IGBINEDION UNIVERSITY VICE CHANCELOR CHARGES NIGERIAN UNIVERSITIES AT THE 10TH SOFOLUWE MEMORIAL LECTURE, “BE THE FUTURE AND PRODUCE FUTURE-READY GRADUATES.”
The necessity for Nigerian universities to become “future universities” that create “future-ready graduates” was the key theme of Professor Lawrence Ezemonye’s talk at the 10th Professor Adetokunbo Sofoluwe Memorial Lecture. The ceremony took place on Thursday, June 15, 2023, at the University of Lagos’ Afe Babalola Auditorium.
Future universities, according to the Professor of Ecotoxicology and Environmental Forensics, are “institutions that prepare students for the challenges of the future by providing them with innovative and interdisciplinary education today.”
Similarly, he described future-ready graduates as “individuals with the skills, knowledge, characteristics, and dispositions required to succeed in an uncertain future.” They are flexible, resilient, lifelong learners who are technologically proficient and fluent.”
On the basis of such definitions, the 10th Babatunde Sofoluwe Memorial Guest Lecturer made a compelling case for Nigerian universities to be conscious of the huge and quick changes brought about by technology. “The landscape of higher education is rapidly and disruptively changing.” The rising diversity of higher education institutions, the cultural context, and the competitive ecosystem all present opportunities for radical transformation. Because of the impact of technological breakthroughs on education today, it is critical for both institutions and graduates to retool and re-equip themselves for relevance in the twenty-first century.”
Professor Ezemonye pushed for Nigerian institutions’ ability to connect their operations with technology in his presentation titled “Future Universities and Future-Ready Graduates: Transition from Rhetorics to Realities.”
“In order for universities to remain competitive and relevant in the rapidly changing landscape of higher education, technological integration is critical.” “Technology integration must be viewed as a teaching tool, not as a separate subject or activity,” he stated.
After emphasizing the crucial roles that technology will play in the delivery of higher education throughout the world, the guest lecturer proposed the Future University Framework, highlighting three areas that universities must focus on. They are as follows: innovative curriculum design, pedagogical strategies for future-oriented learning, and cultivating essential future-ready skills.
“Curriculum holds an outstanding place when seeking to promote innovation in education, as it reflects the vision for education by indicating the knowledge, skills, and values to be taught to students,” he says. If our institutions are to generate future-ready graduates, they must critically examine the structure of their curriculum and fine-tune it to suit the pressing demands of a developing world.”
Professor Ezemonye paid glowing homage to the late Professor Adetokunbo Babatunde Sofoluwe, the 10th Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos, in whose honor the ceremony was organized.
He was hailed as a “brilliant academic, astute researcher and scholar, versatile administrator, and accomplished professor of computer science.”
He commended the Lagos State Chapter of the UNILAG Alumni Association for consistently organizing the event in honor of the former Vice-Chancellor, stressing that their service will inspire future generations of academics in the mold of the late Professor Sofoluwe.
The memorial lecture was attended by management employees from the University of Lagos, led by Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Development Services), Professor Ayodele Atsenuwa, who represented the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Folasade Ogunsola, OON. Other dignitaries present included: Professor Lucian Chukwu, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Management Services); Professor Rahman Bello, Chairman of Vitafoam Nigeria Plc; Professor Rosemary Iriowen Egonmwan, Dean of the Postgraduate School, Igbinedion University; Professor Deborah Odejimi, Director of Linkages and Exchanges, Igbinedion University; Professor Nnamdi Nwaodu; and others.