Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa
The newly established University of Africa, Bolou-Orua, Sagbama local council, Bayelsa State, yesterday graduated 467 foundation students.
At the ceremony, Governor Seriake Dickson, who is the visitor to the institution, announced plans to expand the school’s scholarship programme to accommodate 1,000 outstanding graduates of the Foundation Studies of the University by next session.
The governor directed the State Ministry of Education to conduct another round of competitive assessment of potential beneficiaries by the end of this month.
He said the scholarships were a further demonstration of his administration’s desire to create ‘champions’ in various fields of study and charged the management of the University of Africa to be more innovative.Governor Dickson underscored the need for the management of the University of Africa to shop for qualified scholars from around the world to boost the profile of the institution.
“By January, 2017, when you will be starting your full degree programmes, I want to see an array of scholars around the world; that is why our university is unique,” he said.
“This university has to do big time agriculture; you have to generate your own revenues and I have directed all institutions and I am happy you have talked about it concerning establishment of university farms limited, consultancy services because that is what you exist for, research and innovation,” Dickson added.
He called on parents and guardians to educate their children and wards, emphasising that there was no investment greater than developing them educationally rather than investing in mundane things.
The Acting Vice Chancellor, Prof. Valentine Aleto, thanked the governor for his passion for education, pointing out that the investment would improve the rating of the state as well as bring it at par with other developing states.Prof Aleto said the major selling point of the institution was to provide students with identical educational opportunities and exposures obtainable in places like the United States, United Kingdom and Canada, but at a lesser financial burden to parents.