THE VICE CHANCELLOR, PROF. ABEL IDOWU OLAYINKA'S ADDRESS AT THE 2016/2017 MATRICULATION CEREMONY OF THE DISTANCE LEARNING CENTRE, 
UNIVERSITY OF IBADAN ON JUNE 06, 2017. 
 
PROTOCOL
  • Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration)
  • Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic)
  • Deputy Vice-Chancellor (RI & SP)
  • Members of the University Governing Council
  • Registrar
  • Librarian
  • Bursar
  • The Provost, College of Medicine
  • Deans of Faculties and of the Postgraduate School
  • Director of Institute
  • Director and Members of DLC Core Management
  • Members of Senate
  • Distinguished Colleagues
  • Members of the Press
  • Greatest Uites
  • Ladies and Gentlemen
 
I am delighted to welcome you all to this historic occasion. On behalf of the Management of the University of Ibadan, I particularly welcome parents, guardians and guests who are here to share this momentous time and ceremony with the 2016/2017 admitted learners of the University through the Open and Distance Learning Mode. To the newly admitted learners who are matriculating today, there is no doubt that you are designing a great future for yourselves, hence the pursuit of further education.  I welcome you and congratulate you on your admission to the first and the best University in Nigeria, the University of Ibadan.  
 
I must first inform you that the aphorism ‘the first and the best’ is not just a mere expression associated with Unibadan, rather, it is what the University is known for in terms of excellent academic traditions and moral conducts. The University is well known and revered across the globe. This could be buttressed by the 2016 National Universities Commission and Webometric ranking which rated it as the best. The University is a dual mode University with regular and Open Distance Learning Modes of educational delivery and today marks your formal admission into the Open and Distance Learning Mode of the University.  
 
I should, at this juncture, let you know that there is parity of esteem between the two modes of educational deliveries of the University.  This implies that the deliveries are largely the same and the educational opportunities are similar. The two modes emphasise learning and character as the basic requirements for graduation.  It is, therefore, important to mention to you that at the end of your study, you are expected to be a thorough-bred Unibadan graduates with the brilliant qualities of scholars that are capable of competing favourably with the graduates of the regular mode and the world at large.  It is pertinent to mention to you that there are indications that the students of the Centre are not lagging behind in academic performance and excellence.  The most recent memory of their brilliant academic performance was the high number of first class and second-class upper degrees recorded among the 2015/2016 session graduated learners of the Centre. It is my heart-felt desire that your set would perform better by the time you will be graduating.
The Centre has evolved over time from the Centre of External Studies, running part-time programmes only during holidays, to Distance Learning Centre now providing Open and Distance Learning programmes in the faculties of Arts, The Social Sciences, Sciences and Education. The Centre is one of the few Distance Learning Centres granted the accreditation to offer more than a programme by the National Universities Commission. For emphasis, Unibadan Distance Learning Centre is the only Centre with approved six programmes in Nigeria. This makes Unibadan Distance Learning Centre to be a model for other higher institution in the country because of its trail-blazing qualities. The Centre has also approached the National Universities Commission for the validation and revalidation of additional nine programmes. Three of these programmes, Nursing, Sociology, Computer Science Education, are entirely new.
 
It is pertinent to let you know that the Centre has a new Directorate under the watch of Prof. Amos Oyesoji Aremu. The new Directorate was inaugurated on February, 13, 2017 and the appointment of new Directorate, I would like to assure you, was based on the principle of ‘the round peg in a round hole’. Since its appointment, the Directorate has been providing innovative and gallant leadership for the Centre, the Management of the University, I am glad to say, is never disappointed in it. Therefore, let me congratulate the matriculating students of today because they are in the right and capable hands because the vision of Prof. Aremu and indeed the entire Directorate is to position the Centre on a greater and loftier pedestal where learning process will be taking place in a better conducive atmosphere for both the staff and the learners. At the moment, appropriate measures and steps are being taken to bring the visions to fruition. It is, therefore, mandatory for me to enjoin you to both cooperate and support the administration in its bids to reposition the Centre for greater achievement and progress. 
 
The euphoria of the ceremony of your new admission will soon ebb away and you will need to squarely face the business of scholarship. Therefore, in order for you to maximise the educational opportunity in your hand today, you must be diligent in your studies.  Apart from the fact that you need to manage your limited time well, you also need to make use to your benefits the different and numerous academic materials, libraries, tutors and online platforms that the Centre has to offer for the progress of your academic pursuits.  You need a great deal of computer literacy if all these benefits will be maximised, more so it is to be noted that most of the operations of UIDLC are ICT-dependent.  I, therefore, implore you to update and keep sharpening your ICT proficiency. 
 
The CBT Centre where we are today belongs to the Distance Learning Centre and the rate of the investment here bears witness to the commitment of the University to Open and Distance Learning Education. The CBT hosts a state-of-the-art facility in the three CBT halls of five hundred capacity each. At the moment, the installed capacity is one thousand computers. The remaining five hundred computers will be installed in a matter of weeks. It is gratifying to also bring to your awareness that the Centre’s CBT is one of those licenced to conduct the CBT Examination of The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB). More than eight thousand candidate of the Board sat for the examination in the halls in May, 2017.
 
It is noteworthy to bring to your attention that the certificates of the University are awarded to students who are found worthy both in character and learning. Therefore, I advise you to always conduct yourselves in a manner that will facilitate peaceful co-existence despite the differences in creed, religion, social status and age. The University does not condone examination malpractices, cultism and other vices that will impugn the University’s reputation. Watch out.
 
Once again, I congratulate you and welcome you to the fold of the great students of University of Ibadan. By the time the Registrar administers the oath on you and you sign the Matriculation Register, you have become a bona fide Great Uites and this is the identity you must cherish, admire and nourish through academic excellence and good conduct. As I close, let me remind you that the journey of a thousand kilometres starts with a step; therefore, as you start today, may the good Lord guide you and empower you with wisdom and grace to succeed. I wish you a successful academic pursuit in this great University. 
 
Thank you and God bless you.   
 
PROFESSOR ABEL IDOWU OLAYINKA, FAS
THE VICE CHANCELLOR, UNIVERSITY OF IBADAN