The accreditation team of Town Planning Registration Council (TOPREC) has hailed the University Management for its commitment, forthrightness and sincerity of purpose displayed in the running of its academic programmes in the University. The hint was dropped by the team at the Vice-Chancellor’s Office, during the presentation of the exit report of its findings on the accreditation of the Urban and Regional Planning programme held on Tuesday, 14th October, 2019.
In his speech, the team leader, Town Planner I. D. Suleiman, prior to the assessment, had disclosed that the mission of the visit was to fulfil legal and national assignments in terms of quality of training and see how things were done in the running of the programme in line with the best practices that characterised Town Planning profession, for appropriate recommendations. He, thereafter, thanked the Management for the warm reception and enabling environment for the accreditation exercise. According to him, “on behalf of my team and TOPREC as a professional body, I sincerely appreciate the orthrightness and sincerity of purpose displayed by the University leadership in its courage to invite TOPREC for another accreditation within the same year the last accreditation lapsed. In all sincerity, OOU is one of the very few Universities in Nigeria that would honestly display such”, he added.
Speaking further, Planner Suleiman who reiterated that the accreditation visit would also help the profession through regular inspection of physical facilities and ensuring qualified personnel are available to impart the right knowledge onto the students, affirmed that they were not only very comfortable but highly impressed with their findings, and hoped the tempo would be sustained. According to him, “my colleagues and I are extremely happy and impressed with what we saw as a team, in fulfilment of the essence of our visit, though we still have areas that must be improved upon. On the whole, the accreditation is successful”. “Let me also mention that OOU is one of the very few Universities that would appoint a Registered Town Planner as the Director of Physical Planning, which has no doubt translated into the very good manner the master plan is being implemented, as clearly seen on the arrangement of physical structures on the University campuses. This is indeed a commendable feat”,Planner Suleiman submitted.
He specifically lauded the University Management for the quantity of space for staff and students, the e-library and the deployment of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) resources in other areas that facilitate effective teaching and learning process among staff and students in the institution, such as Course Registration, Students Examination Results computation, Students Academic Transcript etc.
The TOPREC accreditation team leader, however, noted that the University Management should, as a matter of necessity, consider having a Model-making Workshop as an additional training facility for the training of the Urban and Regional Planning students. This, he said, would afford even a layman to comprehend and translate ‘plan’ into understandable project. Planner Suleiman did not conclude his report without advising and encouraging the Department of Urban and Regional Planning to mount postgraduate programmes like Border Planning and Settlement, leveraging on the experiences occasioned by the proximity to the country’s largest border located in Ogun State. He added that the Department should endeavour to showcase the potentials of the students by organising ‘live programmes’ to enhance the awareness of the external public and patronage of the end users like individuals, corporate bodies and government at all levels.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Ganiyu Olatunji Olatunde, appreciated the Town Planners and their professional body, TOPREC for their significant roles in national development, especially as it affects lives and properties of the citizenry. He stressed that their good work in ameliorating the scourge of collapsed buildings that plagued the nation in recent times, were commendable. Prof. Olatunde, thereafter, noted that the University“is not averse to improvement” as curriculum updating, facilities upgrade, securing competent and qualified manpower, and effective teaching/learning through feedback mechanism, among others, for academic excellence, were the hallmark of the current administration in the University. He added that the University gives priority to environment, so as to instil protection and norm of international standard.
While emphasising that the University Management would not leave any stone unturned to address areas of needs, as might be observed by the team, the Vice-Chancellor noted that the quest for standard and academic excellence had been the major strength of the 37 years old University. These, Prof. Olatunde revealed, were instrumental to the 99 percent NUC accreditation of all the programmes offered in the University, including Urban and Regional Planning, noting that the efforts and commitment of TOPREC at ensuring that quality of programmes is sustained in the Universities all over the federation, were commendable.
It would be recalled that the TOPREC full accreditation status recorded in 2017 by the Urban and Regional Planning programme in the Faculty of Environmental Studies, Ibogun Campus, was billed to lapse in 2019. The University applied for the statutory re-accreditation of the programme by the professional body in line with her tradition of placing high premium on the currency of academic standard of programmes being offered in the University, as may be recommended by both the Regulatory i.e NUC and for various Professional bodies of programmes, from time to time.
Other members of the TOPREC accreditation team included TOPREC Registrar, Tpl. Ibrahim M. Yunusa, the TOPREC Council Member, Tpl. R. Olorunleke, TOPREC Council Member, and Ogun State Representative, Tpl. B. A. Daini, TOPREC Deputy Registrar and Secretary to the team, Tpl. Samuel Abayomi.