OUR e-VARSITY RESOLVE:
The progress made in the last one (1) year.
At the last convocation ceremony, we outlined a number of things we had achieved via using ICT. These include: computer based/online testing, internet connectivity for all staff and students through the campus wide WIFI deployed in partnership with MTN, the e-senate, optimization of internal processes; and digital life style training course for all students in years one (1) and two (2). This is in partnership with Cinfores, Microsoft, and Intel. One year after, I am pleased to inform you all that we have made more remarkable progress in our resolve to use cutting edge technology to improve our service delivery as an institution. The following are the new services and activities initiated:
With the deployment of more e-services for process optimization, accountability, transparency and improved service delivery, the university’s management in partnership with Samsung, HP, Intel, Microsoft and Cinfores Ltd, has launched a Computer for All Programme (CAP). This is to empower all students of the university with access to ICT devices which will enable them scale up their academic work while benefiting from the various e-services and processes rolled out on the university’s portal. This programme enables parents, benefactors, students and staff to purchase and access the devices by applying for any device on the programme through a monthly payment plan of an average sum of five thousand, four hundred and seventy (5,470) naira in twelve (12) to eighteen (18) months. Devices are with warranty as well as support devices.
This programme allows students and staff of the institution to access the devices by applying for any one of their choice and spread the payment for as much as 12 to 18 months.
CUG RSUST CAMPUS CONNECT
Another programme related to CAP is the RSUST Campus Connect. This is a programme where those in the same Closed Users Group (CUG) can conveniently reach one another and discuss issues at length for a monthly fee of less than one thousand (1,000) naira. This is currently enjoyed by all members of the University Senate.
This service has just been recently extended to the students and lecturers for the enhancement effective scholarly collaboration via voice calls. The service costs eight hundred and fifty (850) naira only per student and affords them lower tariffs when they reach out to others outside the CUG.It also affords them access to airtime on credit to make calls outside the CUG or load data bundle to carry out other data related activities without always worrying about funds to recharge.
The objective of this service lies in the convenience it affords to all students, staff and members of the university community at a very competitive rate of using the economies of scale with the service providers, MTN and Cinfores.
STUDENT RECORDS ACCESS MANAGEMENT PLATFORM (STRAMP)
We are not careful to state here that, we are the only university in Nigeria that can boast of having our students’ academic records of over a decade online for easy access anytime, anywhere in the world and the university has finally deployed Students Records Access Management Platform (STRAMP) for graduates, sponsors, parents, governments, etc.
STRAMP is a service which affords the university’s alumni from inception to apply for their:
c) Statement of Results
Furthermore, the platform affords benefactors/parents with the right access parameters to carry out the following activities:
a) Verify the academic status of their ward/child
b) Have their ward’s/child’s result for a particular semester/session sent to him/her.
Corporate organisationsthat have scholarship awardees in the university can now confirm the academic status of their awardees in the comfort of their offices. This will help them effectively monitor, track and administer scholarships with improved efficiency.
Corporate organisations that wish to recruit our best graduating students can independently access them and reach out to them through this platform.
Government at the federal, state and local government levels can use the platform to get the list they require for bursary payments, and the like, as long as they have the right parameters to access the platform.
This is done to ensure convenience and transparency in the running of activities in the university.
With this platform, all students who graduated from year 2004 till date can apply for their transcripts from any part of the world and have their transcripts delivered to any destination in at most, two weeks. This is same for the students who have not collected their certificates since they graduated. They can apply for it anytime and anywhere in the world and we will get back to them via e-mail/SMS on when to pick it up, as certificates will be given by hand.
All alumni before year 2004can apply for their transcripts and certificates from anywhere and anytime without having to come to the university. However, your transcript at your first application will be ready within a maximum period of four (4) weeks at your preferred destination (institution). Subsequently, transcripts will be ready within two (2) weeks of its request by an alumnus as the academic records would have been migrated to our database.
This is the first of such a robust and scalable service in the history of Nigerian universities. We are happy to blaze the trail for others to follow.
It is all about the effective service delivery with the cost reduction, convenience, proper data management and process re-engineering as our objectives.
The university has an electronic market (e-Mart) that is a convenient platform for buyers and sellers of all kinds of products and services ranging from educational materials, clothing and textile, foodstuffs, to artisans, etc. This is an avenue for sellers to display their merchandise for interested and intending buyers to view.
This e-mart will provide an opportunity for staff and students to make purchases online from the various vendors who own a store in malls, authors of books, and request the services of plumbers, electricians, and other professionals, as well. Payment for product or service is made electronically with an additional fee (delivery charge) but payment for services provided will be done at the end of service delivery.
An interested buyer will need to:
log on to the school portal at www.ust.edu.ng, click on e-mart and review the displayed products
add the choice products to a shopping cart and continues shopping until he/she is satisfied.
make payment for the purchased goods/product and expect goods to be delivered at the address and on the buyers’ preferred date of delivery he/she has given while filling out the payment form.
The school’s portal is also robust enough to link travellers with their favourite airlines as bookings can be done via the portal on the websites the various airlines. Lecturers who travel often can also have access to information as regards currency exchange rates. There will also be a support on the portal for currency purchase where an interested buyer can view links to sellers (bank) of foreign currency.
RSUST STUDENT FUND
One of the hallmarks of an all-inclusive management information system is the ability to exploit it for the benefit of all the stakeholders. As an institution of higher learning, we are burdened with the responsibility of training and empowering future leaders who are presently students. In other words, we have the future in hands; we either make it or mar it. Therefore, we at the helm of affairs have the responsibility of establishing a convenient learning environment for our students. This is why we have worked with our consultants to develop a welfare package which we have tagged; RSUST STUDENT FUND to enable all our students access a limited amount of fund should they have need for it and pay back within thirty (30) days without charging any interest rates. The fund is mainly to ensure that students do not get distracted because of insufficient funds while going through their academic activities on this campus.
As a take-off, students can access ten thousand (10,000) naira monthly and ensure that they pay back on or before thirty (30) days without interest. The fund is to be jointly managed with the university and bank(s) with the entire process supported and administered via the university portal with the ICT unit and portal consultant.
This is another first in sub-Sahara Africa, and we are happy to set this laudable project in motion for the benefit of our students and by extension their sponsors and society at large.
RESEARCH AND E-LEARNING PLATFORM
The university has also set in motion a research and e-learning platform in partnership with Google and her consultant on ICT to ensure that all learning content goes digitaland can be accessed and deployed from any part of the world.
As we are all aware, the world is going digital everyday and if we must thrive and be effective, we cannot afford to be living in the past but seek ways to embrace the newest trends and ways in which quality education service in terms of research, teaching, learning, assessment, and lots morecan be carried out more effectively and at affordable rates across the globe.
We are not only taking up the challenge to be the first in the country to fully digitize our content, but have also taken the steps to ensure that all our staff are trained to the level of sustaining the ICT trend. To this end, we have opened discussions with Google and Cinfores Limited for further training and sourcing of funds from the textfund and other stakeholders to effectively execute the project.
After we are throughwith the project, our learning content can be accessed globally thereby, opening avenues for distant learning, e-learning, m-learning, e-assessment, etc. At this juncture, we call all well-meaning individuals, organisations and governments, as well as other institutions here present to collaborate with us to make this vision which will change the face of education in Nigeria, a success.
Action, they say, speaks louder than voice. We have not only talked,because talk is cheap; we have put our words into action and you have witnessed it.We are proud to say, that in RSUST, we do the talk. All the achievements and progress made in the last one (1) year is not in talks, but in achieving results by doing what we say we will do.
I want to come back here for the last time next year as Vice-Chancellor of this great university to say we have accomplished all we set to do from the inception of our administration, and that your support and prayers made it possible.
Thank you and God bless.
Prof. B. B. Fakae