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Opinion: AAUA’s Merit Tradition, Alumnus’ Oxford Feat And Varsity’s Comparable Status By Debo Ikuesewo-Akinbami

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“From the outset, I saw in AAUA an institution that rewards excellence and thrives on merit. These virtues proved vital throughout my sojourn at AAUA, where I graduated with a First Class and went on to repeat the same feat at the Nigerian Law School, and as the best student nationally and globally, and at each turn with outstanding performances.” – Opeyemi Longe.
The above attestation by Longe Opeyemi speaks of and for the tradition of distinction for which Adekunle Ajasin University has become famous. Longe’s stance testifies to how the University deliberately moulds giants, how it preserves sturdy standards and why it continues to make marked feats. It tells of  how the University motivates her own, measures and monitors the mileage of her products. It reinforces also the truth that AAUA sets global standards, guards it and guides its students by the tenets of such standards, so that those who – by training – pass through it should radiate the sheen of her distinction, just as  demonstrated by Opeyemi at Oxford University recently.
Taiwo Adewale, Professor of Law and Dean of Law Faculty, Adekunle Ajasin University, captures the quality of AAUA Law programme succintly:  “Our Faculty takes pride in its dazzling performance being one of the best law Faculties in Nigeria and in Africa. Our students are highly sought after by employers because of the high standard of legal education received and their critical thinking abilities for the enthronement of a just society for all. Our students consistently maintained over 90% in their Bar Final Examinations in addition to winning prizes and awards. As a result, many of our alumni not only practice at top firms in Nigeria and elsewhere, but also occupy leadership positions at the Nigerian Bench. Several of them have also distinguished themselves in the public service and in the corporate world”
Longe’s distinction is not the first example of AAUA’s alumni feats. Ayodeji Gabriel Sunday graduated atop his class with distinction in Communication Engineering at the University of Leeds, United Kingdom (2011); Victor Oluwashina Ayeni, Best Graduating Student (with distinction) LLM Laws (2011) at the University of Pretoria, South Africa; Sunday Olaniyan, Winner, Graduate Scholar Award at the University of London; Bukola Akintade, Best Student Nationally in the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria Examination (2009); Funke Fakutiju, Best Student Nationally, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (2010). The detour to these honours, in Longe’s case, is his winning the Winter Williams Price in International Economic Law, besides making a distinction grade in LL.M.
AAUA didn’t qualify for the serial feats by happenstance, they resulted from its persistent penchant for operating on profound principles and factors. Apart from the fact that its forebears put it on a solid foundation by crafting a vision that has its roots in the 21st Century that was yet to come, the successive leaderships have continually erected bricks that speak to and harvest excellence, which coalesced to earn it a place among leading universities at home and abroad as well as university governing bodies nationally and internationally.
The bricks are legendary: merit-driven admission, deliberate entrenchment of competitive academic and professional programmes, which have produced students and alumni who rule around the corners of the world, merit-driven staff recruitment policy to drive the university’s academic programmes and produce globally-competitive graduates. With this firm foundation notwithstanding, the university continues to inch toward making its graduates and academic programmes competitive.
The sterling achievements testify to the finesse AAUA puts into preparing its own so that they are fit to take on the world the moment they step out of her gates. It reflects the quality of hands that conducts its affair and underscores the depth of its academic culture. Like other notable universities around the world, Ajasin varsity adheres to standards and so continues to occupy a prime of place each time the roll call is made of academic excellence in the comity of universities in Nigeria. 
Opeyemi Longe, again, has proven the capability of Ajasin Varsity graduates. He’s the University’s first recipient of a First Class degree. He emerged nationally as the overall best student in the 2014 Bar Final Examinations of the Nigerian Law School, also with First Class. Longe was admitted to the Master of Law programme of Oxford University, United Kingdom, in October, 2017, where he also sustained the lofty height.
The consistent harvest of distinction by the products of Ajasin varsity shows that it is not resting on its oars. The repeated reaping of laurels tells of its commitment to best practices. And what is even more instructive in Longe’s example is the fact that the same fellow AAUA had rated first in its corner of the world also received corresponding rating on the global scene. This factor affirms AAUA’s global comparability and its lustrous place among leading universities of the world.
One is well persuaded, therefore, on the strength of the hues hereforeto advanced, to agree with Longe’s stance that, ‘First Class from AAUA is a First Class anywhere in the world!

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