The National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) has said that it will award degrees to a total of 28740 students including 58 inmates at its 12th convocation ceremony held on Saturday.
Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Olufemi Peters, who made this known at the pre-convocation news conference on Tuesday in Abuja, noted that two out of the 58 inmates are postgraduate students while the remaining 56 would be awarded Bachelor’s degrees in various fields having completed their programmes at the various Nigeria Correctional Service Study Centres across the country.
He explained that the graduating inmates studied under scholarships provided by NOUN as part of the University’s Corporate Social Responsibility.
He also disclosed that six students graduated with first class and 2306 second class upper division.
He disclosed that NOUN currently has 131,000 active students and a total enrollment of 250,000 students, saying the Open University has justified the purpose of its establishment.
He added that the institution was established because the conventional Universities could not absorb all candidates who were qualified to be admitted into traditional face-to-face institutions.
Peters added that the convocation lecture would hold on Friday with the topic: Volatilities and Opportunities in Higher Education, to be delivered by the Vice-Chancellor of the University of South Africa (UNISA), Professor Puleng LenkaBula.
According to him, Prof. LenkaBula is the first female Vice-Chancellor of the University of South Africa which is ranked as the oldest Distance Learning University in Africa. UNISA will mark its 150 years of existence this year.
The lecture would be followed by the convocation ceremony on Saturday, March 25 and would hold synchronously in 114 NOUN study centres across the country.
“We are going to graduate 28,740 for both undergraduate and postgraduate students. We have about 21,339 undergraduate students and 7,401 postgraduate students.
“We have 6 first class students, we 2306 second class upper division, we have 11075 students who are having second class lower divisions. We have 5558 students who are having the 3rd class. Out of this, we are graduating 58 inmates,” he said.
The Vice-Chancellor also reeled out activities to mark the 20th anniversary of the establishment of NOUN. He recalled that the Open University was first established in 1983 but went off the radar and later revived in 2002 during the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo.
He also clarified the status of Obasanjo with the University, saying the former President is one of the Facilitators at the Ogun Study Centre and offering the services free (pro bono).
Speaking on the issue of NOUN graduates participating in the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), the Vice Chancellor said the institution is working towards a new proposal to be presented to the new Director General of the scheme.
Peters further disclosed that the University has developed e-ticketing that would help in the prompt resolution of problems faced by students.