This is part of the 38th Matriculation Ceremony of the University.
The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ndowa Lale, in his address congratulated the new students for successfully scaling through the stringent admission criteria specified by the Senate of the University, charging them to justify their selection amongst thousands of applicants who were not so lucky to secure admission into the University.
He also charged them to justify the investment of their parents and guardians in their education by taking their studies very seriously if they hoped to make a success of the rare opportunity. “We are matriculating you at a time the University of Port Harcourt is repositioning itself as a globally relevant and locally competitive institution. It is, therefore, important for you to note that the first reason you have been sent here by your parents and guardians is to study. The second reason is to study and the third reason is to study very hard; everything else you do in this University is merely an appendage of your dedication to a culture of academic excellence and refined conduct”, the Vice-Chancellor told the matriculating students.
“There will be no room for intellectual pedestrians or loafers on this campus when the time of reckoning comes, as it must,” he further warned them.
Represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration), Professor Anthony Ibe, Professor Lale, reminded parents and the fresh students that standards were still very high in the University as the new entrants would soon find out, charging them to always remember that a Matriculation Ceremony was unarguably a great occasion and an achievement in the life of a fresh student; but a Convocation Ceremony is the greatest moment in the life of an undergraduate. “The merry-making will be greater at a Convocation Ceremony than what you will experience today. I charge you to step up your game to be part of the Convocation Ceremony to bring your journey to a fitting close in this University,” he charged them, warning that “there will be no magic wand to take you to success and no short cuts other than hard work, can bring you success in the hallowed corridors of the academia. Only those who are determined and dedicated to their studies will cross the finish line in a blaze of glory.”
The Vice-Chancellor warned students against membership of cult groups and other bodies that perpetuate unruly behaviour on campus. “Should you decide to join outlawed cult groups to press unearned advantage; should you decide to engage in endless partying; should you decide to be habitually absent from classes and depend on photocopied notes from your colleagues; should you decide to register in the more easy-going ‘Faculty of Fashion and Photography,’ then you will weep and gnash your teeth when it is time to bring in the sheaves,” he advised them.
“The young men who may choose to take up membership of outlawed cult groups should be ready to face the full weight of the extant laws prescribed by the Senate of the University of Port Harcourt. Take it from me as a promise: we will chase you to the end of the world and throw the rule books at you,”he further warned the fresh students.
The Vice-Chancellor reminded the new students that the Matriculation Oath “commits you to abide by the rules and regulations governing a civilized university environment. It binds you to the diligent pursuit of higher knowledge that can advance the cause of society and bring you recognition. It binds you to be polished in your private and public conduct and commits you to become an arbiter of refined taste,” adding that “it is a covenant that you must keep as long as you remain a student of the University of Port Harcourt. You must advance your belief system and ideological positions through refined logic and superior argument alone. Violence will have no place in your conduct or engagement and those who may prefer their brawns to their brains in their engagements with other students will be shown where the motor park is located. In this community; you fight, and you go home.”
The Vice-Chancellor said that Management would not tolerate a situation in which students refuse to pay their charges in the false belief that they could go to school on credit. “You must pay your charges in subsequent years until your graduation. Be warned that any year you fail to pay your charges; we will put your status as a student on hold. You will be subsequently deregistered from the University if we establish that you have stopped to meet your statutory financial obligations to the University as and when due.”
Highlight of the event was the administering of the Matriculation Oath on the students by the Vice-Chancellor. He was assisted by the Registrar, Mrs. Dorcas Otto, who read out the Oath to the fresh students.
A breakdown of the 8,248 students showed that the Faculty of Humanities admitted 1,275; Faculty of Social Sciences 889; Faculty of Science 1,836; Faculty of Education 1,107; Faculty of Engineering 581; Faculty of Management Sciences 1,098; Faculty of Agriculture 422; Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences 192; School of Science Laboratory Technology 470; while the College of Health Sciences took in 378 students.