The Vice-Chancellor, Covenant University, Ota, Prof. Abiodun Adebayo, says Nigerian universities must engage in intensive and impactful research to attain world class status.
He added that the universities must necessarily embark on such research in addition to teaching and rendering community service to attain global standards.
A statement released on Saturday in Ota, Ogun, said Adebayo made the remarks at a workshop held at the University of Benin on Thursday, captioned, ‘University Ranking: Experiences of Covenant University.”
The workshop was organised by the University of Benin’s Centre of Excellence in Reproductive Health Innovation (CERHI).
While making his presentation at the event, the Vice-Chancellor said universities in Nigeria could not continue to do what they used to do the same way and expect different results.
He said Covenant University had long resolved to be doing even what world class universities such as Harvard and Oxford were not doing; hence its high global rating.
“Most universities in Nigeria concentrate on teaching and perhaps, community service and have left out the area of research.
“Impactful research is almost non-existent in most of the universities,” Adebayo said.
He said to secure first ranking in Africa, the university had set a vision of 10:2022, meaning to be among the best 10 in the world by 2022.
The VC said although the University of Benin was not doing badly, but noted that it would need to improve on its publications, particularly in 1st and Q2 journals.
Besides teaching, research, and impact, Adebayo identified citation, reputation, international outlook, and industry income as other metrics considered for university ranking across the world.
“You have to go beyond your best to accomplish some of those things.
“If we want to become world class universities, beyond classroom teachings, we have to spend extra time to do the research. We must go beyond the kind of civil service work we do,” he said.
Adebayo explain that the world was a global village and the rankings of universities had come to stay. “Whether or not you wish to be ranked, you will be ranked.”
He added that management, staff or students, must work together to put Nigerian universities on the world map, standing at par with other world universities.
In his remark, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Benin, Prof. Lilian Salami, said the lecture had brought out all the deficiencies as well as the things that the institution was doing right.
“I think the most important thing is that we are all determined that we can do it because he has simplified how we can get to that world class level.
“At the University of Benin, we are also proud to be the University of the Universe, but we must match our words with our actions.
“So, our students and staff; we challenge you to step into the shoes of a digital generation,” she said.
Salami said some of students were coming up with innovations that were never imagined would happen at the university.
“We are almost there and we can get there. What is left for us is to be determined, dedicated, and willing to learn. There is no one who is too old to learn,” said Salami.
In his response, Prof. Friday Okonofua, Leader, CERHI, said the lecture had opened the university to what it should be doing.
“We thought that what we needed to do was to rejig the university towards high ranking and for the entire institution to be aware of what the issues are.
“I knew the university community was not fully aware. That is why we organised this lecture, and we are going to do more, because we want to create awareness.
“It is only when staff and students are aware of this fact that the university ranking will improve,” Okonofua said. (NAN)