The University of Calabar (UNICAL) has urged it’s graduands to be innovative by taking advantage of every available opportunity in life.
Vice Chancellor of UNICAL, Professor Zana Akpagu, who made the call, commended the travails of the young graduates in the current economic environment.
Professor Akpagu made the remarks during the institution’s 30th convocation ceremony held on Saturday at the Abraham Stadium at the University premises in Cross River State, south-south Nigeria.
The event was attended by traditional rulers, stakeholders in the education sector and politicians from within and outside the state, as well as well-wishers of the graduands.
Addressing the graduands, the Vice Chancellor urged them not to be defined by their present educational attainment, but by how they survived adversity following the present economic state.
He also tasked the graduands to put to practice the entrepreneur training they have acquired while in school.
Highlighting the achievements of his administration since he took over, Professor Zana said the University has within his first tenure worked hard to ensure strict adherence to academic calendar, lectures schedules and reopening dates.
He added that his administration created a Quality Assurance/ Control Unit and domiciled it under the Directorate of Research and Quality Assurance, saying the unit was empowered with full inspectorate powers to ensure compliance with NUC benchmark minimum academic standard among others.
“We have made strides in the area of curricular expansion and establishment of new faculties, departments and courses.
“As young as this administration is, it has already established the faculties of Dentistry, Engineering and Pharmacy.
“These three facilities are capital intensive and require enormous resources in terms of human capacity and infrastructure for effective take off.
“New departments have also been created, they are: Music, Fine and Applied Arts, Mass Communication, Tourism and Hospitality Management, and Food Science and Technology,” the Vice Chancellor noted.
UNICAL’s Pro Chancellor and Chairman of Governing Council, Dr. Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, said he is proud that the institution has attained the status of a highly rated world class University and to pursue collaborations with renewed Universities that have track record of excellence and achievements.
“At this juncture, I want to salute the alumni of this great University. They are scattered all over the world and wherever they are, they are making indelible footprints on the path of success, peace and development,” he said.
Some of the awardees commended the University authorities for instilling knowledge in the graduands which they said was the best assets that can be given to any society.
The University of Calabar successfully graduated a total of 13,347 graduates which include 1,437 were awarded post graduate certificates while 11,910 bagged first degree certificates in different classes out of which 22 earned first class honours degrees.
High point of the ceremony was the award of honorary degrees and the foundation stone laying of the proposed site for an ultra-modern medical centre which is estimated at five billion Naira.