The two African scholars living in America, who visited the University under the auspices of the Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship (CADF), Professor Emmamuel Babatunde of the University of Lincoln, and Dr. Kelebogile Setiloane-Babatunde of the Delaware University, both in the United States of America, have successfully wrapped-up their Summer School programme with a workshop titled, "Carnegie Social Engineering Workshop on Grant Writing", for academic staff and postgraduate students of the University.
Speaking at the occasion, Professor Babatunde had described students of the University as "outstandingly bright, polite and purposeful youth", stressing the need for them and other scholars in the University system to be more proficient in grants-writing to support their research. According to him, the strength of academics and students rested in their abilities to successfully apply for grants that would help develop and advance their research activities. He pointed out that "there are three ways of making faculty very competitive in the globe, because faculty are no longer measured in terms of national credentials, but are measured against a general body which include research, grant writing and teaching. So, if you want to be relevant in any part of the world, things are not going to wait for you. You either move or things move you out of the way".
Professor Babatunde disclosed that the Summer School was aimed at preparing Nigerians for the kind of growth needed for the country to develop and compete globally with other advanced countries. "We have come to make sure that globalisation does not leave us behind in the global process. Nigeria has one of the most populous number of black people in the world and cannot be behind schedule", he said. Commending the high intellect of students in the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics of the University, the Don said, "What nutrition students do here is more vigorous than the students in America. We don't expect students in America to do as much as students over here. I sat in a Master’s defence session and what the student had to do was a lot, compared to what Americans have to do. I look forward to bringing American to come over here to see the very high level of achievement that you have here".
The African scholars said they were proud of their roots and passionate about the development of its people, stating that during the Summer School, they shared from their wealth experience with fellow scholars and students and promised to go back to America with fond memories of FUNAAB and Nigeria, while working on the possibility of winning more grants by making the Summer School more regular.
Speaking on the visit of the scholars, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olusola Oyewole, said Professor Babatunde, who is a native of Imeko, Abeokuta in Ogun State, organised the Summer School for postgraduate students and lecturers in the Departments of Soil Science and Land Management, College of Plant Science and Crop Production (COLPLANT), as well as Nutrition and Dietetics, College of Animal Science and Livestock Production (COLANIM) of the University.
The visit is expected to bring about partnership that would lead to exchange programmes, in which students and lecturers from FUNAAB could travel to the University of Daleware while those from there can also come to FUNAAB in addition to the development of mutual curriculum that would enhance teaching and research activities of both institutions.
The Dean of the College of Food Science and Human Ecology (COLFHEC), Professor Lateef Sanni, also stated that the partnership "would enhance the University's global relevance, it will be a good opportunity for both staff and students and I am sure that it will enhance our curriculum development and provide opportunities for us to exchange infrastructural support as well as create opportunity for joint research and lecture". Other benefits, according to him, include participation in joint lectures using e-learning platform.