THE words of John C. Maxwell, that “effective leaders look for ways to use the successes of today to empower their people for the challenges of tomorrow” couldn’t have been truer in the case of The Technical University, Ibadan.
Before the Bill establishing Nigeria’s first Technical University was passed and assented to by the Visitor to the University, Governor Abiola Ajimobi on July 12, 2012, he already had a clear vision of what the university would look like and the purpose it would serve.
Between then and June 6, 2017 when the Library project was commissioned, signaling the take-off of the university, a lot of diligence, commitment and careful planning had gone into the execution. The result was the inch-perfect structure that was commissioned, the beginning of the interpretation of the vision.
There, His Excellency the Governor made it clear that Tech-U is not a university of technology but a Technical University. “It is an initiative of Oyo State, continuing in the tradition of innovation and excellence pioneered by our pathfinders. It is a marriage between classroom and industry, a marriage between theory and practice”, he said.
Summing it up, Governor Ajimobi said “it is not a university of Technology but the first Technical University in Nigeria”.
Everything was put in place to ensure that the University has a world-class academic environment. Apart from the state-of-the-art facilities, a lot of effort went into guaranteeing that the University took off with highly skilled, goal getting personnel. Round pegs were put in round holes.
The kick-off of academic activities on January 8, 2018 was in style. For 2 weeks, Tech-U pioneer students were orientated into the Tech-U ideal and what is expected of them as students of the nation’s first Technical University as well as why the state, the country and the international community expect so much from them. The University also took another week to orientate the students on entrepreneurship which is in line with the University’s objective of equipping every student with managerial skills consistent with international best practices.
With the matriculation of 183 pioneer students on March 9, 2018, The Technical University, Ibadan surpassed the take-off expectation in many quarters and it has only proved to be the beginning of the journey into the institution’s glorious future.
The installation of Chief Tunde Afolabi, a great player in the oil and gas sector, foremost entrepreneur and accomplished international businessman as the Pioneer Chancellor of the University has been likened by many to fitting the right piece in a jigsaw puzzle.
With his wealth of experience in different sectors of human endeavor, Tech-U’s journey to greater heights is expected to be safe and speedy.
And since the take-off of academic activities, the pioneer Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ayobami Salami and his team have not reduced the velocity with which the institution took off.
Not only have they kept the fire aglow, they have been able to sustain the vision of advancing technologically and providing training that is relevant to the needs of Nigeria. While most Nigerian universities lay emphasis on the theoretical aspect of learning, learning at The Technical University is creatively technical with great emphasis on the practical aspect.
Through the Centre for Entrepreneurship and Vocational Studies, students are taught to make business out of the vocational training they get thereby positioning them for job creation by the time they graduate. The enrolment of all Tech-U students for French Language at the Centre for Language and General Studies is to make sure that they are well prepared for the international market.
The Vice-Chancellor has pointed out that “we are training youths whose trainings will contribute richly to the socioeconomic advancement of Nigeria and other climes. The graduates we will produce will have the confidence of their trainings; will be innovators, job creators, employers and ultimately builders of society”.
He thus confirmed that the University is being run to boost Nigeria’s human capacity growth and make positive impacts on its socio-economic development.
The University’s programmes have been carefully chosen to fill the gap in the technical know-how and bridge the skill deficiency gap between graduates and the industry. And to guarantee that Tech-U graduates are better trained and finely equipped for the challenges ahead, the University signed a Memorandum of Understanding with industry partners, the Nigerian Society of Engineers inclusive.
This is to foster a deeper and stronger relationship between the gown and the town. The relationship will also provide abundant possibilities of hands-on experience for students.
The recent curriculum review, which had in attendance representatives from the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA), the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), Automation and Engineering Academy, among others, points to the fact that The Technical University is working with the highest standard of efficiency to achieve the goal of solving the issues that border on deficiencies in the employability and entrepreneurial skills of Nigerian graduates.
Representatives of the University met with industry stakeholders and other partners to review the curriculum. With input from the industry in the curriculum, students will be trained towards the needs in the industry and by the time they graduate, those who plan to seek employment will have no problem fitting in into the industry.
Those who will start their businesses on the other hand would have been adequately trained and fine-tuned for real-time issues in the outside world. In the last one year, Tech-U has shown that it is indeed a place where brains are developed and hands are trained.
Media Assistant to the Vice-Chancellor of The Technical University writes from Ibadan
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