by crossriverwatch admin
Modalities have been concluded for University of Calabar (UNICAL) to commence courses in Engineering and Pharmacy to meet the critical needs of the state and the country in those departments.
Pro-chancellor and Chairman, UNICAL Governing Council, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, disclosed this when the council paid a courtesy call on Governor Liyel Imoke of Cross River State, saying that they had identified those two major projects which will certainly take the university in particular and the state in general to the next level.
According to Iwuanyanwu, UNICAL is one of the oldest universities in the country but with no engineering courses despite its importance and the state is playing a major role in infrastructure development which the school could avail of the necessary manpower when the courses are offered, stressing that, “next school year, UNICAL will start running courses in Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Electrical Engineering”.
He further stated that though the University has done well in medical sciences, unfortunately a very important arm like pharmacy is missing, adding that the course will commence before the tenure of the council elapses, because of its critical contribution to saving lives.
The Pro-chancellor disclosed that the University will host the West African University Games (WAUGA) in February, 2014 and the Pan African Universities Debate Competition between November and December, this year which will attract over eight thousand participants in the respective events and are expected to boost the economy of the state.
He, however, remarked that, “these two international events are keenly competed for at their respective levels and require huge financial investments definitely beyond over carrying capacity. It is on this note that the council solicits support from the state to enable us host the events in our usual peculiar way and keep the flag flying”.
He observed that the state has not tapped from the potentials inherent in the university because it has capacity in various disciplines to execute consultancy jobs for government as part of its community development in the areas of teaching of judiciary staff, workshop for teachers in secondary/primary schools, and Environmental Impact Assessment for the projects in the state like quarries, and construction.
The Chairman commended the state government for its developmental strides in education, roads, good potable water, light, hospitals adding that, “but quite surprisingly, we are aware of the minimal resources available to His Excellency. If so much can be done with so little, then one begins to wonder what Cross Riverians would enjoy if the resources were available as they should be”.
Responding, Governor Imoke said the state sees UNICAL as a partner in its development drive as most of the members of the state executive council were trained there and their contributions have been tremendous to the growth of the state, adding that he was satisfied that the university is diversifying to create impact not only the state but the nation at large.
Imoke explained that the state’s education policy thrust is hinged on ensuring that graduates from CRUTECH are employable after leaving school and that the proposed state polytechnic to be located at Ugep is designed in partnership with some foreign institutions.
“CRUTECH is run in partnership with oversea institutions of repute to strengthen the manpower requirement of the state and to ensure service economy”, adding that, “this is seen as an investment in human development and not only in infrastructure because professionals are in tremendous demands”
He said the proposed Tinapa Knowledge Center and the National Incubation Center, Calabar are service providing institutions where UNICAL can tap into, stating that there are bountiful opportunities for collaboration and cooperation between the state and the university that can grow to fit into the economic blue print of the state.
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