NUC approves upgrade of Osun College of Education to varsity


From Fred Ezeh, AbujaThe National Universities Commission (NUC) has approved the upgrade of the Osun State College of Education, Ilesa, to a full-fledged University to be called the University of Ilesa, making it the 220th university in Nigeria.The Commission said the approval followed a request by the state government for the upgrade, and their ability to meet the criteria for the establishment of a new university or upgrade of an existing institution.NUC Executive Secretary, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, handed over the provisional license of the new institution to the officials of the state government led by the governor, Adegboyega Oyetola, at NUC headquarters in Abuja, on Thursday.In his remarks, the NUC boss congratulated the State government for the success and encouraged the management of the new university to approach the Commission for any professional or institutional support so that won’t operate contrary to established guidelines which might attract severe sanctions.He said that action applications were expedited because of the promise NUC had earlier made to the state during the dissolution of the “marriage” it had with Oyo State regarding the ownership and management of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomosho, Oyo State.The NUC boss, however, confirmed that the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) and Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) have been notified of the new university, and have also been directed to recognize the institution in its subsequent operations.NUC Executive Secretary Prof Abubakar Rasheed handing over the provisional license of the new university to Osun State Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola, at the NUC headquarters in Abuja, on ThursdayThe Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola, in his remarks, disclosed that the decision to upgrade the institution to a full-fledged University was taken on 31 March 2022, and was necessitated by the massive gap between qualified candidates and available space in existing higher institutions within the state.He added: “education remains the primary industry in Osun. The yearning is considerably insatiable, and as responsible leaders, we cannot ignore these needs.“Our commitment is to contribute to developing the human resources needed to drive socioeconomic growth and development in Osun and Nigeria. Higher education worldwide is a veritable driver of human development, innovation, technological advancement, and resource exploration.“It is central to the creation of future wealth, better socio-economic attainment, efficient agro-economy and mining technology in the current knowledge economy. Better and efficient managers of resources and upward mobile professionals are all products of a well-designed curriculum and focused advanced training. Every aspect of human endeavour depends on higher education to attain an efficient level of production and performance.He, thus, disclosed that the new University of Ilesa will focus on Agriculture and Agri-business to address food insecurity, mining technology, building on the abundant gold deposit in Ijesa land and medical sciences to enhance the human resource need in the health sector.“We are very deliberate in our approach as we seek to contribute to the diversification of our economy and move it away from over-reliance on oil. We have identified credible candidates for the Governing Council and Principal Officers, ready to be appointed and hit the ground running,” he stated.He said the available facilities are sufficient to conveniently accommodate the University in the first phase of its development, adding that adequate provisions have been made for the students of the College of Education to complete their studies as the life of the College of Education comes to an end.Meanwhile, the former Governor of state, Chief Bisi Akande, commended the governor for his drive to provide opportunities for Osun people to acquire quality and affordable education.

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