THE Pro-Chancellor and chairman of Ajayi Crowther University, (ACU) governing council, Dr Olutoyin Okeowo, says the university is in the process of repositioning itself to earn a place among the best 1000 universities in the world.
Speaking at a retreat organized by the institution after inauguration of the new governing council at the school’s premises in Oyo, Okeowo said part of the process is complete digitalization of the school’s various organs to make it accessible to the global community.
Okeowo said, “This retreat will give us the opportunity to build on the strong foundation laid by the previous council. It will also serve as an avenue to reposition the university among the best 1000 universities in the world within the next two to three years. Forty years ago, Nigerian universities were among the best 50 universities in the world.
“But over the past 35 years, Nigeria has lost the glory in education sector and positions among the best university ranking in the world. Unfortunately, this reality has resulted in the loss of human capital, dearth of skill, low capacity utilization, high unemployment and high level of poverty.
Okeowo added that the retreat will help to identify the challenges of the school and address them as well as establish a bond between the council and the school management.
The chairman stated that to aid full digitalisation of the school system, the council will ensure that every student has a laptop computer.
While addressing the issue of attracting research grants to the school, Okeowo said ACU will partner with members of the Anglican Communion who have demonstrated their willingness to offer assistance.
“Apart from this, there is a legacy fund of N3bn from the church. Members of the church who believe in the school project want to tax themselves and raise the amount towards the development of the university so that we can have the best environment for our students and staff to thrive,” he said.
The Vice-Chancellor of the school, Prof Timothy Adebayo, said at the retreat that the school management will prioritize digitization of the school system, adding that during the tenure of the past council, the school was able to break even financially.
He said, “In 2020, we generated about N2bn and in 2021, it grew to N2.5bn. Last year, the school made about N3.5bn. This is due to the good work of the past council and we hope to move forward under the new council.”
While commending the new council for organizing the retreat, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof Olumuyiwa Popoola, said demonstration of the new council to reposition the school for immediate growth is a welcome development especially with the unfavorable position of Nigeria’s education sector. He stated that the school alumni also must come together to play a role in its development.