Apr 13, 2017, 10:56 AM
The convocation ceremony was held at 22nd July Square in Banjul, and UTG Chancellor President Yahya Jammeh was represented by the Vice President, Isatou Njie-Saidy.
VP Njie-Saidy described the ninth convocation ceremony as an important milestone in everybody’s life, especially in the educational pursuit and journey of the students.
The key objective of the UTG is to provide excellent teaching, training and research, she said, adding that since its inception in 1999, the dominant preoccupation, for both the policy makers and management, is to ensure that the university is responsive to challenges of local communities and to cherish national development objectives of the government as articulated and anchored in the national visions 2016, 2020, and the PAGE.
She said critics have been proven wrong as the day witnessed the 9th convocation, adding that since its establishment over 100 medical doctors have been trained as qualified internationally-recognised practitioners.
“The government is committed to building a futuristic state-of-the-art world class university campus, which will surely access quality and relevant tertiary and higher education for The Gambia and the region at large.”
She announced that 2016 would witness the commencement of the construction of the main university campus of The Gambia.
According to her, the success of the UTG as a prominent national center of motivation and economic development surely requires a strong commitment for the nation’s goals directing resources to the attainment of these goals.
Also speaking at the convocation ceremony was the acting Vice Chancellor of the UTG, Professor Khalil, who said the 9th convocation ceremony for 2016 has been very intensive, to accommodate the award of degrees and prizes to about 1310 graduating students who have been found worthy in character and learning over the past four to six years of studies at the UTG.
He said the administration made substantial progress in moving the university forward, adding that the year 2014 to 2015 was a resounding success, as these achievements would not have been possible without the support and collaboration of the staff and students, as well as the governing council.
He is trying to improve on other critical areas that needed attention, adding that they are putting more emphasis on supporting teaching, research and service to a long-term future of the university.
He added that his administration is determined to continue their positive transformation initiative to the best of their ability and within the limits of available resources, so as to fast-track the development of the university to the required world-class standard in the shortest possible time.
“The Government of The Gambia has already received funding valued at US$51million for the construction of the first phase of the UTG campus, as the Islamic Development Bank and other banks also pledged some money,” he said.
He highlighted the challenges faced by the university over the years, which he said included the issue of limited funding, inadequate infrastructure development, staff constraint, accommodation, transportation difficulties and issues of effective student management.
He urged the graduating students to make best use of the years they spend at the university, and make a wise decision in their careers no matter what situation they find themselves.
Fatou Kine Ndow, who made the valedictory speech, congratulated all her fellow graduands, stating that this is just the beginning of their adventure.
She said all what is needed is to strive hard and make best use of what they learned, adding that determination is all it takes to achieve their goals which they just took a step toward.