To turn out the best graduates with knowledge, skills, values and character in the country, the governing council of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), has approved the improvement of the institution’s delivery mechanism and the upgrade of study centres across the nation.
The upgrade will be undertaken in phases with effects from 2020 to make study centres more conducive for learning. Speaking at a press conference held at the NOUN Liaison office in Lagos, Chairman of the governing council, Prof. Peter Okebukola said an intensive capacity building programme has also been approved for staff to be led by NOUN’s World Bank funded Africa Centre of Excellence for technology-enhanced learning (ACETEL).
He said: “A unique capacity development scheme for all categories of staff has also been approved at the centre and university level. This is to ensure that all staff are well tooled for the rapidly developing world of open and distance learning and place NOUN in the frontline of highly successful institutions of its kind in the world.”He spoke on the issue of NOUN law graduates being admitted to the Nigerian Law School saying the matter has reached advanced stage of discussion.
He added that in due course the council would make public the update on the issue and the matter of mobilisation of NOUN graduates for National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).He stated that presently over 550, 000 have enroled into various courses in the university and they intend to scale enrolment up to one million in the next five years.
Okebukola said the institution has received resource verification approval for 20 new programmes at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels and they will commence in January next year.
“These new programmes are poised to continue NOUN’s leadership role as the flagship in African ODL and provide a diversity of courses that will appeal across all the geopolitical zones of the country, this fulfilling it’s mandate of assuring that Nigerians have access to flexible and equitable education,” he said.Okebukola revealed the signing of memorandum of understanding between NOUN and Belarus State University of Informatics and Radioelectronic (BSUIR) to establish common programmes, organise summer/winter programmes, hold joint research activities and jointly organise international conferences and seminars.
He however explained that the partnership is a symbiotic relationship that will be mutually beneficial to the two institutions.
He also said the research agenda between the two will be drawn based on the need of the society and address issues such as food security, education and job security among others.
Okebukola said this is a major continuation of the internationalisation efforts of NOUN and evidence of the capacity of the university to act as an educational hub in Africa for other countries seeking the best infrastructure to deliver ODL for students.
While feeding questions on the issue of missing results, the professor said the matter is a two-way street noting that some students will not do a course and yet tell the world that their results are missing. He said the phenomenon is also present in most Nigerian universities and the management has taken steps to put the matter of missing results behind them.