Akure, April 2006 (by Joel Oladipo Omofaye) The Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), Nigeria considers ICT a powerful driving force for academic excellence and a promoter of enhanced technological training for self-reliance. As a result, it received an excellent position in the National Universities Commission’s ranking of the Nigerian universities.
Based on specified performance indicators, the results put the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria as follows:
1st in Engineering Technology
1st in Environmental Sciences
2nd in Research
3rd in Agriculture
7th out of the 49 Universities ranked, and
1st among all the Universities of Technology in Nigeria.
FUTA’a strong commitment to ICT has gained particular strength under the current leadership of Professor Peter O. Adeniyi, the Vice Chancellor who believes that, FUTA, being the foremost University of Technology in Nigeria, should be totally ICT driven – academically and administratively.
With this in mind, in 2004 the management established the Computer Resource Centre as the ICT nerve centre of the institution, and the Centre has been fulfilling its expected role and responsibilities. This was well demonstrated by Mr. Joel Oladipo Omofaye, the pioneer Director of the Computer Resource Centre in his paper, ICT - an Indispensable eLearning Tool for Universities: case study of the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria, to be presented at the first International Conference on ICT for Development, Education and Training, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, May 24 – 26, 2006.
The ICT development in FUTA is already impacting positively on the academic activities of over 10,000 of the University’s students, both undergraduate and postgraduates. Major academic activities of the 28 undergraduate departments are touched positively, as students research and prepare their various term papers, assignments, and final year projects using Internet resources.
The University Library is currently planning the implementation of Virtual Library. Using the broadband Internet access provided by the Computer Resource Centre and the newly proposed VSAT link to be dedicated to the Library, the Virtual Library Project will be a landmark in the history of education delivery in FUTA.
The most important and perhaps the most exciting experience so far is the deployment of wireless networking of the academic and administrative departments and the availability of Internet access in most offices.
The continuous ICT training programme of the Computer Resource Centre has become a significant development in FUTA. Within the past fifteen months, the Centre has trained hundreds of staff and students in various computing skills relating to their work or areas of study, including Internet research and communications.
With the ongoing pace of ICT deployment, the FUTA Campus Portal will prove to be monumental in the history of the institution.
In the near future, the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria aims at:
Implementing its Virtual Library Project, especially now that ICT infrastructure is taking root in the University.
Significantly increase Internet bandwidth on its two VSAT installations.
Installation of a campus-wide fibre-optic network backbone for gigabyte data transmission.
Implementing the FUTA Campus Portal – a unique portal to cater for virtually all academic, administrative, and eLearning solutions of the University.
Providing Internet access to staff residential quarters within and outside the University campus.
Implementation of online teaching and learning solutions.