The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Port Harcourt, Prof. Ndowa Lale, said on Monday that the management of the institution had been able to stamp out cultism from the university through its new policies.
Lale, who spoke in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, during a briefing ahead of the university’s forthcoming 32nd convocation, said that with the new policy, cultism had no place in the institution again.
He recalled that in the past, students found to be members of cult groups were merely suspended for one semester but the punishment was now expulsion.
Lale said a committee was formed to put an end to the menace and the recommendations of the committee had made it impossible for any student to join a cult group.
He said, “At the time I came on board, the level of cultism and examination misconduct was high; I asked myself if students who should be the leaders of tomorrow should be involved in such vices. I remember then that the penalty for being a cultist or involvement in examination misconduct was a suspension for one semester. Today, if it is established that you are a cult member, you are expelled from the university. Based on this, the issue of cultism and examination misconduct are no longer common and students have advised themselves to be well- behaved.”
Lale also disclosed that a total of 9,452 graduates would be presented for the 32nd convocation of the institution. “Our records show that a total of 4,681 graduates will receive Higher Degrees from the School of Graduate Studies for two sessions. Of the number, 381 will be conferred with Doctor of Philosophy degree in various specialisations. A total of 2,971 candidates will receive the Master’s degree in various programmes, while 1,329 will get the Postgraduate Diploma in various fields for the 2016/2017 and 2017/2018 academic sessions.”
Lale kicked against the belief that university education should be free, maintaining that those who think that tertiary education should be run on credit were missing the point. “Recall that the Senate of the university had a running battle with a few of our students in the 2015/2016 academic session over their refusal to abide by the Senate’s policy of no payment, no examination.
“You will also recall that some of the students in this category approached a Federal High Court to challenge the university on the policy that was made contentious by a few students and their sponsors. I am glad to report that despite the initial setback, the management of the university recently floored these misguided students in the own case against us,” she said.
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