A traditional ruler, Oba Babatunde Osuntoogun, was among over 2,000 students, who matriculated yesterday for the 2017/2018 session in the Distance Learning programme of the University of Ibadan (UI).
Oba Osuntoogun, 56, the Oniwaasinmi of Waasinmi in Ewekoro Local Government Area of Ogun State, was admitted for the Bachelor of Arts (English) programme.
The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Abel Olayinka, urged the matriculating students to see their admission as a privilege, given the huge number of candidates seeking admission to universities in Nigeria.
He noted that Distance Learning is globally preferred to the conventional mode.
Prof. Olayinka said there was no disparity between the certificate issued to graduates of the programme and to those admitted into the conventional mode of learning.
He said the curricula, lecturers and standards were the same, adding that only the mode of learning differs.
According to the vice chancellor, many graduates of the mode have done U.I proud with their exploits in academics, entrepreneurship and others, as the standard of learning remains the same.
He recalled that the centre was established 30 years ago “as the Centre for External Studies because of the need to grant educational access to those who, for sundry reasons, are unable to attend regular programmes of the university”.
Olayinka, who was represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academics), Prof. Adeyinka Aderinto, said the centre had produced over 10,000 graduates, many of who had distinguished themselves in their careers.
He advised them to work hard and be good ambassadors of the institution so they could be found worthy in learning and character after their programmes.
In her lecture, titled: Education on Open and Distance Learning Mode: Tool For Development in 21st Century, Prof. Senapon Bakre, said the population of candidates yearning for university education in Nigeria was growing at an alarming rate.
She said the existing 152 universities could not cope with admissions into the conventional mode.
The expert said the available option to cater for those unable to make conventional mode was Distance Learning.
Bakre urged the students to take advantage of the learning materials they could use at their convenience, including courseware, video, flash drive and other relevant packages.
She also urged the lecturers to study harder and make themselves accessible to their students for effective learning.
Oba Osuntoogun told The Nation he returned for a degree because it had become the minimum academic qualification for major participants in the social, political and economic platforms in modern world.
Having been a school proprietor for 30 years and a traditional ruler for 15 years, the monarch said he was glad to pursue his degree programme at UI, which he described as the first and the best in Nigeria.