…Says JAMB leadership committed to excellence
By Raphael Jov, Abuja
Babcock University is a private Christian co-educational Nigerian University owned and operated by the Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Nigeria.
The University which is located at Ilishan-Remo, a town situated between Ibadan and Lagos, has carved a niche for itself both at home and in the diaspora.
In a virtual interview with JAMBulletin in Abuja, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Ademola Tayo, spoke on why the University stood tall among its peers, its research efforts at curbing the spread of coronavirus ( Covid-19) and the uncommon transformations wrought in the Board by the current leadership of JAMB, among sundry issues.
The Vice-Chancellor also told our reporter that the University is committed to providing quality and total education to its students.
Prof. Tayo said, “Quality and standards remain the raison d etre for the establishment of Babcock University. They form a key part of the philosophy of the University.
From the outset, Babcock University recognises that higher education is fundamental to the institution of a knowledge economy in any nation. We also appreciate the fact that the potential of the university system in Nigeria to meet this need was often hampered partly by protracted strikes, policy somersaults, among others, which negatively impact standards and quality of service provided by the university community.
To avoid this, our founding fathers placed great emphasis on quality research productivity, teaching excellence and associated innovations, etc.”
The Babcock University President also reiterated the focus of the university which he ascribed as unwavering commitment to unparalleled standards of assessment whereby students are regimented based on hallowed and invaluable academic parameters.
He added that “achieving quality requires deliberate commitment and passion for the implementation of definitive and right variables. Hence, we consciously invested in the engagement of the right calibre of academic and non-academic staff with a passion for research and mentorship so as to bring out the best in every student and making them become who they want to be.”
The multiple-award winner stated that the university, in a bid to create an enabling environment for teaching and learning, had since instituted an Independent Power Project (IPP) in order to ensure uninterrupted power supply which is a sine qua non for academic excellence.
In the same vein, he revealed that every section of the university was WI-FI connected while the infrastructural facilities for the staff and students were at par with what was available anywhere in the world.
He said, “At Babcock University, our slang is failure is not an option . You might not be at your best before coming to Babcock University, but the University makes you become your best to bring about positive change in the society.”
The President, in response to insinuations in some quarters that private universities seem to have zero failure rate while certificates are being awarded to the highest bidders, debunked the rumour saying, I cannot speak for other universities, but I suppose they dont also “dash” degrees to students.
The private university system globally has effective and dynamic instructional mechanisms that make learning interesting and inspiring.
I dare say that if the private university system has contributed anything to the higher education sector in Nigeria and Africa, it is the amazingly interesting atmosphere of teaching and learning, and building a community of scholars and scholarship where lecturers and students relate with each other with mutual respect and comradeship.”
Prof. Tayo added, “That unflattering picture painted of private universities certainly does not bother me.
This is because empirical evidence is the best method of validating any assertion.
The impressive record of performances of Babcock graduates in externally-moderated examinations and at the world of work speaks volumes about the quality of our graduates.
“In 2019, we produced the best student nationally in the Nigerian Bar Examination conducted by the Nigerian Law School, and we recorded 10 first-class graduates while harvesting almost all the awards instituted by the Nigerian Law School for distinguished academic performance.
Incidentally, this overall best student at the 2019 Nigeria Law School came out with Second Class Upper Division at Babcock University.”
Continuing, he said, “When you have an educational system that provides the right learning atmosphere in terms of happy and committed teachers, fascinating environment, adequate infrastructure, state-of-the-art facilities, effective security, adequate social services in terms of regular water and electricity supply, health insurance, and good accommodation, students would naturally study with maximum concentration for excellent performance while Lecturers would feel wonderful to give their best.
“That is what Babcock University offers – connecting students to what matters most; powerful, professional network, real-world faculties, accessible, and innovative technology.”
“All these are responsible for why many of our students come out with First- Class.”
“You couldnt deny any student who labored 4-6 years from earning his/her due. For us at Babcock University, our certificates are earned as they are the outcome of rigorous intellectual exercise producing sterling results”
“We cannot continue to live in the past. The past is gone and gone forever. Many of the knowledge and practices of the past are inapplicable and inappropriate to this era and issues of today. You cannot use the yardstick of yesteryears to judge those of today.
The world has moved on; it is still moving on”
Commenting on the high subscription rate by freshers in spite of the institution’s robust entry requirements, the President said, “The greatest asset we have in our admissions, as in every other academic activity we engage in, is the God Factor.”
“For over 20 years as a private University, God has been the source of our success in students’ recruitment.”
“Babcock University has a strong identity locally and internationally as a strong educational brand in Nigeria, and also as a Christian institution that is founded on the Adventist heritage, committed to a distinct philosophy of education that focuses on the development of the total man. “
“This philosophy of education is conceptualised as the harmonious development of the physical, the mental and the spiritual powers of man, irrespective of your religion, color or creed”.
“Our type of education prepares the student for the joy of service now and in the world to come. It makes students assume responsibility for the positive changes in their environment.”
“Furthermore, the staff and student population of Babcock University is diverse and dynamic. As such, in spite of our distinct religious identity, we admit students and employ staff and faculty of different religious persuasions, as well as different christian denominations without causing disruptions in the University system.”
“The other important component of our success is the quality of our graduates. They are our letters to the world. In 2018 and 2019, we produced the best students in ICAN final exams in Nigeria, Canada and London Centres. As of 2019, no fewer than 50 Babcock University graduates of Accounting were on full-time employment with KPMG while 4 were with PWC.”
“Four of our postgraduates bagged the ICAN grants for research. Our students of Medical Laboratory Technology have over the years consistently recorded 100% in the final Professional Examination, which is moderated by the Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria (MLSCN). In 2018, one of the graduating students, a First- Class graduate, received an award from the Council for outstanding academic record.”
Prof. Tayo speaks further on the success story of the University: “Our Teaching Hospital has arguably one of the best cardiovascular centres in Nigeria, and it has successfully carried out no fewer than over 1,170 cardiac surgeries and treatment cases with 98% success rate in the last five years of operation. It is gradually becoming the medical tourism destination in Nigeria for those who hitherto sought treatment for heart-related issues in India and America. The Hospital is equipped with modern facilities and full resident cardiologists.”
“Our academic programmes are accredited by not only the National Universities Commission, (NUC), but also the International Board of Education (IBE), USA, and Adventist Accrediting Association (AAA). This ensures high quality of education in line with global best practices. We have good relationship with parents of our students and host communities. They contribute immensely to our student enrolment by spreading, through word-of-mouth, the benefits of Babcock Universitys education to prospective students and their parents alike.”
In response to discipline which is one of the core strengths of the university, the Vice Chancellor said,
“It is difficult to say where our core strength is. The reason is that we place great premium on the highest standards possible on all our courses and programmes.”
“Having said that, I dare say that each year over the years, our students in Law, Accounting, Computer Science, Nursing Science, Medicine and Medical Laboratory have brought us laurels both locally and internationally.”
“As for discipline, if you look at the history of Adventist institutions the world over and in the South-West, Nigeria, for example, they have always excelled in services relating to the provision of health care and in the display of a high level of accountability. This is because we believe that whatever we own is given to us by God and we would give an account of it on the Day of Judgment coupled with this is the fact that our body needs to be seen as the Temple of God. So we have to care for it.”
The Vice-Chancellor also told JAMBulletin about the robust plan for indigent candidates aspiring to be educated at the University adding that twenty indigent students from the host community have tuition-free scholarships irrespective of their programmes.
Other indigent applicants he said have the opportunity to do work and study to earn money to complement their traditional source of income to pay their fees.
He said the Management of the institution had instituted a contingency plan whereby students who lose their sponsors in the course of their study are guaranteed 80 percent scholarship provision till they complete their programmes irrespective of the level they are at the time of the loss of their sponsors.
On the role of the University in finding a cure to the raging coronavirus pandemic, the Vice Chancellor said,
“Currently, some of our staff are researching on COVID-19. Some of our Faculties in the Departments of Public Health and Agriculture have submitted research proposals on COVID-19 to the Nigerian Institute of Animal Science for sponsorship.”
“We are waiting for their response. We also do hope that private universities will be eligible for the Federal Governments funding for research on COVID-19 vaccine so we could benefit from it.”
The articulate Vice -Chancellor commended the JAMB Management under the leadership of Prof. Is-haq Oloyede for the uncommon transformations in the Board.
He said, “The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board has been an exceptional regulator of admissions. It is also highly gratifying that the leadership of the Board has been demonstrating unparalleled commitment to excellence. For us, in Babcock University, Excellence has no other name than Excellence, and we are proud that we share that quality with the current JAMB leadership. The relationship and partnership with the Board is mutual, and we hope both parties will sustain it without let or hindrance.”
On the operations of the Central Admissions Processing System (CAPS), the erudite Professor said the system has tremendously helped to finetune the admissions process in the University just as he gave kudos to the Integrated Brochure and Syllabus System (IBASS) which has provided immense help to candidates.