Vice Chancellor, Delta State University (DELSU) Abraka, Professor Andy Egwunyenga has said that the prevailing academic stability in the University is because all welfare needs of the academic Institution have been addressed.
Prof Egwunyenga spoke on Wednesday, April 26, 2023 while fielding questions from Journalists during a press Conference to brief members of the Media on the programmes and events lined-up for the 15 convocation ceremony of the University.
Egwunyenga was firm in his conviction that the academic stability in the University can be sustained, given the obvious fact that the State Government is determined to ensure all existing agreements are fulfilled, even as they are anxious and ready to implement new ones, should there be any development to that effect, with a view to sustaining the stability that presently exists.
“As a Vice-Chancillor, I am persuaded that a lot of welfare issues in dispute between our Union; Academic Staff of our University and the Federal Government, many of the issues are settled here in our University.
“You know that the last protracted strike, the major part of it which was what was called earned allowences and earned allowances, are being paid here in our university and we have been doing that for a very long time, as excess workload.
“So when an issue has been settled in a particular University, it is in the wisdom of the congregation of that University to feel that we are a good example of how resources should be (appropriated) and for that reason in their own collective decision, they felt they would not be part of the strike.
“But that does not distract from the fact that we all believe in our Union. We believe in ASSU. Any academic staff or successful person in academics who runs down or begins to feel that ASSU has not played a role, is not being realistic or truthful.
“ASSU of our University believes in the principles of our Union and our academic stability is because welfare needs of the University are all been addressed. It is sustainable because it is also in the interest of Government to ensure that agreements are met. Should there be any development in terms of new agreements, I believe that Government will be anxious to ensure that they are implemented here to sustain the academic stability.
“I do not think any body or organization is capable of crucifying ASSU, I take an exception to that. ASSU is a very strategic strong partner and it will remain a part of the system,” Prof. Egwunyenga maintained.
He revealed that the ranking of the University has improved appreciably over the past four years, saying it had steadily improved from the 78th position to the 53rd, then 33rd and currently 27th position, among the over 200 Universities in Nigeria, in the latest global ranking by Alper-Doger Scientific Index.
Prof Egwunyenga who confirmed authoritatively that DELSU is currently ranked 4th best among the 50 State-owned Universities in Nigeria and is the best in the South South and South East geopolitical zones respectively, further stated that another highly recognized global Universities ranking body, Webometrics, in its latest ranking, placed the University in the 129th position among 2,087 Universities in Africa and the 24th best, among the over 200 Universities in Nigeria.
He attributed the impressive ranking to the University’s verified Google Scholar Citations, pointing out that DELSU recorded 56,443 citations, well ahead of some notable Universities in the United States of America, United Kingdom, France, Sweden, Turkey, Portugal, Canada, among other advanced countries.
According to Prof Egwunyenga, the effort to place DELSU in the global ranking platforms, was a product of the deliberate and strategic leadership focus of the current management under his watch, on repositioning the University towards becoming a globally recognized citadel of research, teaching and learning.
The Vice Chancellor stated that for the first time in the 31-year history of DELSU, the National Universities Commission (NUC) granted approval for full accreditation of the 40 academic programmes presented to it, in one fell swoop, in the November/December 2022 Accreditation Exercise.
While revealing that all the 80 programmes in DELSU now had full accreditation status, the VC announced that the institution had been granted approval by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN), to raise its admission quota for the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) programme, from 75 to 120, recalling that the admission quota was 50 when he assumed duty in 2019.
This development has considerably reduced the difficulty that qualified students from Delta State and other neighboring states faced in seeking admission to study Medicine and Surgery in DELSU, the renowned academic don noted with satisfaction.
Prof Andy Egwunyenga then expressed his gratitude to the University’s Visitor and Governor of the State, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, for his unwavering support in funding the University, the Pro-Chancellor, as well as to the Chairman of the Governing Council, Professor Sam Oyovbaire, for his inspiring leadership and for creating an enabling environment for the University Administration to discharge its responsibilities in line with the University statue.
He equally acknowledged the contributions of other distinguished members of Council and commended the management and staff of the University, for their unwavering determination to reposition the institution for national global recognition.