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Peter varsity berths with engaging intellectual mission


AFTER over a decade of planning, Peter University is ready to commence operation with a distinctive intellectual mission.

  Located in Achina, AguataLocal Government Areaof Anambra State, Peter University is a citadel with a strong foundation over a decade of planning and mobilisation of resources for it.

  The university is commencing operation with four major faculties, comprising 12 departments, 23 courses – all of which the National University Commission (NUC) has approved worthy of awarding bachelorette degrees. The faculties are Science and Computing; Arts, Social and Management Sciences; Law and Health Sciences.

  The Science and Computing Faculty have five departments, namely: Biological Sciences, Chemical Sciences, Computing and Mathematics, Physics and Forensic Sciences. Under the department, Bsc degrees for study are Industrial Chemistry; Biotechnology; Microbiology; Biochemistry; Forensic Science; Computer Science; Information Systems; Software Engineering; Information Technology; Cyber Security; Physics with Electronics, as well as Mathematics and Statistics.

In the Faculty of Arts, Social and Management Sciences, there are also five departments, comprising: Criminology and Security Studies, Political Science, Economics, Mass Communication and Business Administration, where BSs degrees are awarded in such courses as Accounting; Business Administration, Criminology and Security Studies; Mass Communication; Economics; International Relations and Diplomacy; Political Science, as well as in Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution.

  In the Faculty of Health Sciences, they offer BNSc, Nursing Science and BSc Public Health.

The Faculty of Law offers LLB. Law.

  All the courses are full-time undergraduate courses.

  During NUC’s visit in March, the courses were approved. According to the university, just as all their programs are NUC-approved, they have affiliations with such vital professional institutions as the Institute of Chattered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) and the privilege of having state-of-the-art learning facilities, rich libraries, laboratories and regular Internet. Vice chancellor of the university, Emmanuel Umezinwa, a reverend father and well experienced professor, added that the plan of the citadel is to have a thorough town-and-gown approach to ivory tower scholarship and experiential research regime in which, aside theories and classroom-based learning, established professionals in given fields would be invited occasionally to the school to share knowledge and experiences with the students.

Peter University has an interesting background. It is a circular institution owned by a faith-based organisation. It is also a child of necessity initiated to curb a menace in quality and administration of tertiary schools in Nigeria.

  Catholic Diocese of Awka in Anambra State evolved the idea after observing the plethora of breaks, workers strike, as well as drop in quality of studies in the schools and began the building of the university in Achina – a serene town with natural ambiance for scholarly research where urban influence and related distractions would be minimal. A well-known location, part of which was the hitherto popular Catholic mission-owned, St. Peter’s Secondary School, Achina and the vast virgin land around it, formed the core location for the main campus. The school has another campus in Onneh, a neighboring community.

  Over time, as construction and securing of vital documentations for the school progressed, a second diocese, the Catholic Diocese of Ekwuluobia, was created out of the Awka Diocese. Given Achina’s location in the territory of the new diocese, Peter University became an establishment jointly owned by the Awka and Ekwuluobia Catholic Dioceses.

  Bishop of Ekwuluobia Diocese, Peter Cardinal Okpalaeke, explained proprietary of the institution thusly: “Peter University is a project undertaken by Awka Diocese but given the creation of Ekwuluobia Diocese, it is now a project of two dioceses.”

He added that the institution was initiated out of the church’s sense of social responsibility and genuine concern for the fate of the youth of contemporary Nigeria who have been dealt a raw deal in the tertiary education sector.

According to the Cardinal, it is pathetic that education that forms good citizens and an academic system that runs smoothly without devastating breaks and avoidable hiccups are becoming extinct in the country. “There was a year that all institutions were closed for one year and we saw our children being wasted on the streets.  So, the diocese thought that it was necessary to establish a higher institution, Peter University,” explained the Cardinal.

  The bishops of Awka and Ekwuluobia, as well as the Bishop of Catholic Diocese of Nnewi, Jonas-Benson Okoye, who during his prior tenure as Auxiliary Bishop of the Awka Diocese, was the direct overseer of the Peter University project, emphasise that a major goal of setting up the ivory tower was to offer a school for scholarly research that boasts of forming its students into good and effective citizens.

  “It is our desire to prepare our children for the future, not only to be academically excellent but also morally, very very strong”, said Bishop Paulinus Ezeokafor of Awka Diocese. He added that as the university plans to start in the next academic year, 2022/2023 session, the authorities of the university are not only keen on getting students who are eager to study but to have a school that offers the best with a staff that is of the “best quality.”

The Vice Chancellor, Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Umezinwa, added:“Students that will be trained in our university will hit the ground, running…While in school, they will be in touch with what is happening abroad… (because) we are looking at education that will wean life… Once they graduate, they would know what to do (in society).” The vastly travelled don stressed that they do not want to produce students who would “suffer from any complex” when they graduate.

These views were also shared by the chancellors of Ekwuluobia and Awka Dioceses, Rev. Fr. Lawrence Nwankwo and Rev. Fr. Charles Ndubuisi.

  “Our mission is to provide content, local content,” emphasised Nwankwo, “without neglecting learning from other climes.”

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