Excerpt Interview with the Vice-Chancellor of Federal University, Lokoja (FULokoja) Professor Angela Freeman Miri
by Pamela James
“We offer the best quality education that can compete any where in the world” : Prof. Angela Miri.
Three distinguishing values of University tradition globally revolve around AUTONOMY, TEACHING-LEARNING and CULTURE (CHARACTER).
The extraordinary academic leap Federal University, Lokoja is reaping can not be unconnected with the improvement in the quality of teaching, research and community service of the institution under the visionary and exceptional leadership of Prof. Angela Freeman Miri, who vowed to take the institution to greater heights within the minimum time frame.
Back to memory lane, Federal University Lokoja was among the new University established in 2011 under the administration of the past government. She was among the recent appointed Vice-Chancellor to newly established Universities by the present administration, February last year.
Since her assumption of duty a year ago, Prof. Miri has been embarked on aggressive campaign to champion
the mind-sets of staff and students of the University to be in tandem with global best standard she promised;
“Training shall be two-fold: first, is character, then learning. Degrees will be awarded based on character and learning as we consider these ingredients essential for a successful future”.
Her irrevocable commitment towards academic re-engineering and administrative astuteness has started reflecting, causing infrastructural renaissance of the University, both students and Staff are being left with no other choice but to buy into this unassailable vision and are already running with it in their various capacities, to achieve its vision of world-class status: “To be the best among the nine newly established Federal universities in Nigeria in 2011 and one of the top ten ranking universities in Africa”.
An edited excerpt from an interview we had the Vibrant Vice- Chancellor at Nassarawa State University Keffi 5th Combined convocation Ceremony venue on Saturday.
Many believe that University Education is not functional to the needs of Nigeria society and do you think government is doing enough for the improvement of Tertiary Education in Nigeria?
Federal government is well poised for educational improvement in Nigeria. Educational system in Nigeria is functional and working, but all we need is more funding to make sure learning environment is conducive, funds to provide teaching and learning facilities, to ensure students are comfortable to acquire knowledge, I must not fail to acknowledge that current administration is making it all things possible to ensure university education is adequately funded.
In Our own side, we have a mandatory duty to ensure that any given kobo to the university is judiciously used.
Vice-Chancellor, what do you consider to be the main challenges facing FULokoja as a newly established Federal University?
The first thing to stress is that FULokoja is an incredibly successful institution and is doing well academically, and can boast of world class quality academics.
But all we need is more funding, to continue to develop such high quality teaching and research. We are really, in need of more funds to enable us provide infrastructures and provides the necessary teaching and learning facilities, thereby, ensuring condusive environment for teaching and learning.
Apart from this, We are very well placed to withstand the challenges that might hit us.
What are the current projects of the University in terms of academics and staff expansion?
We are always striving to achieve more and enhance our reputation nationally and internationally. In particular, we are keen to develop new courses to attract a wider range of students, particularly at postgraduate level.
We are planning to open more programmes and establish more faculties.
Right now, we are advertising for more academic staff from senior lecturers level to the grade of professorship to mann the new faculties.
I am optimistic that FULokoja would continue to maintain high standard as we continue to attract the best and brightest students and academics for the future.