The management of the University of Port Harcourt has said 161 students of the institution bagged first class honours within the 2018/2019 and 2019/2020 academic sessions.
The Vice Chancellor, Prof Owunari Georgewill, disclosed this during a press briefing to herald the 33rd convocation of the institution held at the Council Chamber in Port Harcourt on Thursday.
Prof. Georgewill said the 161 first class graduates were part of the total 9, 536 students for Bachelors’ degrees in various disciplines within the two academic sessions.
He further said the convocation which begins on Thursday, December 1, 2022 with a lecture will be climaxed with the main event which is the award of degrees and honours on Saturday, December 3, 2022 in the university campus.
He explained that the combined convocation was due to the period lost to the COVID-19 pandemic and the eight months of strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities.
He said, “You will agree with me that it (convocation) appears to have been delayed. Obviously, we all know some of the reasons. One, COVID-19 and two, eight months of strike by different unions on campus.
“In this convocation that is combined, we are graduating about 9,536 Bachelors Degrees, out of which 161 obtain the first class honours.
“We are also expecting to convoke about 9, 699 Post Graduate Degrees and Diplomas. Of this number, about 1028 are P HDs, 3745 are Masters Degrees in various disciplines, 4, 926 are Post Graduate Diplomas.”
The VC noted that convocation was a period of intellectual harvest, saying, “That is when the university knows its output. All the years, we admit students, train them, and at the time of convocation, we make our outputs, graduate students, give them certificates and awards.”
Georgewill stated that since he came on board as the ninth Vice Chancellor, he had put in everything with the support of the university council and senate to ensure that UNIPORT delivered on its mandate.
He said, “In order to succeed in this mandate, we have had a very hardworking and understanding council headed by Distinguished Senator Andrew Uchendu that has been very supportive and provided the needed guidance for the management to succeed.”
Prof. Georgewill said apart from the ASUU strike and industrial actions by unions for eight months, the ASUU UNIPORT was up and doing.
“Lectures are giving at the right time and examinations are conducted at the right time.
“It might interest you to note that immediately we returned from the strike, we concluded second semester exams of the year one students and already, we are in our second semester,” he said.