Lagos — A total of 7,220 students graduated in the second convocation ceremony of National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) held in Lagos over the weekend.
According to NOUN Vice Chancellor, Prof. Vincent Tenebe, 3,535 of them bagged various degrees, while 3,601 and 84 were awarded certificates in post graduates studies and varsity diplomas.
The Vice Chancellor regretted the inability of the institution to produce any first class graduate, but nonetheless assured the visitor, President Goodluck Jonathan who was represented by the minister of education, Prof. Ruqayat Ahmed Rufa'I that the school would do better.
The Prof. Tenebe listed a number of challenges confronting the institution, which include the societal perception of NOUN certificates as being inferior to those earned at the conventional Universities, lack of finance to pay facilitators, challenges in course material development and lack of fund to develop some key infrastructural facilities at the headquarters.
"While we realistically acknowledge that the government alone cannot fund higher education, we also must admit our financial inadequacies.
Mr President Sir, we are earnestly looking up to the government to significantly increase NOUN's financial allocations in order to tackle these areas of challenges," Prof. Tenebe said.
"It is interesting to note that all the certificates of our graduands are ready for collection and in fact the process of collecting original certificates will commence immediately after this ceremony at the same venue. We urged the Executive Secretary of Nigerian Universities Commission, Prof. Julius Okojie to recommend NOUN approach to other universities," the VC said.