The Vice-Chancellor, National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), Professor Olufemi Peters, has implored new students of the university to exhibit exemplary character as they sojourn in their academic activities with the institution.
Speaking at the 25th Matriculation Ceremony for the students of the university held in Abuja on Friday, Peters said: “Many people will be interested in your academic performance and character. I implore you, therefore, to be good and worthy ambassadors of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN).”
The ceremony, which matriculated 18,679 students cutting across the eight faculties of NOUN, also held virtually across the 114 study centres of the university nationwide.
The vice-chancellor assured that “we will strive to continue to give you a fulfilled learning experience and ensure you become worthy ambassadors of our great university. Our role is to prepare you for the challenging world of today and the future.
“I look forward to congratulating you at the completion of your studies when you will join other successful colleagues at convocation for the award of certificates and prizes, which is your reward and evidence of preparedness to surmount challenges of life beyond our walls, virtual and physical.”
He observed that this is the wish of every new student, including his/her families, friends, stakeholders and dependants.
“Indeed, this is also what our country, Nigeria, needs to rise and attain its place of greatness in the global and competitive world of today and the future,” he added.
Some 13,477 of the matriculated students enrolled for undergraduate programmes, while 5,171 for postgraduates and 31 PhD.
They will join the Open and Distance Learning (ODL) community comprising of about a total of 150,000 students in the 114 study centres across the 36 states of Nigeria and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
Speaking on the benefits of the Open and Distance Learning (ODL) system of education, the Peters said, “ODL enables one to learn at your choice of place and pace, regardless of social or religious status and other engagements, such as a vocation or employment. It does require you to create the time and discipline for a copious amount of self-study. It is quite different from a conventional university system where you must attend lectures in a classroom or auditorium, always.”
While enlightening the students about the significance of the step they have taken by choosing NOUN for their higher education, the Vice-Chancellor reiterated that NOUN is Nigeria’s premier ODL university, established in 1983 and resuscitated in 2003 for full operations.
It is an open university because, irrespective of race, gender, distance or creed, it gives you the flexibility of choice over what, when, where and at the pace you wish to study, among an array of available programmes, he stated.
The VC also stated that NOUN is determined to make learning rewarding and satisfactory, saying, “If you still have challenges that you are unable to resolve at the study centres, we have provided an e-ticketing app which registers, assigns responsibility and channels feedback for the resolution of complaints and enquiries from the interested public, as well as existing and prospective students. You will find it very useful.”
He assured the students that the university has a team of professional ODL administrators, facilitators, IT experts especially Guidance and Counsellors at the study centres for consultation to facilitate and simplify their learning experience in the face of challenges.
Meanwhile, the Registrar of the university, Mr. Oladipo A. Ajayi, administered the matriculation oath on the students.