The Igbinedion University Okada (IUO), in Edo State, has graduated over 15,000 students in different disciplines since its inception in 1999.
The Chancellor of the university, Chief Gabriel Igbinedion, said this on Tuesday during the 23rd Founder’s Day Celebration of the university held at Okada, near Benin.
He said that most of graduates had distinguished themselves in their various endeavours in Nigeria and abroad.
Represented by the Deputy Chancellor of the university, Dr Lucky Igbinedion, he said that the critical role of education in the growth and development of any nation cannot be overemphasized.
“In the immortal words of the revered international icon, Nelson Mandela, education is “the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.
“Providing the right kind of education in quality without interruption is even more imperative,” he said.
Igbinedion described this as the primary motivation for the establishment of university.
“Though over 100 private universities have followed in our trail since 1999, the realisation of our vision of private sector-intervention in the provision of tertiary education was protracted, painstaking, and challenging to the extreme.
“It is therefore to the eternal glory of Almighty God that, 23 years after, the university has not only come of age but continues to lead the pace.
“it has continued to champion higher education revolution through innovation, entrepreneurship and research.
“I must register my debt of gratitude to our development partners and dependable alumni for their continuous support and solidarity over the years,” he said.
He appreciated the university’s members of staff for their commitment to its growth and development.
Earlier, Prof. Lawrence Ezemonye, Vice-Chancellor of the university, said it remained in the vanguard of digital literacy, uniting people of different cultures through knowledge exchange.
“We are celebrating not just 23 years of our existence, but we are indeed proclaiming our rich heritage in revolutionising the higher education landscape.
“This we have done through the delivery of world class education in a highly conducive global environment, inspiring a culture of creativity and innovative experience,” he said.
According to him, the university has introduced Skills Set and Master Classes in all academic programmes.
This, he said, was to further enhance the skills content of the curriculum and the university a truly entrepreneurial university.
He appreciated the National Universities Commission (NUC), Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) and the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) for their support to the institution over the years.
“They have individually and collectively added value to our academic engagements”, he said.