Corporate Icon, Chief [Dr.] Olusegun Osunkeye has advised Universities in Nigeria to appoint visiting Professors from outstanding people in the corporate world, who would give students nuggets from their vast experience.
Osunkeye, an accomplished Chartered Accountant and former Chairman and Chief Executive of Nestle Nigeria Plc, stated this while delivering a University lecture at Ajayi Crowther University, Oyo.
In the lecture titled ‘The University of The Future, Town, Gown and Service to Humanity’, Osunkeye advised universities to engage ‘the services of professionals who are ‘professors’ in their own right, and who have the experience and practical competence to impact the learning experience of the students as well as the theoretical understanding of the academic.’
He said the University of the future is one that should produce graduates who would be innovative in creating jobs, and not queue up in the already long unemployment line. He said there are scores of people who can be invited by universities on account of their practical experience to imbibe same to students.
‘Merely awarding degrees does not capture the essence of universities as centres of learning and innovation. At the same time, as the universities are working to enhance the quality of their degrees they ought to be building broad pathways to capturing distinguished professionals that are not resident in those institutions…intellectual giants outside our universities, as well as others, whose experiences are worth preserving for humanity, will not gatecrash into the barricaded walls of the academies. They need to be invited and courted for the mutual benefit of the town and gown. The time to begin such initiatives is now,’ Osunkeye said.
He gave examples with Segun Aina, a banker now in the forefront of FintTech revolution in Nigeria, Aigboje Aig-Imoukheude, Dr. Shamsudeen Usman, Mr. Peter Obi, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina of ADB, Arunma Oteh, Raji Fashola, Emeka Anyaoku, Dr. Christopher Kolade, Femi Falana, Wole Olanipekun, Udo Udoma, Odein Ajumogobia and Kola Awodien, saying there were many other such people outside the academia. He said the profile of those people would also boost the rating of any university where they are visiting professors, apart from the benefits to students. He said such moves will heighten the interaction between the town and gown to the mutual benefit of both.
He also stated that the fourth Industrial Revolution is the advent of the internet, stating that in the near future, robots would displace human beings from the work place. He said students should be taught how to put the internet to good use instead of using it for unproductive purposes. He advised lecturers to move with the trend, and not teach today’s students in what he described as the ‘analogue’ way they were taught in their days. He said that the education of today should move with the speed of the internet, stating that just as the internet is now on 4.0 speed, education should follow the trend.
Osunkeye, who was on the first Governing Council of Ajayi Crowther University, Oyo, expressed happiness at the rate of development in the University since the tenure of Rt. Rev. Professor Asaju as the Vice-Chancellor. Asaju, who was chairman at the occasion, said Chief Osunkeye was one of those who encouraged him to assume duty as the Vice-Chancellor of the University.