Twenty-two out of the 1,514 graduates of the Plateau University (PLASU) Bokkos, bagged First Class in the institution’s Third, Fourth and Fifth combined virtual convocation on Saturday.
The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Yohana Izam, who made the disclosure in his speech at the ceremony, noted that the virtualising ceremony became imperative in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Izam said that 408 graduates came out in Second Class Upper Division, while 807 were graduated in Second Class Lower Division and 214 others got Third Class.
He stated that the 1514 graduating students belonged to the three combined sets of 2016, 2017 and 2018.
“This convocation is monumental in the life of the university as it indicates the achievements of the basic goals of any university in the production of effective and trained manpower for the society.
“It is on the basis of this that we gather here today to present to the society our graduands who, for the past years, have undergone various training and have been found worthy in character and learning, to be awarded degrees and certificates of the university.
“This occasion marks another achievement not just for the university but Plateau and Nigeria as a whole,” he said.
The vice-chancellor paid glowing tributes to the founding fathers of the institution, whose foresight made the event possible.
He appreciated the efforts of the Plateau Government, National Universities Commission (NUC), Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), Association of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities (AVCNU), Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) and a host of other stakeholders, for their various contributions to the growth of the university to its present status.
Izam stated that at the end of the 2015 accreditation, only three out of the 17 programmes being run by the institution received full accreditation by the NUC.
“The dramatic turn of events after the 2018 accreditation, 14 courses received full accreditation, preceded by upgrading of academic facilities such as library, classrooms, laboratories and manpower through the injection of funds by the state government.
“We are optimistic that with the usual support of the Visitor, Gov. Simon Lalong, the three remaining programmes will soon receive their full accreditation, which will pave the way for the establishment of new programmes and postgraduate studies in the university,” he said.
According to him, five out of these 14 major projects are at the stage of practical completion.
These projects included the Office of Advancement and Linkages donated to the institution by a philanthropist, Alhaji Adamu Abdullahi, an indigenous miner in Plateau.
On staff development, the vice chancellor stated that the University’s management would continue to vigorously pursue widespread sponsorship of Ph.D and Masters degrees training in various disciplines within and outside Nigeria.
He noted that in the last two years, no fewer than 28 Ph.D holders had returned to the university and were gainfully supplying knowledge in their various departments, which had boosted the research activities and profile of the institution.
The vice-chancellor stated that presently, 28 Ph.Ds and Masters trainees from the institution were in prestigious universities around the world.
Gov. Lalong in his remarks,said that in spite of the current economic challenges, his administration would work with the institution’s management, to address all welfare issues of both staff and students toward achieving the desired growth and development of the institution.
He pledged to address the security challenges facing the institution in recent times through the provision of Close Circuits TV cameras and the deployment securitymen around the institution.
While congratulating the graduates, the governor urged them to be good ambassadors of the university and to apply the knowledge acquired for the development of Plateau and Nigeria.