“In the next fifty years, Unilag will be one of the topmost universities in the world.” This was the assurance given by Dean, Faculty of Social Science, Prof. Iyiola Oni while entertaining questions from members of Unilag Radio/TV crew in his office on Friday 13th January.
He reiterated that the University of Lagos, remains the only university in the country to continually grow the drive for both national and international training- by collaborating with international institutions of the world- for both its staff and students.
“Right now we have some of our students on a co-supervision arrangement with some institutions in UK. And this is to further broaden the horizon of our students through a conscious and meticulously planned approach in order to increase their practical research skills.”
Prof. Oni further elucidated on the various achievements of the Faculty of Social Sciences (FSS) since the inception of his tenure as Dean. Amongst these were the various laboratories newly built and commissioned for academic learning, collaboration with the Federal Road safety Corps for the creation of a training school for students studying transport related courses, compartmentalisation of degrees in the department of mass communication to accommodate skills acquired, amongst many others. All these could only have been possible because, “I have enjoyed a cordial working relationship with my colleagues and the management team.”
He described the Vice- Chancellor as a, “father who not only gives administrative guidance, but volunteers to lead the institution in some of the negotiations with international institutions when the need arises.” He explained that he could not have achieved much without the support of the VC.
On matters of growth and development in the faculty, the Dean was emphatic on the need for student and staff development. He explained that learning experience should not only be limited to the classroom, but there should be interactions between tutors and students, which will not only develop the students academically, but also their social and moral values.
In responding to a question on how prepared the faculty was to sustain the graduation of more students with distinction, Prof. Oni announced painfully, that the Faculty would have produced another graduate- who however narrowly missed the stake by a few decimal points- with a 5 point CGPA just as it did at the last year’s convocation ceremonies.
He further indicated that to improve the quality of education given to students of the Faculty of Social Sciences, the faculty board has reached out to corporate organisations, national government parastatals, and other national and international institutions for collaboration in various ways possible. “In the end,” he said, “a far more holistic policy framework would be deployed such that it would not only position our faculty as the foremost faculty within the University of first choice and the nation’s pride; but also make our graduates the very best within their fields when they go out to compete with their counterparts from other institutions around the world.”
He also mentioned that a good research environment is been created, for easy access to materials for students which he believes will also improve the quality of their learning.
Finally, the university Don predicted that giving the historical trajectory of the University of Lagos, which has seen it at the apex within Nigeria as the University of first choice, and the nation’s pride, realising the dream of making the university one of the top ten universities in the world was well easily within reach; although he said that the current effort by the university management has to be sustained if that dream is to be realised in the shortest possible period of time.