UNILAG DLI records surge in enrolment, matriculates 4,215

The Director of the Distance Learning Institute (DLI), Prof. Uchenna Udeani, said the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) has increased enrolment in the institute.

UNILAG

Udeani disclosed this at the blended matriculation ceremony of the institute for the 2021/2022 academic session.

She noted that a total of 4,215 new students had been admitted for the programme.

According to her, the figure is the highest, when compared to what obtained in the last three years.

The director attributed the surge to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, noting this mode of learning helped with isolation.

“Today, we are matriculating a total of 4,215 students. And in terms of graduating them too, we have been recording between 2000 to 2,500 in the past few years.

“In distance learning mode, our graduation is not like what is obtained with the face to face form of education.

“We graduate them in bits. I can say that each year, we normally graduate between, 2000 to 2500.

“The COVID-19 has increased enrolment. In the past three years. I will say this is the highest number we have admitted in recent times. I think it is also because of the awareness of online learning, that is the blended learning.

“People are getting more aware of the benefits of this mode of learning, learning through the blended form, and you can do so from wherever you are. It can only get better,” she stated.

Udeani lauded the vice chancellor of the university and his team for being supportive to the demands of the programme.

“You know, with this mode of learning, you can never have enough of infrastructure. You keep updating, changing, and that is what we have achieved.

“We have gotten tremendous support from the university management, headed by the vice chancellor, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe. He has been very magnanimous, because, we needed to go higher.

“We needed to increase the bandwidth, change the Learning Management System (LMS) to a bigger and more robust one.

“We also needed to do a lot of refurbishment of our ICT platform and with the support of the management, we have been able to get this far,” she stated.

According to her, distance learning is an ICT-enabled mode of learning, and without such platforms, it will be counter productive.

“Therefore, my message to the fresh students is for them to work hard, take their studies seriously; because of the peculiarities of distance learning, they should be able to self tutor themselves.

“You know, in the face to face learning, they interact with others, see their lecturers, but in distance learning, you don’t see nobody.

”Sometimes you see your lecturers, at times you don’t see them. You learn on your own, it is a self regulated learning, so you must therefore be determined.

“You must tell yourselves too, that from the beginning, you must succeed.

“That is why we are displaying the picture of our best graduating student, who graduated with a Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 4.75, to motivate people like you,” she stated.

The Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe said, the distance learning Institute had remained a strong arm of the institution where great minds had been built.

According to him, even before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the institute was fully equipped for the task of the Open and Distance Learning (ODL) programme that would make learning competitive.

He said that the institute had provided the much-needed infrastructure that would enhance teaching and learning, irrespective of where the learners may be.

“As a university, we make bold to say this institution is far ahead of many institutions in terms of the ODL mode of teaching and learning, which has helped to produce great minds, even at the global level.

“These set of students have in no small measure contributed their quota to national development, in various sectors of the university economy. They must not be perceived as second class, because of their mode of learning.

“Remember we started this mode of learning (IDL) through the correspondence program and now with the internet facility, we are getting even better and better by the day. We are not really there yet, but we have done well.

“Our target is for us to be able to remain focused and showcase that we are the best and be able to create more impact in terms of imparting knowledge, and a lot more.

“We do not want our students in distance learning to see themselves as inferior,” he stated.

The vice chancellor added that already, the university had provided world class facilities that would enhance teaching and learning, by providing well equipped studios where lectures were recorded.

He also noted that there had been an upgrade of the generator capacity from the initial 250 KVA to the current 350 KVA in a bid to power the various equipment and ICT systems, to enhance the performance of students.

The vice chancellor said that the university had a reputation of excellence in cutting-edge research, teaching and character.

While congratulating the students, he assured them that the institution would expose them to transformational learning that was of international standard.

He added that the institute was headed by the director and her team, who were passionate about developing the students.

Ogundipe noted that they had continued to take necessary steps to provide students with the right atmosphere for success.

“I congratulate you all for having this opportunity to be considered for admission into the University of Lagos, a 21st Century world class University for building excellent minds.

“You are therefore lucky to join the body of excellence. You have indeed made the best choice of your life, to study in this university because it is the best in Nigeria and one of the top rated in Africa.

”We have in place, the finest academic staff and state of the art facilities to ensure our students have the best experience.

The vice chancellor urged the students to be focused, disciplined as well as uphold the academic and moral standard of the university.

“On your part as new entrants, you are expected to keep the flag of the university flying by aligning yourselves to the vision of the University,” he said.

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