Aside being ranked as the third best state university in Nigeria, Lagos State University, LASU, Ojo is; set to be among the world’s top ranking institutions; through her partnership programmes with London Southbank University; University of Georgia; Cornell University; Indiana University; University of Education among others. Speaking recently with journalists, LASU Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Lanre Fagbohun said that apart from the exchange programmes with foreign universities,
LASU was also involved in encouraging entrepreneurship through the signing of Memorandum of Understanding, MoU with various small and medium enterprises, SMEs. Excerpts: By Elizabeth Uwandu EXPLAINING how the relative peace in LASU has brought about monumental growth, stability and development in terms of physical infrastructure, conducive learning environment and student and staff welfare, the institution’s helmsman praised the Lagos State Government, private individuals and other stakeholders for their cooperation.
“The Lagos State Government came in, tarred the whole road network of the school, put in lightings in the university and changed a whole lot of things. I want to say that the Lagos Sate Government has not stopped since that development started. They have continued to support us with our subventions to ensure that at the end of the day, at least 80 per cent of our subvention are released.
This has gone a long way to ensure that salaries are; paid regularly and on time to members of staff. Accreditation exercise “Again, we have continued to get the support of the state government in terms of funding to support our accreditation exercise. As you all know, accreditation is; the life of any institution, the Lagos State Government has continued to give us support to ensure that we are; able to measure up with global practices and other institutions in the world in terms of what is; expected of us as an academic institution.” LASU VC, Professor Olanrewaju Fagbohun Partnership with international institutions: “
In terms of collaboration and partnerships, we have continued to deepen our efforts on internationalisation of the university which is a clear critical focus of the vision of this administration. And to ensure that, we have the following partnerships: London Southbank Univeristy is one of those we have signed a very effective Memorandum of Understanding with; University of Georgia for the Faculty of Arts; Cornell University for the Business School. “The University of Education Winneba will be working with our Faculty of Education; Technical University of Freiberg, Germany is going to be working with our Faculty of Engineering. We have already had discussions with them and even visited Germany on account of this exercise, and they are going to be here.
The Nigerian Air Force and National Space Agency is working with our Aero Space Centre, Faculty of Engineering. We are doing the resource verification of the Aero Space Centre with the National Universities Commission, NUC, shortly to enable it go as a full-fledged programme in our university. Then Indiana University is working with the Faculty of Science. In another one or more years, some of our students will go to Indiana University as part of the exchange programme that we have structured.” Relative peace in LASU responsible for monumental developments “Recently, because of the peace that we have, the university has attracted benefactors who are now willing to support us.
There is an approval for the construction of 6000-bed space hostel; a donation of 500-seat capacity lecture room; an approval for the construction of a primary health centre, including a donation of a brand new ambulance from the office of the Special Adviser to the President on Sustainable Development Goals. We are also in the process of funding a 2000-capacity computer based test, CBT centre through partnership with the private sector. We want a situation where Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB and other examination bodies will use the centre as a major hub for activities so as to ease the pressure for students who are coming from far. There are; also other TETFUND-sponsored projects ongoing in the school.
“TETFUND has continued to give us support in two critical areas. These include physical infrastructure and programme upgrading in one area, and conference attendance via staff training and development; and institution-based research is the second area. So you can look at it in terms of development and capacity-building. Students and staff welfare our top priority, that is why we encourage entrepreneurship “In terms of students’ welfare, we have continued our monthly breakfast engagement with our students through their representatives. We also have career building capacity platforms and entrepreneurship to enable our students have the prerequisite skills and knowledge aside academics, to succeed and survive.
We have also signed MoUs with a number of companies and Small and Medium Enterprises, SMEs to deepen entrepreneurship activities. “As at the last count, we have signed about eight of them with these companies. We want a situation where these SMEs would start to act as incubation centres for our students so that while they are in school, we enroll them to start doing some work with these companies. At the end of the day, the students imbibe skills and experience. This is part of measures to deepen what we are doing with ReadySetWork, RSW.
The ReadySetWork programme aimed at deepening the entrepreneurship skill and employability set up of our students, has continued with the Lagos State Government. We are entering into the third stage with the Lagos State Government. While RSW will tell you you will meet this employer, the SME partnerships will enable the employers to work together with the interns. “On our staff welfare, promotion processes are very much on course in our institution and from time to time, we bring in topnotch third parties to also assist in giving effective quality assurance to our processes.
Training and development is a critical component. The above measures put in place to afford our students and staff ample opportunities within and outside our shores; has increased the number of admission seekers into the institution. “Our admission process has become very competitive as so many students are seeking to come in. This is despite the fact that we have limited access. Notwithstanding, we are trying everything possible to give equal access to all through the use of technology. There are a lot of considerations for the disabled.
This is because we want them to interact with others and have an effective students’ experience of being; in our university. On the clearance of backlog of certificates, closure of external system, and the opening of Open and Distance Learning Programme, ODLRI “One issue that affected us in times past was clearance of backlog of certificates. I want to say it is; now an issue of the past as we have totally concluded that over 97 per cent of it has been; cleared. However, we have set up an office headed by the former Director, LASUIES. to take care of complaints if any.
It is also of note that LASU’s external system is officially closed and there is; nothing like external campus such as Jibowu, Anthony or Lekki external campuses. We have given directives that all our banners in all these campuses be; removed. “Open and Distance Learning Programme of the university has been; approved by NUC. But one of the things we are ;doing is to be able to start up in a very effective way in order to give admission to as many persons as possible.
That is why we are; currently doing a pilot test of the functionality of the programme before it commences in September or October. “On a final note, we have been; able to maintain a stable calendar, maintain the peace, a conducive environment for academic excellence; through the collaboration of Lagos State Government, grants; and donations from benefactors giving us their libraries, particularly deceased individuals from the academia. We have families of Prof. Abubakar Momoh of this university who died, donating his entire libra