UNICAL Produces 11 First Class, To Convoke 7,769 Graduates In 35th Ceremony

In Breaking News, Education

By Patrick Obia

The University of Calabar (UNICAL) has kick-started activities that will climax with the convocation of seven thousand, seven hundred and sixty-nine (7,769) students with various degrees in the institution.

The 35th convocation ceremony will be a combined session of 2022 and 2023 graduates who will be awarded First Degree and Diploma, Post-graduate Diploma, Masters and PGD induction into UNICAL Alumni to those found worthy in character and learning.

Others include an award of Doctorate and Honorary Degrees and investiture of Emeritus Prof/Induction into Unical Alumni as well as the investiture of the 6th Chancellor of the University of Calabar, who is the current Emir of Kano. HH, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, Sarkin Kano.

In a pre-convocation press conference held at the school Senate Chambers, the Vice Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Florence Obi rolled out the itinerary that will end on Sunday 7th May 2023 with a thanksgiving service in St. Paul’s Parish, UNICAL.

“We are happy that we have this opportunity to serve our people and community and each and every one of us as part of this administration is doing the utmost best to render quality service and it is in rendering this quality service that we are gathered here. As it is our tradition over the years, I am constrained by obligation, respect for valuable partnerships cultivated over the years, and membership in the global community to tell the world that the 35th Convocation of our institution is about to kick off.”

She said eleven (11) students will be graduating with First Class honors, 899 Second Class Upper, 3396 Second Class Lower and 721 Third Class and among others.

Breakdown of Graduating Students

5,031 – undergraduate 

2,153 – Post-graduates

171 – Ordinary Diploma students 

413- Sandwich

Class of Degrees

11 First Class 

899 Second Class Upper 

3396 Second Class Lower 

721 Third Class

Post-graduates 

519 – graduating with PhD 

1078 – graduating with Masters 

556 – Post-graduate Diplomas and 2 distinctions for Ordinary Diplomas

111 Merits 

45 credits 

1 Lower credit 

11 Pass 

1 Certificate of Attendance 

Sandwich Students

162 – Second Class Upper 

251- Second Class Lower

Total 7,759.

“Last year, our convocation was billed for the 26th of March 2022 but because of the strike it couldn’t hold. This year we are doing a combination of those who were supposed to have graduated then and the new set of students; it is a convocation, call it combined or not, all the students are convoking this year. In the parlance we are used to, it is combined,” she said, disclosing that former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, Winifred Akpani – Chief Executive Officer of North West Oil and Gas as well as Tola Johnson are the three individuals the varsity Senate has selected to Honor.

Fighting Corruption In The Citadel

While fielding questions from Journalists, the UNICAL boss, said her administration is on a mission of a sane academic environment devoid of sorting illegal collection of money, sex for grade among other vices.

She noted that the fight against corruption in the citadel has not been an easy task but they are poised to go tooth for tooth, adding that though corruption is fighting back.

“Some few days back we did make refunds of illegally collected monies from students. That was the third time we are doing that, we had before the strike made refunds and after the strike and now we did another. This administration has a vision of no corruption as part of our agenda. We are fighting the vices in the system – sorting, sex for grades, abuse, harassment of students, illegal collection of money for whatever reason among others. We think we should give our students an opportunity to excel academically without buying grades.

“The Senate of the University is equally very much against such practices and that is where we derive our support and backing to do what we are doing.”

She continued: “It is not easy for you to fight corruption. We have been told that when you fight corruption, it fights back. We are all aware of the burning of 8 buildings in this university in 2021. It is part of the fight against corruption. It was not as it was portrayed – the increase of fees because fees were increased one year before they started burning those buildings. Students had already paid and they were about to write exams when this started. It was part of the fight against corruption. They started burning these buildings and we can recall that the fire started from the examination officers’ rooms and they targeted exams materials and results but we were not deterred; we continued and made the way out.

“Even though people are sorting, the percentage is very few; otherwise, you would not be getting the support from the Senate if everybody was sorting but these few are giving us very bad names and we go after them. 

“We have also had calls to drop some persons as Head of Departments and examination Officers, so we will continue doing that in the quest for excellence. All we do is academic  excellence in the system, let students on their own earn whatever grade they have, and not buy it because when they buy, they will not be in the position to defend our certificate and degree when they get out of here.”

Not Intimidated By Gender, Other Forces

While also responding to questions from men of the Fourth Estate of the Realm, Prof. Obi who is the first female VC of UNICAL said in her quest to sanitize the system, she is not intimidated and never will be intimidated by either gender or forces. Adding that she has paid her dues in her 33 years in the institution. 

“To say the least I am not intimidated at all. If I was I wouldn’t have come out for the race. I came out for the race and ran with men who had the name, support and I wasn’t given the chance for me to have emerged, know that I have what it takes to run the system. I am not and will never be intimidated by anybody; I am a stakeholder in this University and I have been here for 33 years. Like the politicians will say ‘I have paid my dues’ so nobody can intimidate me.”

The convocation itinerary:

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