Tuition-free University system not compatible with current realities -FUTA Don

A Professor of Physiology and Pharmacology has advised lecturers and professors in the Nigerian University System to be part of efforts to improve funding of  universities by guiding  the Government and Governing Councils to charge fees as appropriate on a school-by-school or faculty-by faculty basis. He said if appropriate fees are charged, students would most likely be better focused on their studies than what currently obtains and facilities in the system will better serve the students. Professor Ayotunde Adeagbo, gave the advice while delivering his valedictory lecture titled ,”Life Journeys through National and Diasporic Biomedical Science Education: Gaps and Bridges”, on the 29th of November 2022 at the  Federal University of Technology Akure,FUTA

Professor Adeagbo said, “It has become clear that the utopian idea of tuition free university system is incompatible with the present-day realities”. He said “we need to start leading the government to concrete solutions on national issues rather than getting into time wasting efforts. In the past there were fees and state bursary awards paid for any student that proved his or her parents were poor”. He advised stakeholders in the system to convene a meeting to address payment of fees saying ,“ The government cannot continue with the illusion of free tuition University system.”

 According to him, “ the best way to help the masses is to restore the Universities back to their past glories for which parents pay specified  amounts of money , and for quality degree programs that employers need.” He urged the Federal Government to focus on development of better prospects for professional development and growth , better opportunities and standard of living , better security and economic prospects in order to stem the tide of exodus of professionals and  youths from the country.

The Don also  stressed the need for collaborative efforts among researchers as this will lead to research breakthroughs that can translate to national development. He said the goal of academia worldwide is productivity. He added  that academic productivity worldwide is often measured in three areas of endeavor: Research, Teaching and Service. According to him when research activities target solutions to specific problems, the society can readily key into understanding the value of research.

He highlighted the critical requirements for research productivity to include Motivation, intrinsic and extrinsic abilities of observation and asking questions, commitment to life-long learning, work ethics, cross disciplinary knowledge via collaboration and team building skills, independent project management skills and multitasking skills.

Giving account of his sojourn in the academic world, Professor Adeagbo said “as a person my most fulfilling contribution to the communities of FUTA and Akure is being part of the leading team that brought the MBBS programme to FUTA against all odds and getting the three baccalaureate programs fully accredited by the National Universities Commission before the expiration of my deanship”. He added that a fulfilling academic life must be productive along any one or combinations of these five scholarship domains: Discovery; Teaching and Learning; Integration; Application/Engagement and a community service. The don said one can live a full and healthy life, if one is fulfilled and that fulfilment comes from living a life of purpose lived in the service of God and Humanity.

He implored Nigerians to take extra care of their health to avoid life threatening diseases such as Diabetes and Hypertension stating that these ailments are a warning sign that the body has been neglected and not demonic attacks as most people are predisposed to believe. He said when hypertension is untreated it causes stroke and urged Nigerians to eat fruits and vegetables, avoid junk foods, minimize salt intake, have regular exercise and stop worrying about situations they cannot control.

In her capacity as chairman of the occasion, the Vice Chancellor, Professor Adenike Oladiji  said Professor Ayotunde Adeagbo joined the services of the Federal University of Technology, Akure in 2015  and contributed significantly to the development of the institution. She  said as the  Pioneer Dean, School of Health and Health Technology, Professor Adeagbo  and his team of brilliant young lecturers wrote the MB.BS curriculum which got the approval of the National Universities Commission (NUC) to start the MB.BS programme at FUTA.

She said Professor Adeagbo has made significant contributions to the body of knowledge in the field of Physiology and Pharmacology. He taught many courses in Pharmacology and Physiology at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels in Nigeria and overseas. He also served as Facilitator for Active Learning Modules for Biomedical Sciences. Professor Oladiji described Adeagbo as a cerebral scholar who provided academic leadership to the university community during his long sojourn in the academia.