The Kwara State University (KWASU), Malete, has awarded research grants to 26 students to carry out developmental projects. The beneficiaries, selected from all the six Colleges of the University, were awarded the sum of N50,000 each at the second Undergraduate Research Day (URD) held at the University Auditorium on Wednesday, April 30, 2014.
The breakdown of the awardees’ list shows that both the Colleges of Agriculture and Engineering and Technology had the highest number with six students each, closely followed by College of Humanities, Management and Social Sciences, five, College of Pure and Applied Sciences, four; College of Education, three and College of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), two.
In his message to the event with the theme, “Problem Solving by Science,” the Vice-Chancellor, Professor AbdulRasheed Na’Allah, represented by Coordinator to the Vice-Chancellor, Academic, Professor Sakah Mahmud, said the initiative was a further demonstration of the University’s commitment to students’ learning through research. The Vice-Chancellor said as a University for Community Development, KWASU has taken a lead in promoting undergraduate research.
According to him, the University inculcates the spirit and value of research in its students for intellectual development. He said the students were trained on how to conduct research and that grants were made available to those with good proposals to assist in carrying out their research works.
The Vice-Chancellor therefore reaffirmed the University’s commitment to exploring the country’s resources through research for national growth and development.
In a lecture entitled, “Importance of Research for Development,” the Provost, College of Pure and Applied Sciences, Professor Deboye Kolawole, said the basic concept underlying the establishment of KWASU is the focus on research and imparting knowledge in areas critical to the development of contemporary society but which had not been receiving sufficient attention in other institutions.
Professor Kolawole said KWASU was set out to be a leader in research through which it hopes to realise its vision, mission, objectives and philosophy of attaining a world-class status.
Prof. Kolawole explained that the essence of an academic institution is to impart knowledge and conduct research, stressing that research policy must be aligned with national policy for development. According to him, “with a strategic vision and leadership, adequate funding from all possible sources, personal and collective resolve to succeed, and a concentration of talented academics working across disciplines, collaboration with industries on projects deliberately aligned to the needs of the immediate community and the nation, the world-class status we in KWASU are aspiring to, will be achieved one day.”
In her address of welcome, the Coordinator, Centre for Undergraduate Research Programme (CURP), Dr. Grace Abolaji said the Centre, through the Office of the Vice-Chancellor, awarded the sum of N1.4million as research grants to no fewer than 40 students to carry out their research projects during the first Undergraduate Research Day last year.
The Coordinator stated that KWASU students at all levels are sensitised and motivated by their lecturers on how to identify the diversities and challenges of today’s society by using scientific research methods in solving problems.
She said some of the beneficiaries of the second undergraduate research grants had already conducted pilot studies on their own to identify problems in the community, whereby they came up with proposals to solve such problems. According to her, the Undergraduate Research Day will be held every semester.
On his part, the CURP Secretary, Mr. Ibrahim Walliyyullahi Alase, later said in an interview that each College was expected to present a maximum of ten research proposals of their students for screening by the CURP but that only 26 met the criteria set for the award of grants.
Highlights of the second URD were presentation of research findings by beneficiaries of the first undergraduate research grants, presentation of proposals for the second edition of the grant and presentation of certificates to the first beneficiaries.