Academic institutions are established with the aim of meeting certain objectives and fulfilling specific purposes for human development. The essence of any formal or informal education is to produce an individual who will be a useful member of the society. Sound education should engender in the individual a disposition of personal autonomy, responsibility, innovation and a positive outlook on life.The shortfall in university education and its challenges in meeting national development goals require cooperative and collaborative efforts. That positive effort in modern times will begin with the role played by major stakeholders like the Alumni.
In response to this quest to strategically develop its arm for future engagements, Federal University Oye Ekiti held her inaugural Alumni Lecture entitled “University Education and National Development, The Role of Alumni,” delivered by a guest speaker, Mr. Jadesola Babatola from Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti. Mr. Babatola described university education as an input and end-product of highly endowed scholarship and well-organized academic instruction to knowledge, science and culture. He further hinged on national development as an advancement and expansion of human social and economic progress occurring at different stages of existence.
According to him, any policy, action or activity designed to achieve higher human satisfactions and benefits bear indices of human development. Some of these development policies as identified by him include provision of adequate infrastructure, development of institutional infrastructure, promoting better utilization of resources, seeking out and assisting potential entrepreneurs. These policies when fully engaged foster national development. While commenting on the ever growing need for synergy between alumni associations and their parent institutions, he disclosed that the relationship between the two has become an all-important part of an institution’s advancement actions for several mutual benefits. Babatola stressed that healthy relations between alumni associations and institutions make students feel obliged and honoured to return goodwill to their institutions after making successes in life. He noted that alumni, to some degrees, offer fiscal relief to their parent universities, adding that continuing to recognize the association for their excellence is one of the surest ways for universities to both cultivate their community and receive pecuniary support from the association.
“Maintaining a positive relationship with your alumni means that the messages they share about your institution would be positive because if the relationship is not robust, there is every tendency that their knowledge of the institution’s activities and achievements would no longer be projected” he said. He further identified the alumni association as the institution’s most loyal supporter while stating that it serves as a role model for current students and is often well-placed to offer practical support to students as they start their career. “As long as any graduate of FUOYE wishes to refer to the certificate issued to him or her by the university either as evidence of higher education, scholarship, purpose of earning a living, building foundation for public recognition or making positive contributions to the society, such graduate or intending graduate must see alumni association as the best avenue of coming together to advance those causes that would stand the test of time,” he emphasized. It was also an occasion for the management to have an interface with the Alumni Executive while series of photograph sessions were held to wrap up the parley.
Other dignitaries present at the occasion were Registrar, Mr. D. A. Adeyemo, Dean, Faculty of Sciences, Prof. S. V. A. Uzochukwu, Director CEDSS, Prof. Atere and the President of FUOYE Alumni, Mr. Arogundade Temitope. Earlier, Director Centre for Entrepreneurial Development and Support Services, Prof. Atere, had, in a lecture organized for the graduating students, charged them to be ‘entrepreneurly’ minded and not wait for paid employments. He had charged them never to quit until they succeeded in their quests.
The Vice Chancellor, in his speech, had been visibly elated at graduating his first set of students and charged them to keep flying the institution’s flag wherever they went.