Vice-chancellor Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife, Professor Ogunbodede, has asked tertiary institutions to step out of their comfort zones and position themselves to be part of the solution to societal challenges through innovation and research.
He called on academics and alumni bodies to leverage local talents in the university student union system to build a better society through a knowledge-based approach.
Professor Ogunbodede spoke at the biennial OAU global Alumni convention, a three-day program to harness university talents by the school alumni.
Also calling attention to harnessing talents from the university community is the President, Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife Alumni, Engr Wale Olaleye.
Olaleye said students’ unionism is an incubator for growing progressive politicians and virile administrators around the world.
He explained that some strong politicians and human rights lawyers were products of students’ union executives in their times as students on various campuses.
He maintained that said the student’s union movement had reshaped the political careers of many politicians in Nigeria, including Governors Rotimi Akeredolu, Kayode Fayemi, and Senators Babafemi Ojudu, Opeyemi Bamidele, Femi Falana, among others.
Recounting the alumni body’s effort to revive students at the Obafemi Awolowo University after years of proscription by the present University management, Oleleye assured that after engagement with the institution’s authorities, the union would be resuscitated.
Olaleye, who emerged as the global president of the school’s alumni association on Saturday, revealed that the body has pledged to support the indigent students and the less privileged within the university community.
This, according to him, was in line with the association’s resolve to support their Alma mater against adequate funding of university education and complement the Government’s subventions.
“We will introduce an Alumni subscription fee to support the indigent students and the less privileged within the university community,” Olaleye emphasized.
He maintained that the association would not relent in its quest for the university to attain the status of a world-class citadel of learning.