The University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID) says its refusal to close down at the peak of the Boko Haram insurgency attracted a ₦2 billion distance learning project.

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According to NAN, Aliyu Shugaba, the varsity’s VC, said this in Abuja.

He was announcing the project which he said was being sponsored by Muhammad Idimi, a founder of Oriental Energy Resources.

He said the project had a state-of-the-art facility, among other things.

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The VC recounted the school’s ordeal at the heat of the insurgency between 2010 to 2014.

He said the number of applications for admission dropped to as low as 3000 per session.

“We are moving on as a university and we are at our best now. Presently, all our programmes in the university have been fully accredited and about 21 more are due for accreditation this November,” he added.

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“The early years of insurgency affected the number of applications received. We were used to receiving applications in tens of thousands.

“However, when the insurgency started between 2010 and 2011 session to 2013 and 2014 sessions, the applications for admission received both in terms of UTME and Direct Entry reduced to below 3000.

“By 2014 and 2015 session and 2016 session, however, we received 60,000 applications and at that time our admission quota was only about 8,100.

“By 2017 and 2018, admission request was almost 80,000 and our admission quota had increased to about 10,000.

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“The admission quota is now 11,000 but our applications have always been in the neighbourhood of 70,000 and 8000 requests per admission.”

Shugaba further said that, apart from a drop in the number of applications, external examiners had kept away from the varsity at the peak of the insurgency.

He said the varsity has now improved its collaboration with other institutions within and outside the country.

“We have collaboration with universities in Malaysia, Thailand, China, and most of the Asian countries as well as the UK and US,” the VC said.

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“At the moment there are many staff from other universities that want to come to Maiduguri for sabbatical and research leave.

“Currently, one from the University of Lagos and another from the University of Nigeria Nsukka have written to come to Maiduguri for a sabbatical.

“Our student population including undergraduate, postgraduate, and distance learning amounts to about 75,000. Ahmadu Bello University is tracking us with about 65,000 student population.”

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