From Fred Ezeh, Abuja

The National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) on Saturday matriculated 16,000 new students, thus heralding a new academic session.

NOUN Vice Chancellor Prof Olufemi Peters, in his remarks during the event, challenged the new students of the institution to demonstrate at all times to the society that NOUN offers quality education delivered with equality and flexible access.

The NOUN Director (Media and Publicity), Ibrahim Sheme, explained in a statement that the 23rd matriculation ceremony of the university took place virtually across its 108 study centres nationwide.

He explained that the new entrants, comprising 11, 851 undergraduates and 4, 808 postgraduate students in various faculties, will join the over 150,000 returning students of the university.

Sheme said the VC urged the new students to be good ambassadors of the school, reminding them that it’s expected of them to be well-behaved and demonstrate at all times, to their family members, friends and associates, the value that distinguishes them from their counterparts.

The VC said: “Our country needs your resourcefulness to excel in the competitive world of today. It is my steadfast desire that you will acquire, at this university, appropriate knowledge and skills, as well as the requisite strength of character and tenacity to sail through the challenges of a modern world of global competition.

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“This will enable you to contribute meaningfully to the elevation of Nigeria to its deserved place of greatness in Africa and the world.”

The VC further reiterated that NOUN is the only accredited single-mode Open and Distance Learning (ODL) institution in Nigeria, established by the enabling Act No. 6, 1983 CAP N63, fulfilling its mandate of equal access for all Nigerians and bringing education within reach.

‘’It is proof of our commitment to equity for the teeming population of Nigerians that seek to gain access to university education for better prospects and self-actualisation.

‘’Our university uses modern and emerging technologies to impart knowledge to students, you will require some basic ICT skills. With an internet-enabled computer and, in some instances, a smartphone, you will have online access to our study materials, instructional videos, tutorials, library resources and facilitation classrooms,” he said.

He implored the new students to dedicate themselves to the timely and appropriate use of learning materials and teaching aids which are available at the study centre of their choice as the flexibility and access to study materials and learning aids is a unique attribute of the university in ensuring equity in the right to education for all.

Registrar of the University Mr Oladipo A Ajayi thereafter administered the matriculation oath to the students via the zoom platform, urging them to abide by all the rules and regulations of the university to avoid expulsion.