BY TOLULOPE POPOOLA
The Vice-Chancellor, University of Lagos, Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, says that Unilag has achieved all-round excellence in the last two years and has continued to keep its flag up.
Speaking at a press conference at the senate chambers of the University on Friday, Professor Ogundipe stated that his vision for the University, which he presented to the selection panel, as soon as he assumed the office of the Vice-Chancellor, remains: U which stands for the uncompromising academic standards and excellent research output, N which stands for Networking Globally, Strategizing Locally and Consolidating Nationally, I which stands for improving University Finances by Innovative Fund-Raising Activities, Infrastructural Development and Entrepreneurship Orientation; L which stands for leadership that is Transformational, Transparent and Transactional; A which stands for accountability in Academic, Administration, Finance and all University policies; and G which simply states that Unilag is greater than the Best.
“In addition to the six-point agenda, I will also remind you of the Key Performance Index (KPI), to measure value of work done vis-à-vis the key objective of moving the University of Lagos to a new height and they are percentage increase in external fund generation, percentage increase in Internally Generated Revenue, research income per academic staff, impact of research on National Development, and many others”, Ogundipe said.
He added that the ultimate agenda of the University under my watch is to become one of the global best and this is aimed at getting the University ranked as one of the best four in Africa and indeed the best in Nigeria by 2022.
He said that UniRank placed the University of Lagos as 1st in Nigeria and 12th in Africa, in September, earlier this year, the Times Higher Education (THE), one of the foremost University Ranking bodies, placed the University of Lagos in 801 – 1000 group. This he added is the first time that the University of Lagos is appearing on the ranking list of Times Higher Education, as this is work in progress for the school and they are optimistic that the next ranking will see the school go further up, as necessary mechanism are being put in place for this purpose.
In the area of improved research excellence, the school has leveraged on the excellence of all the great staff of the University, by encouraging and assisting them to pay more attention to research and innovation as the members of staff have attracted about N4b in research grants and in addition to the research grants attracted by faculty members, the University itself through the Central Research Committee funded over thirty-three (33) research proposals from members of staff with over N84m.
Ogundipe stated that the research and innovation Office is currently being restructured, to help academic staff harness their enormous research potentials because it will allow the Research Administrators, focus on the administrative aspect of research grant management while the academic staff will concentrate on the research itself.
Within the last 2 years, the school has been able to attract have five Centres of Excellence into the University, which includes ARUA Centre of Excellence for Urbanization and Habitable Cities, ACE for Drug Research, Herbal Medicine Development and Regulatory Science (ACEDRHMDRS), IADS African Centre of Excellence on Reconfiguring African studies, conditional approval to host the Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Procurement, Environmental and Social Standards Enhancement and the Centre will be funded by the World Bank with the sum of eleven million dollars ($11,000,000.00)
To further strengthen educational activities, University of Lagos has equally attracted equipment from various organizations such as a laboratory equipment from Seeding Labs, USA, to Centre for Biodiversity Conservation and Ecosystem Management (CEBCEM), 110 laptops and 100 tablets donated by Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC) to CITS, dental chairs donated by Flour Mills Nigeria limited and the Alumni Association to Faculty of Dental Sciences (a donation that saved the faculty of Dentistry from failing accreditation)
The drive to become a truly global University through various activities with international institutions continued earnestly and the agencies, foreign embassies, and international organisations, as well as universities they have visited for the purpose of partnership and collaborations, are now reaching out to work with us.
The school is currently undergoing restructuring in the areas of infrastructure and some were commissioned during the last Convocation Ceremonies by the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, GCON such as the completed Olympic size swimming pool, the completed TET Fund sponsored Publishing House for the South-West Zone, extension of the University Medical Centre Building and completed Faculty of Engineering Lecture Theatre amongst others completed and ongoing projects