The University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) will on Saturday graduate 19,526 students with 161 bagging First Class degrees.
The Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Owunari Georgewill, disclosed this at a news conference on Thursday, in Port Harcourt as part of programmes to mark the 33rd combined convocation of the institution.
Georgewill said the conferment of degrees, higher degrees, diplomas, certificates and prizes would be held at the university from Dec.1 to Dec.3.
According to him, the convocation was mainly for students who finished their academic programmes for the 2018/2019 and 2019/2020 academic sessions.
“The convocation was delayed due to COVID-19 and the eight months industrial action by different unions in the university.
“So, in the undergraduate category, we are expecting to graduate about 9,536 first degrees with 161 students out of the figure obtaining first class degrees.
He said the university would also graduate about 9,699 students with postgraduate degrees and diplomas.
“Out of this figure, about 1,028 will receive Doctor of Philosophy degrees (PhD); 3,745 will obtain Master degrees while about 4,926 will receive their Postgraduate Diplomas.
“The university has taken time to prepare for this convocation, and has also set up various committees to ensure a successful convocation,” he added.
Georgewill described convocation as a period of harvest that the university uses to rate the progress of the institution.
He said the university under his leadership had achieved remarkable milestones in the areas of infrastructure development, administration and Research and Development (R&D).
“Since we came onboard in July 2021, we have done all we could to ensure UNIPORT delivers its mandate of teaching, learning, R&D, community service and recently added entrepreneurship.
“Some of the things we introduced are “This Week in Retrospect,” where we provide our staff, students and stakeholders with in-depth weekly information to be abreast of happenings in the university.
“We have also strengthened our professional promotion which faced challenges owing to delays, while also improving the career structure of some staff members of the university,” he said.
The vice chancellor said that UNIPORT had partnered both local and international institutions to establish an institute in the university to tackle climate change, partly responsible for recent flooding in the country.
On infrastructure, Georgewill said he had completed some of the newly initiated projects while works were in progress to complete other projects he met on ground.
“The projects we initiated when we came onboard that have been completed include faculty buildings, auditoriums as well as equipping our laboratories, among others.
“On research and development, we have signed several Memoranda of Understanding with several local and international institutions and universities because research is key to meeting industrial and societal needs.
He said lectures had commenced fully in the university with year one students concluding their second semester examinations recently.
The vice chancellor thanked President Muhammadu Buhari, Federal Ministry of Education, TetFund and Gov. Nyesom Wike for their support to UNIPORT.