Gombe State University (GSU) has cumulatively graduated 51 students with first class degree from 2013 to date, with another 664 graduating with second-class upper degree during the same period.
Vice Chancellor of the university Professor Ibrahim Umar disclosed this at a pre-convocation lecture ahead of the combined convocation ceremony for the 2013/14, 2014/15, 2015/16 and 2016/17 academic sessions billed to start today (Friday).
Prof Umar said a total of 3, 958 graduates would participate in the combined convocation ceremony for four sets of graduates since the 2013/14 academic session.
The VC added that 1,945 graduated with second class lower, 1035 with third class while 60 got passed degrees before the National University Commission (NUC) abolished passed degree after 2013.
Prof. Umar explained that for the first time the institution is graduating 37 Post Graduate Diploma (PGD) in education, 4 Masters Degree in Science (MSc) in physics.
He disclosed further that, in line with the ceremony and in its bid to recognize merit and hard work, the university would confer the award of honorary degrees on four eminent Nigerians, including the Chancellor of the university and Emir of Gombe, HRH Alhaji Abubakar Shehu Abubakar.
The three other awardees are Hajiya Amina J. Muhammad, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations and Chief Christopher Kolade, businessman, diplomat and media expert and Mr. Herbert Wigwe, Group Managing Director/Chief Executive of Access Bank.
While noting that the Chancellor was installed at the last convocation held but was not conferred with an honorary degree, the remaining three were selected based on merit as demonstrated by their contributions to the development of the country in their various fields of endeavour.
“Hajiya Amina is from Gombe, being the first person to occupy that position is something worthy of celebration. Chief Kolade is being recognized for his exploits in the banking industry,” the VC said.
Other activities lined up for the convocation ceremony, Prof Umar said, includes a pre-convocation lecture to be chaired by former Head of Service of the Federation, Alhaji Mahmud Yayale Ahmed, with the Emir of Kano, HRH Muhammadu Sanusi II expected to deliver the keynote address centred around social reforms especially in Northern Nigeria.
“We decided to bring these eminent personalities into the university so that our students can see what these gentlemen have done towards building the society,” the VC said while urging the public to attend the lecture session with a view to gaining knowledge.
Commenting on the recent developments within the institution, Prof Umar noted that within the past four years, the university has increased its enrollment from 1,545 in 2013/14 session to 3,636 in 2016/17 academic year.
The VC announced that the GSU also introduced both diploma and part time degree programmes with over 2500 students currently undertaking various courses of study. He added that the institution equally expanded its remedial programme to admit another 2000 students.
He said 15 new PG programmes admitted about 1,000 students, with over 600 of these already registered.
Prof Umar pointed out that the institution has also expanded in terms of infrastructure with the construction of new lecture theatres, students’ hostels as well as laboratories.
He further revealed that a team of accreditation from the NUC and Pharmaceutical Council of Nigeria has visited the institution regarding the university’s pharmacy department, stressing that hopefully by next year, GSU would graduate its first set of pharmacists.
“I am proud to say that, Gombe State University is the only state-owned university in the North running both MBBS and Pharmacy,” he said.
The VC used the opportunity to show appreciation to Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo for his continuous support to the university as well as the Chancellor, university council, management team, the senate of the university, in-house unions, staff and students among others, for the existing harmonious working relationship.