As palliative measure to cushion the present economic realities in the country, Gregory University, Uturu, Abia State, has reduced tuition fees paid by students of the privately owned institution by 30 percent.
The proprietor of the university, Dr. Gregory Ibe, who was inaugurated as the Chancellor of the institution disclosed this on Saturday during the convocation ceremony of 72 pioneer students of the institution with diplomas and degrees in 16 different disciplines.
Dr Ibe said the decision was to reduce the burden on parents and guardians against the harsh effects of the current economic recession in the Country.
He maintained that the university was established to teach entrepreneurial studies.
In his speech, the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, urged the graduands “to adopt an entrepreneurial outlook to life after graduation to enable you to succeed outside the university.”
Rasheed charged private universities in the country to operate within the confines of their academic brief, masterplan and law approved by the comission.
He urged the private universities not to hesitate to seek the advice of the commission, “whenever in doubt,” in order “to avoid running foul of lay down regulations.”
He urged the board of GUU to come to the aid of the university, “particularly in the area of resource mobilisation and forming of strategic partnerships on behalf of the university.”
“For all private universities, financing of academic and other activities has proved to be one of the foremost challenges,” Rasheed, who was represented at the event by a Director in the commission, Mrs Constance Nnadi, said.
According to him, “Forging an effective and efficient governance structure that supports the smooth day-to-day management of the universities is paramount.”
He commended the courage and doggedness of the proprietor of GUU, Dr. Gregory Ibe, describing the challenges of establishing private university as daunting.
“In the prevailing circumstances of the country, economic, social and otherwise, the management of the university becomes more daunting.
“This enterprise is clearly not for the fainthearted,” he said, while commending the GUU management team for their perseverance and resilience.
Speaking earlier during the maiden convocation, the Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Juliet Elu, urged the graduands to deploy the entrepreneurial skill they acquired in charting a successful future for themselves.
“The journey is not complete,” Elu said, pointing out that “the real world is unfamiliar and uncertain.”
She said that the entrepreneurial skill they acquired in the university had equipped them to compete favourably in the global market.
“With an enabling environment, I believe some of you will create jobs and wealth for the nation,” she said, describing them as “the future of our country.”
In his speech, Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu, expressed delight with the emphasis placed on entrepreneurial studies by the university in its curriculum.
The Governor, represented by his deputy, Chief Ude Oko-Chukwu, thanked Ibe for siting the university in Abia and urged other well-meaning indigenes to emulate him.
The Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the university, Dr. Sam Ohuabunwa, said that Ibe had set a momentum with the university and urged the graduands to be good ambassadors of the institution.
Highlights of the ceremony included the conferment of honorary Doctor of Public Administration on the Vice President of Liberia, Dr. Joseph Boakai.
Boakai, who was represented by Liberia Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr. Alhasaan Conte, thanked the university for the honour done to him.
Four students came out with First Class, 26 made Second Class (Upper Div.), while 31 and 11 students had Second Class (Lower Div.) and Third Class Division, respectively.
Yvette Chika, a graduate of English, who emerged the overall best graduate, was offered automatic employment with a scholarship for Master and Doctoral Degrees by the university.
The best graduate from the Department of Accounting, James Chesa, was also offered automatic employment by a non-governmental organisation, Uche Ogah Foundation.
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