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Ahmadu Bello varsity to stop undergraduate programme soon—VC

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The ABU Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Ibrahim of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria on Tuesday disclosed that the university would soon migrate from an undergraduate university to postgraduate university in line with global academic practices.

He stated this while declaring open the 2018 School of Postgraduate Studies Biennial National Conference held at the university’s main campus, Samaru-Zaria, Kaduna State.

The theme of the conference is: “Paradigm Shift in Postgraduate Studies for Service and Development.”

He said: “What we are facing today and what we set for ourselves may sound revolutionary. It may sound unattainable but I think if you are one of us that believe, then nothing is impossible.

“That’s why if you begin to believe that some certain things are impossible, then you will remain where you are. This university has gone through removable adjustments in recent times.

“Some of the things that we did, believe me sometimes I wonder how God Almighty was merciful to us to have been able to succeed in dislodging or disrupting some of things we have been doing for decades without any commensurate benefits,” he said.

According to him, some of the changes came with all the cooperation of both staff and students including those that were rigid but gradually agreed to transforming the character and landscape of the university.

“You remember, three years ago or so, when we started to attempt to readjust and restructure the university, of course, we are mindful that new things are very difficult to absorb.

“But I remember very well how we starts with splitting of Faculty of Science into today’s Physical and Life Sciences Faculties, then came the creation of the ABU College of Health Sciences from one single faculty to four faculties.

“About same time, the more difficult one, we sent our bulldozer to Kongo campus, I attempted to reconfigure Kongo Business Administration with all so much emotions,” he noted.

He recalled that people had taken the management down memory lane of the then Premier of Northern Nigeria who established the place, adding that “the question is do we remain where we are?”

Garba noted that if the Premier had survived, today, he would have done things differently and brought new things into light.

“It reached a point where Kongo had been chocked up, there is no space for expansion. Kongo had lived 70 years or so. In the next 70 years how would it look like? Or do you think life will begin and end with us? It is not possible,” he said.

The VC said that was how the management succeeded in transferring and creating the new ABU Business School, adding that it was expanded from two departments (Business Administration and Public Administration) to six departments.

“Business Administration alone had been broken into four different departments. All these that we are doing translated into more imperatives, you cannot have one and break it into four and expect that many things that will come after will remain one, it is impossible.

“These are some of the things we have done, we have also created new programmes particularly in the Faculty of Engineering, so many programmes have come on stream.

“All these programmes that are coming at the undergraduate level, give them four, five years, they will begin to require post graduate expansion.

“Remember also, the Distance Learning Centre has come on stream now and well grounded and runs both post graduate and undergraduate courses and its still expanding to create more access to our teeming candidates,” he said.

The VC said ABU remained number one in Nigeria in all ramification, adding that the expectation on the university was enormous in terms of capacity to take both undergraduates and postgraduates.

Garba said the university had internationalised its education, adding that 45 students were recently sent to China for dual degree programmes between ABU and such universities.

Earlier in his welcome speech, the Dean, School of Post Graduate Studies, Prof. Sadiq Zubairu-Abubakar had said the PG School underscored the importance of conforming with the global best practices in the delivery of postgraduate studies in university system.

“Thus, we sought to obtain approval to include in the regulations governing the postgraduate studies in this university that PG students must publish scientific articles from their theses and dissertation to enable them graduate.

“To facilitate easy attainment of this requirement, the SPGS delayed the effective date for the commencement of the policy and further sought and obtained approval of the university administration to introduce: 1. Biennial Conference in 2016 and 2. establishment of 2 SPGS journals in sciences and humanities.”

The dean said the four-day event promised exiting activities relevant for the audience and central for the future growth of the university.

Zubairu-Abubakar said the university administration had given approval for major restructuring and reforms of the SPGS to enable the school introduce and sustain the needed changes in PG studies.

He identified the needed changes to include; physical restructuring of school to create conducive learning environment and improve delivery and review of the regulations to enhance quality and improve graduation rate.

Others, according to him, are; deployment of ICT tools to improve effectiveness and efficiency of school operations and development of new portal, website and established call/help centre for enhanced visibility and effective administration of PG programmes.

Over 500 participants from across the country are attending the conference.

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