As the year 2022 has come to an end, I would like to thank you all for your support of the University during the year and to wish you and your loved ones a happy and prosperous new year.
The year 2022 had been a mixed year, with the world emerging from the Covid-19 pandemic but being confronted with a global recession exacerbated by the Ukraine conflict. Finding lasting solutions to prevent wars and solve major global issues such as poverty and climate change is crucial. Education will continue to play a major role as advances in science, technology, artificial intelligence, digitization, and recently fusion energy, are providing new solutions, as well as hope from the push for a better world by a more active younger generation.
At NUTM, we remain committed to the pursuit of world-class quality STEM education to equip Africa’s youthful population with the right knowledge and skills to transform Africa and impact the world. This mission and the progress we are making continue to give me hope and as such I celebrate the achievements during the year.
In August 2022, we held our 2nd convocation of 60 students and with Professor Benedict Oramah, President of Afreximbank delivering a thought-provoking commencement speech. We thereafter in October welcomed on our campus 29 students of the 3rd cohort of the NUTM Scholars Program (NSP) who we onboarded as the first set of fee-paying students as we begin to establish the financial sustainability of the University.
Our alumni are growing (117 now) and making a difference in society. 30% have established start-up ventures solving societal problems, 50% are intrapreneurs adding value to organizations, and 20% are pursuing Master’s and PhD degrees. Their impact on society and the keen interest in their start-ups by international and local venture capital firms make us proud and demonstrate that we are on the right track to actualizing our vision. I am pleased that we continue to attract world-class faculty from ivy-league universities as well as exceptional leaders as guest speakers to teach and inspire our scholars. This is a key differentiator.
We also welcomed five (5) new staff members in 2022. I am grateful to all the NUTM people for their hard work during the year. We have continued to gain the support of donors who have provided to date $5.5m in financial support that has enabled us to sustain our commitment to provide full and partial scholarships to students. We have more work to do to continually gain the confidence of existing and new donors whose partnership and support we need to realize our ambition for NUTM and our students.
In December 2022, the National Universities Commission (NUC) carried out the first verification inspection visit to NUTM. We thank the team from the NUC for a successful visit being a major milestone towards full licensing and accreditation of programs at NUTM.
We are proud of the progress made in our partnership with world-renowned Universities. We recently signed an agreement with WPI University, USA towards running a Master’s in Business Analytics by 2023. We have also advanced discussions with Said Business School, Oxford University, UK towards signing an MOU to enable us to run Executive programs, develop our faculty, and provide innovation exposure for our students.
During 2022, we secured 100ha of land along the Abeokuta-Sagamu corridor for our permanent campus and are in the process of finalizing the documentation. This provides us with the platform to develop some of this land for our core (offices, classrooms, laboratories, departments, and research centres), while the remaining will be developed as an ecosystem (e.g., ICT and Green/Renewable) in partnership with developers and investors.
Whilst 2022 was challenging especially from a financial perspective, we have things to celebrate including winning John McNulty (USA) Catalyst prize. Many thanks to all our partners, students, alumni, Board, and staff.
As we journey into 2023, we are witnessing disruption in the education space, including a redefinition of what education means; how education is more virtually deployed, what curricula are relevant for the workplace now and in the future; and an increasing focus on skills than certificates. Many of these continue to test our assumptions and models, and we would continue to finetune our strategy whilst remaining true to our aspiration to become a Top 50 global university.
In addition, 2023 will be an election year in many African countries – Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe, South Sudan, Liberia, Malagasy, and Congo. The election uncertainties add further to the challenges of security, recession, inflation, exchange rate volatility, and talent retention that continue to challenge African institutions.
Thus, the road ahead remains long and challenging but our purpose, vision, progress, and potential impact remain our motivation. We will continue in 2023 with our focus on “People, Partners, and Place”.
On NUTM-People, we are pleased to welcome to our Board, Mrs Bola Adesola, who brings enormous global and local experience and a keen interest in human development. We will graduate our 3rd cohort in August and begin our 4th cohort of the NSP in October 2023 and continue attracting world-class faculty and guest speakers. We will implement a new Alumni strategy, and grow our staffing to meet the
On NUTM-Partners, we will secure full licensing and accreditation in 2023, progress our partnerships with Institutional donors, and secure social impact loans from financial institutions to progress our capital projects. We will jointly offer the Masters Business Analytics Program with WPI; and progress Executive programs with SBS, Oxford University. We will grow our relationships with Corporates and progress with the setting up of a student loan facility with financial institutions.
On NUTM-Place, we appreciate the support of UACN on our take-off facility and we will complete the upgrade to enable us to go live with the take-off programs. We will finalize the 100ha of land along the Abeokuta-Sagamu expressway, fence the perimeter, and complete architectural drawings for the core portion of the land. We will break ground and set up a property company that will enter into joint ventures with developers and investors to develop the other aspects of the ecosystem (e.g., ICT, Green/Renewables).
Building a quality world-class University has to be intentional and as such takes time. Our vision is a marathon, not a sprint, but we are making steady progress and are confident that we are on track for the journey ahead.
Thank you for your contributions in 2022 and we look forward to an even more fruitful 2023.
Babs Omotowa (Dr)
Nigerian University of Technology and Management.