By Gabriel Dike

It was celebration galore recently as the Department of Mass Communication, University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka, Lagos, produced four Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) graduates at the 53rd convocation.

Out of the 65 PhD graduates churned out by UNILAG, four came from the 57-year-old department.

The department also made history as it produced the oldest graduate, 83-year-old Dr. Dayo Michael Duyile. The second PhD graduate, who was at the department to celebrate his academic feat was Dr. Kabir Alabi, the editor of Saturday Guardian newspaper.

The duo were celebrated at the department by lecturers, non-teaching staff, family members and media colleagues from different mediums.

Head of Department, Prof. Adepoju Tejumaiye, former HOD, Prof. Ogwezzy-Ndisika Abigail, their supervisors, Prof. Oloruntola Sunday and Prof. Ismail Ibrahim, as well as Dr. Olunifesi Suraj were among lecturers that felicitated with Dr. Duyile and Dr. Alabi.

Speaking with The Education Report, Dr. Alabi said his journey to PhD started in 2016 as an MPhil student and in 2017 converted to PhD.

Dr. Alabi revealed that, in 2014, he got admission to Bayero University Kano (BUK) but decided to pursue his doctoral programme in Lagos.

“I don’t have any regret pursuing my PhD programme. My supervisors were brilliant and, based on my background, they accorded me some respect and I did not take it for granted,” Alabi said.

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In his interaction with The Education Report, Dr. Duyile noted that his quest for PhD dated back 40 years ago, and he had more than six opportunities for his PhD programme in Nigeria and abroad.

Duyile, who has written seven books, said, by March 2023, the 8th, 9th, and 10th books would be ready.

According to him, during his pursuit of the PhD, there was no time he felt sick and come all the way from Ondo Town for lectures in the department of Mass Communication.

The Head of the Department of Mass Communication, Prof. Tejumaiye, told The Education Report that the department has undergone a transformation and is no longer a place where they hardly produce PhD graduates.

He said before people labeled the department as a place where postgraduate students find it difficult to graduate, adding, “my colleagues and I worked hard to change the thought of not producing PhD graduates.”

Prof. Tejumaiye disclosed that at the recent convocation ceremony, the department had four PhD graduates, which is the highest in the history of the department. We achieved this feat by God’s grace and favour. He said two other PhD students couldn’t graduate because the university Senate couldn’t their results.

The HOD confirmed that the university Senate yesterday (Wednesday) approved the remaining two PhD results, noting, “next year’s convocation in January 2024, we are targeting six PhD graduates. With the transformed department, I and my colleagues are poised to produce more PhD graduates.”

He showered encomium on Dr. Dayo Duyile for making the department proud by graduating at 83 years old, stating, ‘’Baba is easy to manage than the younger ones. He traveled to the UK in search of materials to complete his PhD research. He did not give us any problem.”