The National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) on Saturday matriculated 15,000 new students.
The matriculation ceremony was held online following the lockdown arising from the outbreak of COVID-19 in the country.
A statement issued by the spokesman of the university, Ibrahim Sheme, on Saturday, said the Vice-Chancellor of NOUN, Abdalla Adamu, advised the new students of the university to rise to the challenges of the modern world in their quest for knowledge, including eradicating future diseases like the current Covid-19.
In a welcome address to the over 15,000 new students, which he read over the Zoom application to which many of the students logged on from all over the country, Mr Adamu advised the new students to see any challenge they encounter in the course of their studies as a building block.
“One block at a time, and you will erect a mansion, you are in the best position to do this because your learning is powered by your personal desire to learn,” the statement reads.
The institution did not mention the number of students who logged online to participate in the ceremony.
The vice-chancellor of the institution said while many students enter higher institutions in order to become educated so that they can get jobs, the matriculating students at NOUN already have jobs and occupations.
“Technology has become a commodity, NOUN has optimised its online facilitation exercise such that students can easily interact directly with their lecturers,” the VC said.
Mr Adamu said the university is the only one having a Directorate of Learning Content Management System (CLMS) which in due course could become a full-fledge online university.
He said all the academic programmes of the university are fully accredited by the National Universities Commission (NUC) in order to ensure their integrity
“Our programmes, quality assurance, and delivery mechanisms are therefore more solid than those of many conventional universities who keep coming to us to see how we work this technological magic,” he said.
Mr Adamu informed the new intake of students that his five-year tenure will be coming to an end.
“This is my last matriculation address at NOUN, my tenure of five years having to end in February 2021,” he said.
The matriculation oath was administered online on the students by the registrar of the university, Felix Edoka.
NOUN is the only single-mode open and distance learning university in Nigeria and the largest in West Africa with 580,000 enrolled students spread in 78 study centres across Nigeria.
The National Open University was initially established on 22 July 1983 as the springboard for open and distance learning in Nigeria.
It was suspended by the government on April 25, 1984. However, its resuscitation was begun on April 12, 2001, by the former president of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo.
At the takeoff of the university, pioneer student enrollment stood at 32,400.