President of the foremost United Kingdom University, the King’s College London, Professor Shitij Kapur, has described the achievements recorded by the Afe Babalola University Ado Ekiti, ABUAD, as unparalleled within a decade of its establishment.
Kapur said he is amazed that the students’ population of over 8,000, which ABUAD has recorded since inception, took King’s College more than a century to achieve.
He spoke during the launch of the Afe Babalola Centre for Transnational Education at King’s College London, at ABUAD campus.
Among others, he said: “We come here not to teach but to learn. What we came to learn is the ambition and mission of this university. I am surprised that it takes this university to go from zero to 8,000 students in less than a decade. It took us centuries to build a world class hospital that we have and you have built one in less than a decade.
“So, I think the future is in your hands. They say humanity began from the continent of Africa and I think the century belongs here. We are here to embrace and we are here to contribute in whatever little way we can to your success.”
In her remarks, the Vice President, International Engagement and Service, King’s College, Prof. Funmi Olonisakin, said: “The centre will give the brightest of the people in Africa quality education. We are building a transnational partnership that will allow ABUAD to liaise with other universities in the world. It will enable ABUAD student access to the universities in the comfort of their campus”.
Speaking to newsmen, the Founder of the ABUAD, Afe Babalola SAN, among others, said: “This development is an assurance to me that under-privileged will access education and the future is bright. There are so many people who could not afford to go to school, like in my own case.
“This relationship we are having with the King’s College will give them the opportunity to learn without necessarily going to King’s college or ABUAD and yet they can become graduates, like I did.
“I am replicating what I suffered and how I conquered poverty, and it is to me hope for now, hope tomorrow, and hopes for the future.”
“I am worried with the level of education in the country, that was why, after I left UNILAG as a pro-chancellor, I established this university to be an example on how university should be run, and it is because of the high standard;
“…which we have achieved that King’s College directly got in touch with us, we didn’t lobby for it to establish a centre for under-privileged people, not only in Nigeria but the whole of Africa. To me, there is hope for everybody, there is hope for the rich, the poor and for everybody who wants to work hard and that is what we have achieved today.”