The Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu=Alike, Ebonyi State has launched its 2nd Decennial Development Plan, otherwise known as Vision 2031, geared towards repositioning it as one of the best universities in Nigeria in the next 10 years.
The launch took place yesterday during the 8th public lecture of the University delivered by the Pro-Chancellor/Chairman, Governing Council of the institution, Emeritus Prof. Nimi Briggs.
The event also marked the commencement of Clinical training for 48 pioneer students of the College of Medical Sciences of the University.
Delivering a lecture themed ‘’The Imperatives of Excellence in Clinical Medical Education’’, Briggs who is an Emeritus Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology acknowledged the efforts of the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Sunday Elom in getting accreditation for the College of Medical Sciences, while praying God to grant him more grace to execute his other plans in order take the university to a higher level.
He also extolled the achievement of the university in its 10 years of existence (2011-2021), adding that the Governing Council was satisfied with the growth of the university.
Speaking further, Emeritus Prof. Briggs in the lecture addressed the concept of a university and its mission and explained that excellence is integral and pivotal to the achievements of all the objectives for which a university is established. He observed university ranking as one of the many ways of assessing and comparing universities on the achievements of their mission and their stand in the view of the public as well as the contributions that scholars make to their universities.
He also x-rayed the College of Medical Sciences of the University as a subset of AE-FUNAI and showed that it is also held to the same account of excellence as is required of the University and that its specialised role in patient care through its affiliate teaching hospital (AE-FUTHA), demands even greater diligence and commitment.
The Emeritus Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology also recommended that every academic staff of the University be made to register as a Google scholar, as this will enable the productivity and citation impacts which are products of academic activities of every academic staff be automatically and regularly monitored and be readily available in the public space.
Addressing the Clinical Students, he said: ‘’I congratulate you the pioneer clinical students of AE-FUNAI for getting to this stage of your education in your quest to become medical doctors’’.
Adding “This calls for gratitude to the Almighty God and even greater commitment to your work in the years to come.
‘’As you acquire these highly demanding and sophisticated skills, strive also to acquire the attitude of compassion, tolerance, empathy and character’’.
While declaring the event open, the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Elom noted that the occasion was another milestone in the history of the young University, as the 8th public lecture marked the official commencement of clinical studies for the first set of students of the College of Medical Sciences and the Launching of the 2nd AE-FUNAI Decennial Development Plan.
He also pointed out that the University’s College of Medical Sciences is the third federally-funded College of Medicine in the whole of the Southeast Nigeria, adding “With today’s event, it is expected that our clinical students will graduate in record time without the hitches often associated with the MBBS programme in many public Universities in Nigeria.”
Prof. Elom maintained that as a University, “we are irrevocably committed to academic excellence. It is the plan of my administration to make the College of Medicine the flagship programme in order to carve a niche for the University in Medical Education.
“We will continue to invest relevant human and material resources as well as the needed infrastructure to make this dream a reality.
“For our students that will be commencing clinical studies, it is yet another phase of your training. Our University as you know is reputed for its serious academic activities. Therefore, I charge you to take your clinical training very seriously so that you will graduate on schedule.
“We will endeavour to ensure that all the necessary things are put in place to enable you fulfil your dreams of becoming medical doctors”, he concluded.
While also speaking at the historic event, the Chief Medical Director of Alex Ekwueme Federal University Teaching Hospital Abakaliki (AE-FUTHA), Dr. Emeka Onwe Ogah, called for synergy between the University and the teaching hospital in order to ensure the successful training of the clinical students.
Speaking further, Ogah advised the students to be focused on their studies and to always discuss with Management on whatever challenges they might be facing in the institution, urging them to shun the frenzy going on in the social media.
He also commended the Board of the teaching hospital and the Governing Council of the University for establishing a good and workable Memorandum of Understanding, adding that on their part they will do their best to ensure that the students were properly trained, even as he also encouraged the lecturers and consultants to make sure the students were given the best.
Presenting a good will message, the Governor of Ebonyi State, HE Engr. David Nweze Umahi, noted that the emergence of Prof. Elom as the 3rd Vice-Chancellor of AE-FUNAI was a rare gift to the government and people of Ebonyi state because of his sterling past records and contributions to mankind, stating “We have no doubt that he will take AE-FUNAI to greater heights”
The Governor who was represented by the Hon. Commissioner for Education, Dr. Sunday Nwangele assured the clinical students of the state government’s support in the pursuit of their medical career.
Earlier in her welcome remarks, the Chairman, Inaugural and Public Lecture Committee, Prof. Rosemary Igbo appreciated the Pro-Chancellor/Chairman, Governing Council of the University, for volunteering to present the 8th public lecture, adding that the lecture will help to bring about the best practices in medical education in the University in particular and Nigeria at large.
She further applauded the combined efforts of Management of both AE-FUNAI and AE-FUTHA in making the event a reality.
Highlight of the event was the presentation of award of honour to the 8th public lecturer, Emeritus Prof. Briggs by the Management of Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu-Alike, Ebonyi State.