OLEH-A University don and renowned researcher, Dr Engr. (Dr) Hilary Ijeoma Owamah revealed that the major reason why African Universities are not coming top the list of world university rankings is their inability to engage in novel researches and publish such in reputable journals with recognized global database.
Dr Owamah made the disclosure at the second Faculty of Engineering Seminar Series/Send-Off ceremony of eminent Engineer, Prof. P. A. Kuale held at the 1000 Lecture Theatre in the Facaulty of Engineering, Oleh Campus of the Delta State University.
Speaking on the topic titled, “Improving the Global Ranking of Nigerian Universities by doing First Thing First,” he pointed out that International University ranking is now an inescapable reality of University education landscape in measuring the performance of Universities all over the world and used for measurement of global competitiveness.
“The idea behind first thing first is to prioritize important things first instead of urgent thngs so that Nigerian Universities can come up global ranking ladder….As a matter of first thing first, African Universities and Nigerian Universities in particular must begin to aim for quality and reputation in heir publications and begin to deemphasize quantity as it takes us nowhere,” Dr. Owamah opined.
Citing numerous authorities and reputable authors to drive home his point, the University Don and Acting Head of Department, Department of Civil Engineering, Delta State University, Oleh Campus, lamented that afew universities in South Africa regularly makes the top 500 of the world ranking bodies, regretting that it was only in 2016 that University of Ibadan, Nigeria made it to the 601st to 800th position in the world ranking.
The speaker emphasised that research is not complete until its findings are published in dedicated outlets. He mentioned the outlets to include scholarly journals, books, reports, conferences, seminars, e.t.c.
The international award winning researcher, observed that Nigerian Universities lacks visibility and reputation because a lotof Nigerian
researchers are publishing actively in predatory journals and still clamour to be ranked by the world as one of the 500 or 1000 universities.
“While visibility and reputation come from publishing in reputable outlet, publishing in predatory outlets demeans and keep a researcher in academic darkness. The predatory publishers are exploitative open access publishers, publishing articles with little or no real peer review…..Doing first thing first requires that we flee from predatory journals/publications,” Dr. Owamah stressed.
Dr Owamah in his concluding remarks thanked immensely the amiable Vice-Chancellor (VC) of the Delta State University Abraka, Prof. Victor F. Peretomode, for finding him worthy to be appointed in the first place as an Academic Staff of the University and for appointing him the Ag. HOD (Civil Engineering), a short while after his assumption of duty.
He extoled the leadership qualities of the VC and described him as man that preaches, recognises, values and practices excellence in all things. Dr Owamah said he will continue to do his best in fulfilment of the yearnings of the VC of improving the quality of publications form Delta State University and her position in global ranking.
The Chairman of the occasion was the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academics), Delsu (Prof. Anigala E.A) and was represented by the Dean of Post Graduate School Delsu, Prof. John Obodo
Also, all the guests present showered much encomia on the eminent Engr. Prof. Kuale P.A being the pioneer Dean of the Faculty of Engineering Delsu, and former VC Bendel State University, Ekpoma.
Some of the dignitaries are; the Provost of the Oleh Campus, DELSU, Prof. Emosairue S.O, who incidentally was the Chief Host; the Acting Dean, Faculty of Engineering, DELSU, Engr. Prof. Asalor, J.O, the Representative of the Vice Chancellor, Federal University of Petroleum Resources Effurun, Prof. Mrs. Chiedu Owabor, the Rector Delta State Polytechnic, Oghara, Engr. Prof. Ogujor Emmanuel and many other highly respected personalities who had graced the occasion to appreciate the services of Engr. Prof. Kuale P.A to humanity and also listen to the thought provoking public lecture.