The University of Liberia today conferred degrees on more than 3,000 students from the ‘Meni Nina’ class of 2020, at a Joint-Commencement Convocation to climax the combined-college graduation that began on February 22, 2021, held at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex in Paynesville.
The graduates are representation of five undergraduate colleges, including Liberia College of Social Sciences and Humanities, A. Romeo Horton College of Business and Public Administration, Thomas J.R. Faulkner College of Science and Technology, William R. Tolbert College of Agriculture and Forestry, William V.S. Tubman College of Education and College of Engineering.
As always, thousands of family members and well-wishers trooped unto the SKD Sports Complex to celebrate the achievement of the graduates in different styles and stardom to the amazement of many who stood by to watch ceremony.
Statistics gathered from the Office of Academic Affairs at the University of Liberia revealed that 3,312 students graduated this year as compared to the 100th Centennial class that recorded a slight increase of 3,627 graduates in 2019.
Details of the statistics indicate that of the total number, 438 graduated from Liberia College of Social Sciences and Humanities, constituting 13.2 percent with a ratio of 203 males to 235 females.
Also, the statistics indicates that of the total number of graduates of 3,312, the College of Education graduated 208 students with a ratio of 135 males and 73 males, representing 6.2 percent of the total number.
Similarly, the statistics also shows that 51 students graduated from the Straz-Sinje Technical and Vocational College in Grand Cape Mount County with a ratio of 38 males and 13 females representing 2 percent of the total number of graduates.
At the same time, 255 students graduated from the College of Science and Technology, according to the statistics with a ratio of 144 males and 111 females accounting for 8 percent of the total number of 3,565.
Additionally, the statistics further indicate that 460 students graduated from the college of Agriculture and Forestry with 322 males and 138 females accounting for 14 percent of the total number of students graduated.
The A. Romeo Horton College of Business and Public Administration, on the other hand graduated the largest number of students with a total of 1,356 with a ratio of 773 males and 583 females representing 41 percent of the total number of 3,565 students who graduated with the ‘Meni Nina’ class of 2020.
In a related development, graduates from the professional schools, including the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law, the A.M. Dogliotti College of Health Sciences, and School of
Pharmacy and the five graduate schools including the Ibrahinm Badamasi Banbagida School of International Relations (IBB), Graduate program in Regional Planning, Kofi Annan Institute for Conflict Transformation, Graduate program in Business and Public Administration (MBA/MPA) were presented by their respective programs for conferral of degrees.
Meanwhile, the head of the 101st Commencement Convocation, Prof. Dr. Moses Zinnah says he is impressed with the conduct of the commencement, noting that the UL got the corporation of the students and the faculty in ensuing that the commencement was successfully conducted.
Dr. Zinnah however recognized infrastructure as a major challenge in accommodating students at the university.
“The university is making tremendous progress in building the human capacity of this country. Our challenge is how we accommodate all the students we have with limited infrastructure. As a state-run university, we are delivering on our mandate, but the challenge is infrastructure”.
Dr. Zinnah further expressed satisfaction over the ratio of women graduating from the sciences, adding, “We are hovering around the same 40 percent. We are completely happy about that. We are making progress that is why every time we attract more women into going into the sciences. Biology, chemistry students are coming, but with math and engineering, we still have some challenges, he recognized.
Commenting on the gap between the population of male and female graduates, Dr. Zinnah said “In terms of parity, we are around 35 to 40 percent. We are not there yet but we are happy that we are making progress.”
Also commenting on the UL plan for supporting research, Dr. Zinnah said, “The University of Liberia is placing premium on research both for faculty and students. You will recall last week we honored over 33 faculty members that have done well over the last two years for publishing their work in international peer review and journals.”
“We are also encouraging students to take up the challenge because by next year every student coming out of the university will do a project to expose them to how to do research.”
“No matter how elementary it is, how you decide on the research topic, the literature review, we will expose students in doing research so that when they leave the university for another institution they wouldn’t catch difficulty,” Dr. Zinnah stated.
Dr. Zinnah has meanwhile, commended the Government of Liberia for supporting the UL especially during the height of the coronavirus, stating, “Government has been nice to us through its support to train qualified men and women but you know we are doing eLearning, blending the eLearning with face – to – face it means we need good internet services, good computer labs. Those are some of the challenges we have for which we will continue to seek more support for the university.”
He disclosed that classes will resume on Monday, February 8, 2021, attributing the delay to the ongoing commencement activities.
“We agreed that we will start on the 8th of February. We going to have a blended face to face class of eLearning based on our experience last semester with new have new programs coming on board,” Dr. Zinnah revealed.