Dreaming New Dreams
The month of February holds a special memory for us here. It is the month of our birth. But this year's has added aspects and consideration for us as an institution. It was this time 32 years ago, that the little acorn that would sprout forth to become this great oak was sown.
There is no doubt that the small brownish nut, watered and nourished by five distinguished scholars, has grown tall, strong and proud like the Gamji tree of the savannah with which we share destiny on account of our environments. It is said that the more the wind blows against the Gamji, the more its root deepens in the soil and the firmer it stands. From Professor Jonathan Ndagi, who nursed the University as pioneer Vice Chancellor to Professors Suleiman Adeyemi, Muhammad Daniyan, Hamman Tukur Sa'ad and my predecessor, Professor Mohammed Audu, who nurtured it, we have remained steadfast to our vision of building a university with a real capital 'U'; a university with all the universality and tradition of a university; producing quality science and technology graduates and quality and more relevant research works that are expected to impact at different levels and scale up the life of our people, in tandem with our mission of fostering world-class workforce that will adequately harness the forces of nature.
This year's Founder's Day was an apt occasion to count our blessings and express our joy to the Almighty for the height we have climbed. We are both thrilled and humbled by this milestone. The latest results of Global University Rankings, which placed us on the first digit in Nigeria and two digits in Africa, have vindicated our steady rise to the elite class. More importantly, the results have energised us in several ways.
I have on several occasions indicated my desire to thrust our University into national and international reckoning. It is no more news that this University was one of the two Universities that scored A+ in the maiden Institutional Accreditation Exercise conducted by National University Commission (NUC) late last year. That exercise involved very thorough assessment of all aspects of University operations to determine the overall efficiency of the University. It is therefore logical that if we have been adjudged excellent by the NUC we must do everything within our meagre means to be in the international reckoning. This is our new dream.
In spite of the glitches in the nation's education sectors and its attendant effects on the universities' academic calendars, we have hit the ground running to build on the achievements of the past administrations, staff, students and even our alumni and to strategize on a forward direction.
The emphasis of our work in the past one year has been on making rapid progress, especially in areas such as research, academic programmes, local and international collaborations and earned income. We are aware that the requirement for funds is particularly intensive here, being a university of technology. While reducing waste, we have been able to look at various sources where we can grow our IGR and more importantly, make pragmatic use of the available funds.
Being a university of technology has also imposed on us the challenge of matching the pace of our development with the world's fast-paced technological development and, just as I told the University Senate at my inaugural meeting, a university that is not at least twenty years ahead in its thinking and programmes is already behind the times.
It was in consideration of this that we have set a course that would allow us make our own weather and not be constantly battered to change direction. This is the crux of the manifesto I presented to the Senate on my assumption of office in December 2012. I had at that meeting defined my position and priority as one that would focus on planning for the future, building our networks across business, education and other sectors and collaborating with leading universities and research institutes across the world. This in turn, means that we must work hard towards having excellent facilities, high quality teaching, research and development programmes that would support industries and our immediate community.
I am convinced that the future is here for us as an institution, given our strong and capable workforce.
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