At least 5, 629 students graduated with various qualifications from fifteen faculties as the University of Ibadan begins the 2017 convocation ceremony.
Out of the figure, no fewer than 186 graduands bagged First Class grades at the 2015/2016 convocation ceremony which held at the International Conference Centre of the institution.
The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Idowu Olayinka, said the 5, 629 graduands are from the various academic programmes of the Institutions 15 faculties including the Distance Learning Centre and Affiliated Institutions.
For the first time since the University was established 69years ago, a graduand, Ozibo Ozibo Ekele broke the jinx in the department of history by earning a First Class Honours with a Cumulative Grade Point Aggregate of 6.6 out of a maximum of 7.0.
The best graduating student for the 2015/2016 session, Daniel Kenechuku Nkemelu from the department of Computer Science also returned with the CPGA of 7.0 out of a maximum of 7.0.
Breaking down the grade levels of the graduating figures, Prof. Olayinka said 186 bagged first class grade; 1,538 finished with Second Class Upper, 3,133 finished with Second Class Lower, 434 with third class, 81 finished with Pass while 257 were categorized as Unclassified.
He however enjoined the graduands to be good ambassadors of the school, saying that they should impact positively their world.
According to the VC, due to the strike action embarked upon by the academics and non academics staff, some final year students could not complete their programmes early enough for the convocation ceremonies hence the graduation of the 2015/2016 academic session only.
While noting that he is aware of the public stringent critic of the large number of First Class graduates from the University, the VC maintained that the institution still maintains a very stringent and competitive mechanism for undergraduate admission and as such very proud of all her graduates.
He however added that the highlight of the years convocation was that the institution produced the pioneering set of B.A Music graduates, comprising 12 students, one of whom earned a First Class Honours.
He said, “Due to strike action embarked upon by the four staff unions, namely the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), the Senior Staff Association of Universities (SSANU), the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) and the Non Academic Staff Union (NASU) and student’s demonstration during the 2016/2017 academic session which caused multiple revisions to the academic calendar, our final year students could not complete their programmes early enough for the convocation.
“As a result, we are having convocation for graduands of the 2015/2016 academic session. A total of 5,629 candidates will be receiving their First degrees on Monday and Tuesday.
“I am aware that there have been, of recent, strident public criticism of the large number of First Class graduates from our universities. I hasten to add that we are exceedingly proud of all Ibadan graduates. We see this phenomenon from the strategic point of view of input-process-output.
“In specific terms, the Universities of Ibadan has arguably the most competitive mechanism for undergraduate admission in the country. Only one out of 16 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) candidates who made the University of Ibadan First choice can secure admission here. Our admission process is transparent and merit driven while our faculty rank among the best in the country in terms of research productivity.
“Ibadan is for the best and brightest. This has been attested to consistently by the Times Higher Education World University rankings in which Ibadan is the only University in the country ranked among the topmost 801-1,000 universities in the world.”
Giving a valedictory speech on behalf of other graduands, the overall best graduating student in the faculty of Law, Tolulope Ogunmodede, said that hard work and prayer made him to achieve the feat.
He said although he faced challenges during his academic pursuit, he was focused on his priorities, urging his fellow graduands to generate ideas that could make them entrepreneurs and not trade their integrity for anything evil.