Being the New Year message of the Acting Vice- Chancellor of Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, Rumuolumeni, Port Harcourt, Prof. Okechukwu Onuchukwu, to the staff and students of the institution on January 1, 2022.
My Fellow Servants,
A New Year affords all of us an opportunity to reflect on the year gone by, and look ahead to the great prospects of the year that has just begun. We have just bid 2021 farewell and welcomed a brand new 2022 with all its possibilities. This is, indeed a new beginning; a new way of doing things and relating to one another.
For a variety of reasons, 2022 is an uncertain year for higher education in Nigeria and the rest of the world. This is partly because the world is increasingly wary of the persisting COVID-19 pandemic and its mutating variants that have disrupted the way we teach; engage in research and learn in our educational ecosystems, and the way businesses are carried out in the wider society. Dwindling revenue available to governments at all levels, means reduced budgetary allocations to fund priority areas across board.
This scenario raises the need for us to adapt to the changing times we are compelled to live in these days. We are extremely lucky that the Governor of Rivers State, His Excellency, Chief Nyesom Ezebunwo Wike, has continued to secure the future of our youths with heavy investment in the critical educational sector. I cannot thank Governor Wike enough on your behalf for his abiding interest and investment in education in Rivers State.
Despite the seemingly daunting challenges that we face, we at Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, must continue to focus attention on a strong mix of academic, infrastructure and public service, and develop a distinctiveness that would enable us to consistently attract talented learners and motivated faculty. As we look forward to the endless possibilities of 2022, I am very confident that Ignatius Ajuru of University of Education will be in a dynamic position to record more progress in our established tradition of academic excellence which is our core mandate as educators and character molders.
In this New Year, I invite all staff and students to redouble their efforts to deliver high impact research that can solve industry problems, usher in quality education and offer wider experiences to our students, and engage in public service which is consistent with world-class benchmarks that would guarantee our long-term stability in our diversified range of activities.
In my maiden address to you last November, I outlined some of my vision and mission statements on how to move this University to where we all desire it to be as a first choice destination for the best brains. I stressed the need to re-evaluate some of our programmes and reposition others for effective service delivery. These processes are already in progress with very impressive results.
This year, we plan to invest heavily in Information Technology infrastructure to reduce the digital divide between us and the rest of the world. This would enable our University to forge mutually beneficial institutional linkage programmes with reputable universities and research institutions around the world to internationalise our academic content. Our academics will be motivated to turn out ground-breaking research works and innovations that would enhance our institutional visibility and social viability.
To enhance our global visibility, ranking and competiveness, it is profoundly important that we upload all our research outcomes on the Internet for our colleagues in other climes to access and cite our works; just as we do theirs in our works. In addition, we must upload all Undergraduate, and Postgraduate Projects, Dissertations and Theses online. To do so, we must ensure proper supervision of students at all levels and insist that their references are in conformity with current biographical methodologies, while all Lecturers who are yet to do so should promptly enroll on the Google Scholar and ResearchGate platforms in line with global best practice in this age of knowledge globalisation.
Since assuming duty here on Friday, 19th November, 2021, I have been greatly inspired by the creativity, innovation, enthusiasm and sacrifices of our staff and students; but we need to do far more in 2022 to celebrate more points of light, as we aspire to rank amongst the best in Nigeria. With your support, I am very determined to build a University that would benefit all stakeholders in our affairs. We made important progress last year through some of the milestone pronouncements and policy changes I initiated on assumption of office. I am glad to note that these policy changes are already yielding positive dividends to general applause.
We all know that there is so much more we can accomplish together this year and your individual and collective ideas, and input would be most welcome in 2022.
As we begin the New Year, I count on your continued support to enable us pull through the hurdles on our way in grand style. I invite you all to please come aboard.
My best wishes to you all for 2022.
Happy New Year!!!
Acting Vice – Chancellor
Dated this Saturday, 1ST January, 2022