LASU now World Bank’s African Centre of Excellence on STEM Education

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The Lagos State University (LASU) has been selected as one of World Bank’s Centre of Excellence for Innovative and Transformative STEM Education (CITSE).

This is according to its Vice-Chancellor, Olanrewaju Fagbohun on Friday at the “Long Time Service Award” where the university honoured 524 members of staff of the institution.

The event, which brought together current and former staff of the institution, and well wishers was held at the University Auditorium, Ojo, Lagos.

In his welcome address, Professor Fagbohun said the event was in line with trends in global progressive organisations that increasingly recognise that motivated employees are an invaluable asset to growth and productivity.

He added that at the back of their minds, leaders of industries know that the happier their staff are, the more productive they get and ultimately, the better for the organisation.

In his words, “Against this background, I make bold to say that as far as the majority of LASU staff are concerned, today’s Long Service Award Ceremony is perhaps the most impactful event in the university this year and the Management of the Lagos State University must be applauded for the initiative. This has again showed that there is a genuine commitment to making LASU a world-class university.”

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Olanrewaju Fagbohun

On the selection of LASU as an African Centre of Excellence (ACE), Professor Fagbohun said the university went through a rigorous assessment towards being granted the about $7 million worth award.

“We were chosen from about 154 universities that applied for the centre and after several rounds of assessment and screening, we were selected as the only state university in the round. It’s not about me, it’s about all of us.

EduCeleb.com reports that this is the third in the series of the ACE projects funded through the World Bank International Development Assistance (IDA) funds. The funds are provided as loans to the participating governments across West and Central Africa.

Since 2013, the ACE project has successfully supported institutions and students across Western and Central Africa through improved teaching and research conditions and scholarships and graduate internships.

That of LASU focuses on Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics. The university may have emerged among others following its success after the call for proposals last September.

EduCeleb.com also gathered that other Nigerian institutions in the ACE on STEM are the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, the African University of Science and Technology, Abuja (AUST) and the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT).

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While the OAU ACE project focuses on building an ICT-driven knowledge park, that of AUST is called the Pan African Materials Institute while that of UNIPORT focuses on Oilfield Chemicals Research.

The Africa Centre of Excellence (ACE) III project is aimed at supporting more policy harmonisation initiatives in higher education across the African region.

The LASU VC revealed that funds the university gets through the centre were renewable based on output and performance. He said his university would use the money to build a convention centre and attract international students to its campuses.

“LASU would get a minimum of $7 million as a centre for the project, which is renewable after four years following impressive output and performance.

“LASU will become what we all make it to become. We are going to be attracting foreign students and foreign faculties. We cannot afford to go on crises.

“Not only do we have the fund to build a convention centre, we now have four new buildings coming to this University. The buildings will start being put in place in December this year.

“When we start this centre of excellence, we must promise ourselves that we will strategically manage our institution and sustain it.

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“The name of the game is changing and we must be a part of it.

He, therefore, applauded members of the management, present and past, Deans and Heads of Departments for for making the vision work.

“My remarks centres on saying thank you to each and everyone of you for making this university what it is today. We have worked together and we will not stop.”

While commending the university staff for their hard work and dedication to service, the Pro-Chancellor of the university, Professor Adebayo Ninalowo said, “Ladies and gentlemen, what you are witnessing today is in sharp contrast to what the Council and university management met on ground”.

The Pro-Chancellor therefore encouraged the staff to work hard to better the institution.

Also speaking at the event, a former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Professor Oye Ibidapo-Obe challenged members of staff on personal development. He particularly tasked junior staff on self education.

“If you are a junior staff, educate yourself. There were junior staff in UNILAG that have become Deans today,” he said.

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