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The University of Lagos has recorded its highest number of students graduating with first class honours in one year.

A total of 119 students bagged first class degrees in the 2009/2010 convocation ceremony, which began at the institution’s multi purpose hall. This year’s total number of first class graduands is higher than that of last year by 32.

A total of 87 students graduated with a first-class degree in 2010; 103 in 2009; and 89 in 2008. “It is important, therefore, at this juncture, to state that we are determined to continue our tradition of producing quality first class brains that can compete favourably with their equals in any part of the world,” said the new Vice Chancellor of the institution, Adetokunbo Sofoluwe.”

This year’s convocation, which had as its theme, ‘Sustaining UNILAG as a University of First Choice: A joint Social and Academic Responsibility for All’, saw a total of 3,696 students graduating in the first day of the event. The students were from the Faculties of Arts, Education, Environmental Sciences, Science, Social Sciences and the Distance Learning Institute.

The grand total of all graduating students in the university this year academic session is 8,209; the College of Medicine 243, Faculty of Business Administration 355, Engineering 403, Law 248, Pharmacy 89. The School of Postgraduate Studies had PhD 76, Masters Degree 2,875, PGD 265.

Mr Sofoluwe advised the graduating students to exhibit exemplary behaviour. “Let me quickly add that the University of Lagos expects you to serve as shining models of exemplary behaviour and dedication,” he said. “As you leave this great citadel of learning, do everything within your disposal to propagate the good image of the university. Please think of what you can do with what you have learnt at the university.” He also promised the students that their certificates would be ready for collection at the registrar’s office within four weeks, bringing shouts of joy.

Their hopes

In preparation for the future, the students expressed hopes that they would be meaningfully engaged within a short period. Fisayo Garuba, a graduate from the department of English Education, said she was optimistic that she would be gainfully employed after completing her Youth Service. “I’m not scared at all,” she said. “I’ve worked very hard for my degree and I’m sure I wouldn’t find it difficult getting a good job.”

Another graduate from the department of History and Strategic Studies, Seyi Ogundare, said he was counting on God’s favour to see him through the competitive labour market. “I know it’s tough out there in the labour market but with God on my side, I know I’ll make it,” he said.

But Ekun Temitope, a Philosophy graduate, said he had no intention of joining the throng of job seekers and would prefer to be self-employed. “With the knowledge of Philosophy, you don’t have to wait for anybody to employ you,” he said. “The importance of an education is for you to be acquainted with yourself. I dont intend to work for anybody, I intend to work for myself and employ people. I want to be an employer of labour.”

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