15th DELSU Convocation: “Another Bountiful Harvest” …as Egwunyenga reels out landmark breakthroughs in infrastructure and academics at a Press Conference.

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By Cmr. Wilbet Ijeoma

The Vice Chancellor of Delta State University, Professor Andy Ogochukwu Egwunyenga held a Press Conference yesterday the 26th day of April 2023, marking one in the series of events of the 15th Convocation of Delta State University, culminating on Saturday 29th April 2023 in the commissioning of projects, and award of Degrees, Diplomas and Prizes to deserving graduands of the university.

In his opening remarks, the VC underscored the primary purpose of the 15th convocation ceremony which was for the awards of Degrees, Diplomas and Prizes of the University to deserving graduands who have been found worthy in character and in learning. He however noted that there shall be no award of honorary Doctorate Degrees and Emeritus Professors at the 15th Convocation of the University. Reacting to one of the questions from journalists on why the university didn’t deem it fit to recognize some personalities by conferring on them honorary Doctorate Degrees, the VC clarified that honorary degrees are classified and conferred on deserving personalities of professional, national and international repute, and there was no such one contemplated by the university in this year’s edition. He however noted that next year would offer another opportunity to do so.

The highpoints of the VC’s remarks were completed Faculty of Management Science building in less than one year, which started on the 28th of April 2022 and will be commissioned on Saturday, the 29th of April, 2023, completion of 3.2km of Road Network within the permanent site of the University amongst other newly constructed/renovated roads, construction of a block of 6 classrooms to expand infrastructure at Delta State University, Staff Secondary School, renovation of some university hostels amongst others.

Harping on the academic breakthroughs achieved by the university lately, Prof. Egwunyenga noted that in the 31 years of existence of the university, it now have all (80) programmes with full NUC accreditation status after securing full accreditation for new forty (40) programmes presented to National Universities Commission (NUC) in the November/December 2022 Accreditation Exercise – a breakthrough quite unprecedented. On breakthroughs in international researches and interdisciplinary collaborations, the VC announced grants and research collaborations secured by the university lately which include; the Bennth’s Joint Canadian -Israel Research Grant – a research to be led by Dr. Ben-Azu, Head of the Department of Pharmacology, hosting of the 2023 Carnegie African Diaspora Fellow, Professor Augustine Avwunudiogba, a Professor of Geography and Environmental Resources at the California State University (CSU), Stanislaus, USA, signing of two MoUs with the National Taiwan Ocean University (NTOU), Keelung and also with the Nigerian Institute of Oceanography and Marine Research (NIOMR) to actuate a tripartite partnership between DELSU, NTOU and NIOMR.

Speaking further, the people’s Vice Chancellor, as he is fondly called, mentioned the university’s policies – environmental, security, plagiarism and sexual harassment, gender and copyright policies which are consistent with global best practices and form the linchpin upon which the university’s breakthrough lies. “In the latest global ranking of Universities by Alper-Doger Scientific Index, Delta State University was ranked as the 27th best University in Nigeria among the over 200 Universities in the country and the 4th best among State owned Universities. Further analysis of the ranking showed the University to be the best State University in the South-South and South Eastern part of Nigeria”; the Vice Chancellor submitted.

Reacting to the question from journalists on how the creation of 3 new universities in the State affected him as an administrator who enjoyed monopoly before then, the VC was emphatic that he was part of the process to give more deserving student-applicants the opportunity to be admitted in tertiary institutions, and also create competitiveness instead of enjoying monopoly. “Delta State University has the capacity to admit about 8,000 students out of averagely 26,000 students who apply to the school for admission yearly, leaving the remaining 18,000 applicants unadmitted;” Prof. Egwunyenga argued while justifying the creation of the new universities to fill the demand gap of students who seek admission yearly.

In an appreciation message, the Vice Chancellor expressed gratitude to the Governor of Delta State, Sen. Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa for his unwavering leadership and support, the Governing Council of the university led by its Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, Professor Sam Oyovbaire and other distinguished members of the council, colleagues in the Senate, education agencies, the student and the host community.

Part of the event showcased arts exhibitions by students and members in Arts department of the university. Notable distinguished academics and administrators of the university present at the event were Prof. Mrs. Rosemary Okoh, Deputy Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Stephen Uwaifo, the university Librarian, among others. The event was roundly attended by gentlemen of the Press from across Delta State.