“I never dreamed of becoming the best student in my department, not to talk of the entire graduating class of the 2021/2022 academic session. My journey at FUTA has been a testament to determination, resilience and unwavering faith. When I first set foot on this campus, I did not have the grand aspirations of becoming the best student in the department, let alone the entire university.”
These were the words of Oluwanifemi Favour Olajuyigbe, the best graduating students of the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), as she delivered her valedictory speech at the 33rd convocation of the university.
Olajuyigbe, a female student of the Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Faculty of Engineering led the pack with a Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 4.93 points.
Basking in the euphoria of her outstanding academic performance, Olajuyigbe said: “However, I always held the mindset of giving my absolute best in everything I pursued, and I refused to back down in the face of whatever challenges. I vividly remember one of my major prayer points upon being admitted to the university. I prayed…Father, make me excel wherever I am, so that when people ask how I am doing it, I will say it is by Your grace.”
“Looking back, I can confidently say that I am a product of that prayer, and I humbly give all glory to God. It is not by my power or might that I stand here as the best graduating student, but by the grace of God. To all my amazing students of the Class of 2021, our set was a peculiar one. Our journey in FUTA was one of the longest this institution has had in a while. Five years turned to seven with no carryovers; it was not an easy feat.
“We faced seemingly endless strikes that tested our patience and resolve. While our peers in private schools graduated, we were at home, facing uncertainties. Yet, here we are, the resilient Class of 2021, emerging victorious from the challenges that have only made us stronger.
“Remember the countless sleepless nights, the long hours of classes, the daunting courses, and the anxiety that comes with preparing for assignments, tests and examinations, as well as the times of confusion when grappling with complex courses. In hindsight, these experiences, although difficult at the time, have moulded and prepared us for where we stand today.”
Olajuyigbe recalled that FUTA has instilled in them invaluable lessons about resilience, innovation, unity, hard work, excellence, and self-reliance, adding that it is no surprise to see FUTA graduates excelling in various fields.
“Fellow graduating students, every one of us has a unique story, a unique struggle, and a unique triumph,” he noted, saying: “As we step out beyond this campus into the world, let us carry with us the lessons we have learned, the friendships we have forged, and the memories we have created together.”
“Let us continue to uphold the values of resilience, innovation, and excellence that FUTA has instilled in us and make our alma mater proud wherever our paths may lead us. Meanwhile, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Adenike Temidayo Oladiji, said Olajuyigbe led the pack of the 195 First Class graduating students.
Giving the breakdown of the graduating students, she disclosed that out of the total number of 3,491 graduating students, no fewer than 195 graduated with First Class; 1,510 students obtained Second Class Upper; 1,515 students had Second Class Lower Division; while 254 students obtained Third Class and two students graduated with Pass Grade, respectively.
No fewer than 1,806 graduates in the School of Postgraduate Studies, with 490 graduating with Postgraduate Diploma in Management; 61 students obtained Master of Business Administration; 86 students with Masters, 940 Masters and 299 with PhD.
The Vice-Chancellor said: “There are currently 52 academic programmes offered in the university and none of these courses has been denied accreditation. In our efforts to broaden and deepen the impact of the university on our society, new academic programmes had been introduced. Programmes in Medical Laboratory Science and Entrepreneurship had already taken-off after due approval by the National Universities Commission (NUC).
“We are awaiting resource verification for B.Sc Public Health; B.Ed Education Technology, B.Tech Securities and Investment, and Business Information Technology. Also, the university has secured approval for the take-off of the Open and Distance Learning programme in Computer Science.”
Oladiji, however, added that the newly established FUTA School of Professional Development has taken off, which offers courses in several fields of Management, while the Centre for Continuing Education has increased the number of its short-term courses.
According to her, FUTA now has a wide range of courses to address the developmental challenges and needs of the country, and this is apart from the over 25,000 products of the university that have been making considerable impacts in various fields of human endeavours.
The Vice-Chancellor noted that the university is ranked as top-three in Nigeria, according to Times Higher Education’s 2023 ranking, among 1,904 universities ranked across 108 countries and regions.
She further stated: “The university through the Centre for Research and Development (CERAD) has attracted and managed over N1 billion national and international research grants between 2021 and 2023, involving scholars and postgraduate students.
“Currently, FUTA has been granted 16 patents and four copyrights for its research projects. FUTA Researchers Ranked in World Top 2% Scientists in the 2022 Edition (Version 4) of the prestigious World Top 2% Scientists Ranking, published by Stanford University, USA, seven academic staff of FUTA were listed among the World Top 2% Scientists.”