The University of Ibadan held its 2015/2016 convocation ceremony on Monday with 186 students finishing in the first class category.
History was also made as Ozibo Ekele emerged the first student of the Department of History to bag a first class since the foundation of the institution.
Ekele graduated with a cumulative Grade Point Average of 6.6 out of a maximum of 7.0.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Idowu Olayinka, said that a total of 5,629 students from various programmes, including those from the Distance Learning Centre, were awarded first degree certificates at the ceremony.The VC said that 1,538 graduating students finished in the Second Class Upper division, while 3,133 finished in the Second Class Lower division. According to him, 434 students finished in the third class with 81 students finishing with pass.
Explaining why the university was unable to graduate final year students in the 2016/2017 academic year, Olayinka said that various strikes embarked upon by the teaching and non-teaching staff of universities across Nigeria had prevented the students from writing their final examinations early.
He said, “I am aware that there have been, of recent, strident public criticism of the large number of First Class graduates from our universities. I hasten to add that we are exceedingly proud of all Ibadan graduates. We see this phenomenon from the strategic point of view of input-process-output.
“In specific terms, the university has arguably the most competitive mechanism for undergraduate admission in the country. This has been attested to consistently by the Times Higher Education World University rankings in which UI is the only university in the country ranked among the topmost 801-1,000 universities in the world.”
The overall best graduating student from the Faculty of Law, Tolulope Ogunmodede, who spoke on behalf of others, said that he relied on hard work and prayer to achieve the feat.