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How Covenant University made history, came tops, by Oyedepo

Posted by By EMMANUEL EDUKUGHO on 2005/04/18 | Views: 1383 |

How Covenant University made history, came tops, by Oyedepo

AFTER a statutory assessment exercise conducted by National Universities Commission (NUC) involving 182 academic programmes across a number of federal, state and private universities in Nigeria, Covenant University was ranked best.

AFTER a statutory assessment exercise conducted by National Universities Commission (NUC) involving 182 academic programmes across a number of federal, state and private universities in Nigeria, Covenant University was ranked best.

Chancellor of the institution, Dr. David Oyedepo, who is also the chairman of the Board of Regents (Governing Council), addressed a press conference Monday where he gave insight into how this feat was achieved and shared the progress story of Nigeriaís fastest developing private Christian University, after 30 months of existence.

He said the accreditation exercise was done as part of NUCís continuing march towards achieving quality assurance in university processes and products. The chancellor referred to the March 28, 2005, Bulletin of NUC, which announced the result of the assessment. "This exercise represents a standard measure by which all of our development effort in the past 30 months can be measured".

The report indicates that Covenant University had all of the 16 programmes presented accredited under a story that exclaimed "Covenant University ranked best in accreditation exercise." The story emphasised that the university emerged with the overall score in the entire exercise. Describing it as "our first externally measured outcome," Oyedepo explained that, "this is where we are today and this is what we are also announcing to the world." He was full of gratitude to God. "We as a university deeply appreciate God, all of dedicated faculty and staff for their immense contribution towards attaining this enviable position. We celebrate God almighty and worship our Lord Jesus Christ, the founder and head of Covenant University who made this possible," Oyedepo declared.

The chancellor expressed commitment to developing the institutionís capacities to such level that Covenant University shall be rated among the world-class universities in no distant future. "We intend to pioneer excellence in the universityís statutory functions and right at the frontiers of knowledge in the world. We are determined to produce quality graduates by implementating leadership development modules for our students, closing-in first on our first graduates. Vigorously pursue the implementation of our strategic development plan for academic excellence and leadership development through institutional entrenchment of our core values", Oyedepo emphasized.

He recalled an earlier assertion that the university is not born from an ambition but that it was born of a vision."Though 30 months is too early to judge the vision end for generational institutions like a university, we have several signs of progress and experienced great leaps in the goals that we have set for ourselves."

Covenant values

He pointed out that the leadership thrust is built on covenant values, referred to as core values. These were listed as: spirituality, mentality, capacity, integrity responsibility, diligence and sacrifice. Oyedepo gave a summary of what has happened in the past 30 months and the outcome of what the university has been doing. These were divided into four major segments: Physical development, academic development, staff development and student development. The physical development saw a flurry of facilitiesí construction within 8 Ĺ months that fully settled the foundation or students. After that, hostel facilities, classrooms were provided at resumption for the second and third year. At the resumption of the 2004/2005, session, there was change to two-bedded accommodation for students from the four-bedded room. By the resumption of 2005/2006 session, about 70 per cent of the students would be accommodated in two-bedded space.

Other facilities have been built in about four phases which included College of Business Studies, halls, cafeteria, roads, water boreholes, overhead tank, central sewage, gatehouse, CU chapel, duplexes, boys quarters, blocks of flats, College of Science and Technology, lecture theatre, sports complex and hostels. Some of these are still under construction under phase four which started January 12, 2005. For academic development, the chancellor assured commitment to integrated, life applicable education. "We continue to explore avenue for making our curricular relevant and dynamic. We similarly add courses that make academic interactions more robust among similar disciplines." The following have been added towards the beginning of last session: Electrical/electronics engineering, chemical engineering, petroleum engineering, civil engineering, and mechanical engineering and by the coming session, microbiology and biochemistry will be brought in.

On student development acknowledged that, "our students are the most important material of process towards a quick and real achievement of the university goals; as such, we have held them steadfast to the twin engine of character and learning in getting them ready for change-effecting, solution providing roles in the society." The university emphasises mentoring and monitoring programmes developed by the chaplaincy and the student affairs to make students available for correction and rebuke.

On staff development, a total of 104 academic staff are undergoing postgraduate programmes in the university, cutting across all programmes. Over N32 million has been committed into that programme with so much going into payment of emoluments. Staff are encouraged and supported to attend national and international conferences, seminars and other academic development fora. The chancellor explained that Covenant University vision was born out of a passion and is being driven by that passion which is powering it beyond failure. "From the story of success and distinction, the backing of God in the attainment of our mission is unmistakable. Our ministry has made Covenant University a Joseph-seed sown to the redemption of the current and the coming generations of the African people."

In a question -and-answer session, Oyedepo shed light on the following issues:

On unemployment problem facing graduates: Most graduates to be produced by Covenant University will not be found in the labour market. Our programmes have entrepreneurial content that makes them job providers and not job seekers. We are the first to introduce the concept of entrepreneurship in university curricular which the NUC is now talking about. Our graduates will employ their peers through the type of education we are providing at Covenant University.

Source of funding: God is our source of funds. A divine mission provides divine provision. There is no foreign input; no public loans, no overdraft, no debt incurred. It is the commitment of people in the ministry. The moving hand of God. Faith Tabernacle, the largest church auditorium in the world, was built here within one year without any foreign financial assistance. We spend between N10.5 and N11 million weekly as labour wages on the on-going construction sites. No dime owed, no overdraft.

On indigent students: The poor can not cease from the earth. We have N30m Bursary Awards scheme for indigent students - the needy, orphans and children of single parents. No student will be thrown out because of being indigent.

On fees charged: The school fees paid even for the next 15 years can not write off the expenditure on Covenant University. Some private universities charge fees in dollars but donít have the type of facilities we have. What people pay is just to manage as the rest is subsidy. We are not looking at what to get back but how to put in more. Nobody will be thrown out because of indigency.

On future leadership: The people we are producing at Covenant University are of good quality leadership who will replace the present commercial politicians.

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