As you go out today, my prayer for you is:
Where you used to crawl, you will walk!
Where you used to walk, you will run!
Where you used to run, you will fly!
(And) where you used to fly, you will soar!”
– Vice Chancellor, Professor Jeremiah Ojediran, R.E.(COREN),MNSE
(on his charge to the graduands at the 14th Convocation Ceremony)
Success is sweet, profound, soul-lifting and more importantly, it serves as a motivational compass to guide those coming behind. That is especially so for those willing to work for it and win, against all odds. The bitter truth however, is that there are always prices to pay, as success is never served a la carte.
As rightly noted by the President and Chairman, Board of Trustees, Chief (Dr.) Kola Jamodu (FCA, CFR, OFR) , Chief Olusegun Obasanjo (GCFR, Ph.D)-the Chief Promoter- deserves full commendations for that rare insight and inspiration to establish the university that has over the past 17 years transformed into a citadel of academic excellence, for the nation to be immensely proud of.
Commendations go to the likes of the late Visitor/President and Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Emeritus Prof. Tekena Tamuno, the pioneer Vice Chancellor, Prof. Julius Okojie and his successor, Prof. Isaac Adeyemi. Worthy of mention is Mr. Ayodele Aderinwale, who was conferred with an honourary degree of Doctor of Science (D.Sc. Honoirs Causa) at the well-attended momentous ceremony.
In the words of Sam Walton, the renowned American entrepreneur: “Individuals don’t win, teams do”. It means therefore, that whatever remarkable achievements have been recorded over the years are traceable to the commendable efforts of the former and current VCs, Deputy VCs, Registrars, Bursars, Librarians, Deans of Colleges and Heads of Departments for keeping the flag of Bells University, Ota flying higher.
They have become the catalysts to impart the core values of the university such as Discipline, Innovation, Fairness, Loyalty, Integrity, Commitment and Quality Service. As the Vice Chancellor highlighted, “the university offers courses which are designed to support relevant and sustainable technologies that are transferrable, ICT-driven and provide cutting-edge training in the various programs offered. And the library has become a support unit with the drive towards a fully automated e-library.”
It is interesting to note that the university which commenced operations on 1st July of 2005 has appeared on the ranking on Observer Status, placed by the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Ranking (WUR) as the 20th best university in Nigeria and the 13th best Nigeria private university in the country by the Nigeria University Commission (NUC).
Also, one of the professors was ranked the 50th out of the top 500 researchers in Africa by SciVal. These are brought forth by pragmatic policies and programmes, hinged on the uniqueness of its ideas, sustaining the pioneering efforts, expanding its scopes in research and publications, staff training and the renewed drive towards deploying cutting-edge technology.
For instance, the citadel of requisite knowledge has become the first university here in Nigeria to introduce hi-tech courses such as Biomedical Engineering, Mechatronics Engineering and Telecommunications Engineering. In the 2016/17 academic session, the direct entry programme began for those with HND and Third Class degrees, for professionals who desire university degree.
It is significant to highlight the innovative moves of the university introducing Quality Assurance Unit, Advancement Centre, Open and Distance Learning Centre and the Centre for Agricultural Technology and Entrepreneurial Studies (CATES). Add these to Research and Development Unit, the University Journal of Applied Science and Environment and the College of Management Studies (COLMAS) floating the Bells University Journal of Management Studies and the picture of its soaring success in academics becomes clearer.
With regards to pragmatic partnerships, BellsTech has signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with several notable higher institutions of learning across the globe. These include San Diego University, USA; Zhegiang Normal University, China, GIZ, Germany and Tempo Group Ota, focused on research and publishing.
Similarly, apart from the fruitful partnership with the Seeding Laboratory Organization in the USA., the College of engineering has an MOU with Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa on Technological Advancement and New Innovations in mechanical/electrical system.
It is not surprising therefore, that COLENG has been selected as one of the National Centres for the OBE Programme by the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN). Furthermore, there are collaborations involving staff and students for exchange programmes, dual certifications, tech hubs, research groupings and grant seeking with such institutions. The partnerships with New Horizons, Nigeria, Kortext Digital Textbooks are on and getting stronger by the day.
To keep moving on the university is expanding the scopes of Skills Development and Resource Centre (SDRC) to obtain certification from relevant professional bodies. These include affiliation with Joint Universities Preliminary Examination Board (JUPEB).
The ICAN ATS Exams had students from the College of Management Sciences COLMAS recording 84% pass rate for the ATS1 and 86% pass rate for the ATS2. Also, four outstanding students, being the best in their categories received a tablet each. These include Rahmat Arogundade(Mechatronics Engineering, 87.5%), Oruefemena Oghenekevwe(Architecture, 80.0), Uko Iniobong(Computer Science, 83%) and Lawal Atinuke (Economics,72%).
To promote academic excellence the implementation of the Chief Promoter’s Scholarship Scheme for the best graduating student in each College, the Chancellors prize for the member of staff with most publications in SCOPUS indexed journals and the Vice Chancellors award of excellence in academic publishing are most commendable and should be sustained.
Another inspiring aspect of partnerships are that of the Bells University Parents Forum (BUPF) under the leadership of the VC’s predecessor, Prof. Isaac Adeyemi “whose vision gave birth to this commendable initiative”. The other is the Alumni Association both of which have contributed immensely in infrastructural development such as buildings including the International Conference Hall.
All these efforts have no doubt positively impacted on the students’ outstanding achievements in academics and sports. As wisely stated, “by their fruits you shall know them”. For instance, in 2011 the University came first in the annual National Computer Programming contest held at the National Mathematical Centre in Abuja, FCT.
That same year, the University came first in the Software Development and IT Quiz competition organized by Ogun state Chapter of Nigeria Computer Society (NCS). There have been several other laurels as the University won the Don Etiebet Award for the Best ICT-based Final Year Project in Tertiary Institutions as coordinated by the Nigeria Computer Society, Lagos Chapter.
In August 2019 the University came 1st in a competition organized by the Society of Test Laboratory Analysis of Nigeria (SOLTAN). In 2021 the Computer Science and Information Technology students of the University came 5th out of 136 teams that registered for the Hackathon nationwide at the National Innovation and Software Summit.
In 2022, Adeoye Tiwalade, a student of Information Technology, COLNAS won the Jim Ovia Scholarship of N150,000 for brilliant indigent student. Also in 2022 two students, Akamihe Adaugo and Ogunbiyi Temiloluwa participated from the Department of Biological Sciences participated in the SOTLAN Annual Debate and won second and third positions respectively.
History was made at Bells University of Technology, Ota, when it produced its first set of PhD holders during the 12th Convocation ceremony on Saturday, 10th. April, 2021.
As aptly captured by Miss Arogundade Rahmat Ummulkhair, the Best Graduating Student in her Valedictory Speech for the recent 2021/22 Academic Session: “Bells University has made us into special purpose vehicles capable of creating disruptive change, to push humanity forward”.
Now it is obvious for us to understand that: ‘Only the Best is Good for Bells’
Big kudos to the Vice Chancellor and his great team for giving Nigeria and the world a success story to cherish.