• The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Professor AbdulGaniyu Ambali, has called for improved funding of universities in the country to enhance the delivery of quality education and to enable more people have  access to tertiary education through the expansion of existing facilities.

    Prof. Ambali, who made the call in an exclusive interview with The News Magazine recently, also registered his support for the mooted plan by the Federal Government to establish mega-varsities in the country, saying they would substantially help in absorbing many of the university admission seekers who could not otherwise be admitted due to limited carrying capacities of the existing universities.

    The Vice-Chancellor urged the Federal Government to “improve the funding to universities because with adequate funding, some of the existing universities will be expanded to accommodate more candidates”. He also appealed to the government to allow the universities to embark on online degree programmes just as many institutions now run some sandwich programmes. “If that is extended to the populace, it will reduce the backlog of unadmitted candidates that we have across the country”, he said.

    While appreciating the efforts of the Federal Government for its support for the myriads of projects on the Unilorin campus, Prof. Ambali lamented that funding remains a major challenge confronting his administration because “we have so many projects that we want to execute.”

    The Vice-Chancellor said, “We want to be able to provide more infrastructure, especially in terms of building more hostels to accommodate students; we also need more money to train more staff, though we are among the very few universities that have 60 per cent of staff with PhDs. We want to improve on that so that we can have better quality teaching staff. We need funds for our staff to attend more conferences, to be able to present their research papers and interact with their colleagues all over the world.”

    Prof. Ambali also submitted that the prudent management of limited resources, as well as support from friends of the University, has made it possible for the University to execute many capital projects. “The little money we have is channeled towards improving the condition of the University, especially in terms of offices, laboratories, as well as equipment in the laboratories”, he noted.

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