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About 1, 503 graduands from nine faculties were awarded degree certificates at the 2009 special convocation of the University of Ibadan on Tuesday.

Their graduation could not hold in November 2009 because of the prolonged 2008/2009 academic session as a result of the national industrial action embarked upon by the university staff unions.

The graduands were drawn from the Faculties of Arts, Science, Basic Medical Sciences, Clinical Sciences, Dentistry, Public Health, Pharmacy, Technology and Law.

Among them were 55 graduands, who graduated with First Class honours and 536 that graduated with Second Class honours, Upper Division.

A female graduand from the Faculty of Law, Miss Rabiat Akande, stole the show by winning 10 prizes from her faculty for her exemplary academic performance.

At the mention of her name the 10th time, the elated Akande, who was given a standing ovation by guests and co-graduands, was joined on the podium by her equally excited mother to take a photograph with the institution’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Olufemi Bamiro.

Her feat was closely followed by another graduand from the Faculty of Arts, Mr. Abiodun Abdul-Azeez, who won seven prizes.

A breakdown of the graduands with First Class showed that the Faculty of Arts produced 24, Faculty of Science produced 17, Faculty of Technology produced 12 while the Faculty of Law produced two.

The vice-chacellor, in his address, described what he called the noticeable increase in the number of graduands, who made First Class and Second Class honours, as a manifestation of the collective efforts made towards improving the teaching and learning environment in the university.

He commended them for weathering the storms despite the series of local and national industrial actions in the university system, which resulted in the disruptions in academic activities since their matriculation a few years ago.

Bamiro said the graduands could only show gratitude to the school and their tutors by becoming worthy ambassadors of the institution that was known for her tradition of excellence and hardwork.

The VC said, “I advise you to regard the university degree certificate as a springboard and a call to greater challenges and aspirations in life.

“In a rapidly changing world, you will have to be able to adapt to changing times and conditions.

“There is no doubt that there will definitely be challenges that will task your entrepreneurial spirit of never giving up.

“Therefore, never let any problem overwhelm you as I pray to our Maker to be with you and guide your steps to success in life.”

He disclosed that all but one of the undergraduate programmes of the university had been given full accreditation by the Nigerian Universities Commission.

While adding that the only one yet to be fully accredited had interim accreditation, Bamiro expressed the hope that the programme too would get full accreditation soon.

He also disclosed that the university’s Senate had approved the establishment of the Department of Music in the Faculty of Arts and a multi-faculty Yoruba Language Centre meant for research, training and dissemination.

The centre, he added, was in collaboration with the American Council for International Education.

He said the school would soon approach the NUC for necessary approval.

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