On Saturday, July 31, 2021, Coal City University, Enugu, held her 5th Matriculation Ceremony to admit students for the 2020-2021 academic year. The Matriculation ceremony serves as an annual academic rite-of-passage, when new students are formally inducted into the university after meeting all the rigorous academic and other entry requirements.
The matriculation ceremony commenced with pomp and glamour reminiscent of a festival. Fresh students, colorfully adorned in their matriculation gowns, filed into the university’s ceremonial ground, leading a colourful procession. Next were the academic staff in the ascending order of their ranks, equally bedecked in the university’s academic gowns. Following were heads of departments; professors; directors of institutes and centres of excellence; and deans of faculties and post graduate school. Finally, followed the principal officers, the vice chancellor, pro-chancellor and the representative of the Executive Governor of Enugu State, all draped in various academic gowns.
After declaring the ceremony open and welcoming all guests, the host of the event, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Afam Icha-Ituma, delivered the welcome address.
The Vice- Chancellor pointed out that 201 students were being admitted into the university’s three faculties. The students scaled the stringent admissions requirements of the university, including the, now famous, rigorous 3-step admission process – meeting all academic requirements, student high personal motivation to study the self-chosen course and a maximum of 30 students per class to maintain its traditional small class sizes for effective teaching and learning.
He noted that the distinctive admission process enabled the university to get an uncommon mix of students from across Nigeria who enrolled in various programmes in the Faculty of Natural and Applied Sciences; Faculty of Arts, Social and Management Sciences; and Faculty of Education. He congratulated the new students for obtaining admission into Coal City University, a globally focused and fast rising private university in Nigeria.
Professor Icha-Ituma further pointed out that CCU is a special place in lots of ways. He noted that since take-off of CCU in 2016, the University has maintained a stable academic calendar and has adopted blended learning pedagogy which involves delivering lectures face-face and online.
“CCU is among the few universities in Nigeria that have robust information and communication technology capabilities. The university delivered lectures in real-time and on a university-wide scale during the pandemic lock down of year 2020. This feat effectively ensured that our students progressed appropriately and graduated timely”, the VC asserted.
He charged the students not to focus on memorizing extant knowledge to pass examinations, rather they should prioritize thinking through problems, all round skills development and knowledge acquisition for self actualization. He further informed the new students that they will have access to the excellent learning and research facilities in the university. This is in addition to over 60 world class scholars trained in top universities in Canada, the United States, United Kingdom and Australia who were recently engaged by CCU as full time/visiting scholars, to enrich students’ learning experience and produce global citizens.
As part of Coal City University’s internationalization programme, the Vice-Chancellor stated that the university has signed an MoU with Delaware State University(USA) for an international pathway programme to enable CCU students spend 2 years in Nigeria and then 2 years in Delaware State University to earn 2 degrees from both institutions, in 4 years.
Professor Icha-Ituma further stated that the University has zero tolerance for indiscipline, truancy, examination malpractice and cultism. He assured the matriculants that they were at the right place for stellar education. He informed the excited listeners that all Coal City University’s courses are designed in line with global standards and to address specific national challenges. He urged the students to attend lectures regularly and punctually, revealing that 75 percent lecture attendance is the minimum prerequisite to writing examinations in the university.
Speaking also at the event, the Governor of Enugu State, who was represented by the Executive Secretary, Enugu State Scholarship and Education Loans Board, Barr Levi Agbom urged students to work hard in order to maximize opportunities in the Board and access their scholarships and loans to meet their educational needs. He further praised the Management and Staff of Coal City University for the great work they are doing in Enugu State and urged them to do more towards raising the educational level in the country as a whole.
The Pro-Chancellor of Coal City University, Professor Chinedu Nebo, advised the matriculants to live up to the ethos of the university by being good ambassadors of the university. The Pro-Chancellor, who was one time Minister of Power and erstwhile Vice-Chancellor of University of Nigeria, Nsuuka and Federal University, Oye Ekiti, lauded the University as being one of the few Universities in the country that can guarantee students uninterrupted academic calendar and timely graduation. He urged the new students to remain focused, hard working and prayerful in order to excel.
While delivering the matriculation lecture entitled Building the foundation for greatness and impact, Professor Bell Ihua, Executive Director African Polling Institute, Abuja, admonished the students to work hard, create contact and expand their network because the net worth of an individual is directly proportional to his or her network. The event featured presentation of awards and prizes to the best performing students in the last academic year. To motivate the students, Coal City University publicly crowns the best performing students as university ambassadors for a session.
People from all walks of life graced the occasion, including parents and guardians of matriculating students, friends of the university, invited guests and the general public.