By Felix Khanoba
The National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) on Saturday graduated 32,725 students from various courses of study in its undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.
Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Abdalla Uba Adamu, made this known during the combined 9th and 10th Convocation Ceremony of the in which was held virtually.
Adamu, who is rounding off his five-year tenure on February 10, 2021, disclosed that a total of 24,300 graduands were drawn from the year 2020, the convocation ceremony of which was shelved due to the enforced lockdown necessitated by the Covid-19 pandemic.
A statement made available to The AUTHORITY by Ibrahim Sheme, Director, Media and Publicity, NOUN, quoted the VC as saying the year 2021 has a total of 8,425 graduands, making it a cumulative 80,418 students who graduated within his five-year stint at the university.
The VC said, “The virtual convocation is not the first in the country due to Covid-19 restriction, but it is the most significant in leading way to the largest single event mass graduation of students in the history of higher education in the country.”
Also speaking at the event, President Muhammadu Buhari, represented by the National Universities Commission (NUC) Deputy Executive Secretary, Ramon Yusuf, said his assent to the amended NOUN Act has resolved the long-term non-recognition of its graduates in the country.
The president expressed delight that “NOUN is delivering on its mandate by taking education to the doorstep of Nigerians.”
Buhari, who is the university visitor, added that his administration has placed a great premium on education, especially in ensuring lifelong learning via the Open and Distance Learning (ODL) mode.
While saluting the efforts of the university’s management in continuing to expand access to higher education, the president acknowledged that NOUN has remained the only single-mode ODL institution in Nigeria.
The Chancellor of the university, His Royal Highness, Amb. (Dr.) Lawrence O.C. Agubuzu, thanked the federal government for its support to the university.
On his part, the chairman, Governing Council, Professor Peter Okebukola, said the combined convocation was unique in many ways, as it will set standards for other universities in Nigeria.