Dr. Valentine Obi, the Founder of eTranzact Global has advocated for a symbiotic relationship between universities and the business world.
Obi, who was the keynote speaker, made the call at the 15th convocation ceremony of Covenant University in Ogun State.
Speaking on a paper titled, ‘Repositioning Higher Education in Africa: Building Reputation Gaps in African Universities,’ Obi explained that one of the main criticisms of higher education through the years had been universities’ inability to equip students with the real-world skills needed in the workplace.
“We should encourage symbiotic relationships between universities and the business world. Relationships that will help the universities understand their challenges, research on it and develop solutions for them with the students. This will lead to the production of graduates that are value adding. The university must be able to say that these graduates will deliver to businesses in this sector, this kind of value. This is because we have researched on their common challenges and we have prepared our students to solve challenges”, Obi asserted.
Obi furthermore advocated that the tertiary curriculum should consist of topics such as, “How do we solve world hunger? How do we cure cancer? How do we cure sickle cell? How can we build cheaper houses? and How do we educate 1m students this year?”
Prof. Biodun Adebayo, the Vice-Chancellor of Covenant University, counseled the graduating students, whose set was called “World-Changers”, to be agents of change, light-bearers, solution providers, trailblazers, and pathfinders in confronting the numerous challenges bedeviling their different nations.
“At this auspicious occasion, we shall be conferring a total of 1,664 Bachelor and 254 Higher Degrees on persons who have been found worthy in character and in learning. In the higher degree category, there are 55 persons bagging the Doctor of Philosophy degree, 144 obtaining the Master of Science degree, 31 graduating students being awarded the Master of Engineering and five persons obtaining the Master of Arts degree. Also, there are 19 persons bagging the degree of Masters in Business Administration”, he said.