As part of the effort of the current administration of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, led by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Bartho Okolo, to reposition its school of Postgraduate Studies for greater efficiency, the University recently organised a maiden orientation workshop for her postgraduate students and supervisors.
Declaring the two day workshop open, the Vice-Chancellor, who was represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor,( Enugu Campus) Prof. Mrs Ifeoma Enemuo, explained that the objectives of the orientation were, among other things, to expose students to the intricacies of scholarly thinking and writing needed for a successful postgraduate programme in the University, and to make supervisors understand their responsibilities to the University with respect to the propagation of international best practices in postgraduate studies.
Prof. Okolo further explained that the orientation was necessitated by theincrease in the number of postgraduate students in the University and the need to make the programme more efficient.
“From the existing statistics, especially on the growth of studies at the Postgraduate School at the University of Nigeria, the need has urgently arisen for all of us to reflect, as well as to strategise on how to advance and re-position our postgraduate studies and research to internationally acceptable standards and thereby guide and nurture our students to become graduates that can be competitive with the right skills and knowledge,” he said.
The Vice-Chancellor added that the School of Postgraduate Studies of theUniversity had come of age in spite of the challenges the University had faced in the past.
Also in his introductory remarks, the Dean, School of Postgraduate Studies, Prof. Polycarp E. Chigbu averred that the 21st century vision of the UNN School of Postgraduate Studies was aimed at “creating a seamless platform for the timely administration and propagation/delivery of the University’s postgraduate programmes suitable to our local and international aspiration and thereby produce graduates who can easily adapt to current methods of teaching, research and professional, and other community services any place in the world.”
Recalling the journey of the Postgraduate school, the Dean said that postgraduate studies in the University started with the introduction of postgraduate diploma courses in 1966, while the first master’s and Ph.D degrees were awarded in 1971 and 1975 respectively. He added that theUniversity currently had over 12,000 students enrolled in different programmes with over 500 academic staff engaged in supervision.
Prof. Chigbu urged the students to take advantage of the orientation workshop and learn what would help them complete their programmes in record time. He advised them to pay only the consolidated fees as stipulated in the2012/ 2013 Postgraduate tuition fee, and report to the relevant authorities, any additional charge from any supervisor.
Speaking at the Workshop, Monsgr. Prof. Obiora Ike charged the studentsto show seriousness in their researches to enable them find solutions to nagging problems in the society and retrieve the gloomy past of Nigeria and Africa.
Prof Ike, who spoke on the topic; “Scholarly Thinking and Rigor: Implications for Academic Integrity”, urged supervisors to wake up to the challenge of moulding globally competitive students who would hold theirfeet in the area of research and knowledge creation, stating that Postgraduate teaching was not “pedagogy but andragogy.”
Also speaking, Prof Chidi Onyia said that the essence of postgraduate studies was to imbue in students the confidence to see themselves as integral components of solving societal problems and to let them understand what exceptionality and collaboration meant to a scholar.
He urged the students to make the investment of their time in the postgraduate programme worthwhile by ensuring they added a new thing to the body of knowledge through their researches.
Prof. Onyia, who spoke on the topic; “Developing Scholarly mindset for a successful Postgraduate Programme”, also urged the students to make collaborations with other researchers in different parts of the word to enhance their efficiency and boost their visibility.
Speaking on “industrial expectations for research output: implications for economic development”, Chief Loretta Aniagolu, advised the participants to tailor their researches towards solving pesky industrial problems to enable them attract sponsorship from the industries concerned.
Prof. Michael .C. Madukwe was also on hand to enlighten the students on the Trans-disciplinary Training for Resource Efficiency Climate Change Adaptation in Africa (TRECCA), which he said provided opportunity for postgraduate students to apply for scholarship in the five partnering institutions involved in the exchange programme with the University of Nigeria.
Other papers presented at the workshop included: “Living a new life in your home away from home” by the Dean, Students’ Affairs, Prof. O.K. Oyeoku, “Postgraduate Students’ Lifestyle: successful Strategies” by Dr G.T.U Chiaha and Library Facilities for Postgraduate Studies; by the representative of the University Librarian.
Inya ,Agha E.
SOURCE: The University Of Nigeria, Nsukka.
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