By: Aduwo Ayodele
Reaching a concession on Friday, January 12, 2024, the joint efforts of the University of Ibadan and Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey at Camden, to formally establish intervarsity relations have now reached an advanced stage.
The Memorandum of Understanding between the two Universities was to make possible both academic and cultural exchange, especially through providing mutual assistance in the areas of research.
The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) at the University of Ibadan, Professor Aderonke Baiyeroju, who received the visitors on behalf of the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Kayode Adebowale, assured the representatives of Rutgers University that the University of Ibadan looks in anticipation to having “a collaboration that would promote the acquisition of skills and knowledge.”
Professor Baiyeroju noted that the University of Ibadan had always been known for high-quality work/graduates, and the institution would wish to continue, to give its students a solid background through exposure to other universities.
The leader of the visiting team from Rutgers University, the Chancellor, Dr Anthonio D. Tillis said he had always had high regard for the University of Ibadan.
He said he was excited to collaborate with the oldest university in Nigeria, adding that his excitement stemmed from the impressive relationships he had had with some alumni of UI.
Dr Tillis explained that Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, had existed since 1766 with campuses in four different locations. He said his own campus at Camden stands out with its commitment to the community and that students are taught civil engagements.
The MoU to be signed by both institutions covers areas of cooperation such as research; exchange of academic staff and students; exchange of academic materials and information; transfer of academic credits for students; development of joint degree programmes; and organisation of conferences, workshops and symposia.
The Rutgers University team included Dr. Jimmy Jung, Vice-Chancellor; Mrs Bola Ibraheem, Director of Finance; Dr. Christie E. Sanders, Higher Education Consultant/Director; and Dr Sarafa Ibraheem, representative of KOTIC.
The representatives of the University of Ibadan included principal officers, deans of faculties, directors of institutes and centres, as well as other top-ranking academics from the University.
The Kabiyesi Olowu Tertiariary Institutions Consortium (KOTIC) was put together by an alumnus of the University of Ibadan, a First Class graduate of Mechanical Engineering, His Royal Majesty, Oba Professor Saka Adelola Matemilola, the Olowu of Owu Kingdom.
He had put together a Consortium of Nigerian institutions of higher learning to collaborate with identified American institutions.
The Nigerian institutions are the University of Ibadan; Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta; Bells University, Ota, Crescent University, Abeokuta; Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Abeokuta; and Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, Abeokuta.