-provoking address at the 28th Convocation Lecture of Ekiti State University (EKSU), Professor Abel Idowu Olayinka, a distinguished figure in Applied Geophysics and former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, emphasized the critical importance of granting academic and financial autonomy to universities. Under the theme "The Future of the Nigerian University System," Professor Olayinka underscored the necessity for increased funding and autonomy to foster creativity and innovation within the academic sphere.

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Addressing the audience on Tuesday, Professor Olayinka expressed deep concern over the impact of inadequate funding on the overall educational experience for students. He emphasized that robust financial support is essential to ensure the delivery of high-quality education in Nigerian universities.

According to Professor Olayinka, "The Nigerian University System should serve as a catalyst for socio-economic development." He urged stakeholders to collectively strive towards repositioning the university system for greater achievements in the forthcoming years and decades.

Highlighting specific recommendations, Professor Olayinka urged the government, university proprietors, and funding bodies to prioritize increased investment in the university system. He stressed the need for adequate teaching and research infrastructure to facilitate excellence in education and innovation.

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Furthermore, Professor Olayinka advocated for full autonomy for universities, both academically and financially. He argued that granting autonomy would empower universities to generate internal revenue creatively without resorting to imposing tuition fees on students.

The distinguished professor also emphasized the importance of attracting and retaining competent academic and administrative staff. He called for the provision of facilities to support advanced research that is locally relevant and globally competitive.

In terms of student welfare, Professor Olayinka proposed the establishment of a robust student loan scheme to support financially challenged students. He stressed the necessity of admitting students based on merit and providing them with adequate financial support.

Additionally, Professor Olayinka emphasized the significance of strengthening university governance and leadership. He called for a supportive regulatory framework that promotes transparency, accountability, academic freedom, and strategic vision.

Concluding his address, Professor Olayinka highlighted concerns regarding the absence of Governing Boards/Councils for regulatory bodies such as the National Universities Commission and JAMB, emphasizing the importance of effective oversight in ensuring good corporate governance.

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In summary, Professor Olayinka's address at the EKSU Convocation underscored the imperative need for academic and financial autonomy, increased funding, and strengthened governance within the Nigerian University System to drive excellence and innovation in education and research.