A batch of 388 freshmen of the University of The Gambia were Tuesday formerly welcomed by officials of the country's citadel of learning during an orientation ceremony held at its Brikama Digital Campus in the West Coast Region.
The total number of students admitted for the Class of 2016 now stands at 918. Earlier, 530 students were enrolled during the fall 2012 semester. The students who were addressed by the institution's top echelons on various issues including what is required of them during the course of their studies are admitted into various academic programmes at the UTG.
Addressing the students, the vice chancellor of the University of The Gambia, Professor Mohammadou Kah commended the admission staff for the great job they continue to do in ensuring high admission standards.
"You are indeed amongst the best selected from a large pool of applicants. You can be sure that, you are here today through your own merits. We congratulate you and your families. On behalf of the University's chancellor and founder, His Excellency Sheikh Professor, Dr. Alhaji Yahya A.J.J. Jammeh, the chairman and members of the Governing Council, faculty and staff, and your fellow continuing students, both undergraduate and graduate, I warmly welcome you all to a place where hope and history are forged into opportunities," he remarked.
Professor Kah underscored that the UTG is the greatest hope, pride and asset of this country beyond all our imaginations, asserting that it will continue to grow to the path of greatness and continue to evolve as a citadel of excellent learning, research and service to our nation and humanity.
The UTG, he posited, is the best thing that has happened to this country, and thus thanked President Jammeh for his foresight in founding it and the continued support to the institution. He said Gambians are indebted to their leader for this great achievement for the country.
"We applaud you - parents, guardians and family, as you leave your children with us so they can write the next chapter in the story of your family. Let me say a word about your class - The Class of 2016, a word about UTG and what it means, a word about the great things we can do together, and finally, final thoughts for your families. This class of 2016 is truly a unique class.
You are coming into the University when we are emerging from a very dark cloud and unfortunate distractions, which tested and challenged the University for the past two years or so; and beginning this New Year with huge optimism and excitement.You are coming to a stronger University with more opportunities and services to maximize your potential and prepare you for a brighter future," he told the students.
The VC reminded the students that they have been selected from many qualified applicants, and that as such, they expect them to consider themselves lucky to be part of the UTG family.
"Although, we did not admit matured students this semester- amongst the 388 admitted students, but we admitted matured students in Fall 2012-September. Thus, you are the class with the largest matured students admitted. Most of these matured students never had the opportunity for a university education and now UTG will brighten their futures. This is the class that have in its midst highly accomplished individuals who served in government as Cabinet ministers and other senior positions.
You are the class that has peers with at least one or two degrees, in some instances- a Masters degree, from reputable universities inspired to come back and earn a UTG degree! You are the class that has a father, mother, uncle, aunt, or sister amongst the matured student population of the UTG!We welcome them to UTG," he stated.
"What we expect of you here," the VC admonished, "is that above all, you accord everyone in the UTG community the respect due to each." He expressed hope that the students will take full advantage of learning from each other as well as from their excellent faculty.