Uniben Alumni UK Leads the Way With Students- Institution Engagement Pilot Project.

April 13, 2018

The aim of the Project is to optimise student-institution interaction, empower student union officials with negotiation and communication skills and to prioritise Alumni-students-Mentor interface. The UK delegates, lead by the current President of University of Benin Alumni Association UKnited Kingdom (UBAAUK) Loretta Ogboro-Okor, were in Benin on the 6th of April 2018 to chair the symposium.

 

The Uniben Students were very appreciative of the session describing it as enlightening and an opportunity to start righting the wrongs that have crippled the trust in the Union. The students raised their concerns and grievances ranging from Uniben authorities not listening to the students voices or responding accordingly to executives of the Students Union lacking unity and sincerity including quarrelling in public over grants.

As well as all UBAAUK Executives being in attendance on April 6th, Don Pedro Obaseki (Ex Edo 2016 Governorship Aspirant) was also on hand to motivate the initiative.

This Pilot Project of UBAAUK began last year in conjuntion with Ihezie Foundation. A 40ft container of books was shipped to the University of Benin on the 22nd March 2018.

 

See full details and pictures below.

 

 

 

UNIVERSITY OF BENIN ALUNMI ASSOCIATION UNITED KINGDOM (UBAAUK)

       Secretariat: 28 Lesney Park Road. DA8 3DG

 

Email: ubaauk@gmail.com                    Telephone: 07886281475

 

 

 

PROJECT TITLE:

Student – Institution Engagement Pilot Project

 

PROJECT AIM:

To optimise the student-institution engagement in the University of Benin

 

PROJECT OBJECTIVES:

  1. To empower ‘potential’ student union officials with negotiation and communication skills

  2. To encourage and enable volunteering and engagement with institutional activities amongst students

  3. Optimise Alumni-Students-Mentor-Mentee interface

PROJECT PILOT TIME LINE:

2 years

 

 

 

 

 

 

PROJECT LEAD AND FACILITATORS:

Lead:  Loretta Ogboro-Okor UBAAUK President

Core Facilitator: Constant Oseki Deputy Secretary General UBAAUK

                             Eguasa Omagbon

Other Facilitators: Augustine Iremiran

                                Judith Onwudiwe

                                 Franklin Akpomuve

                                 Carol Eghaghae

                                 Leonard Agbomian

                                 Douglas Ogbebor

                                 John Belo

                                 Pius Oboh

BACKGROUND:

The National Executive of our great alumni association branch in the UK, since inauguration in July last year, have been involved in activities geared towards moving our great alumni to the next level. One such positive initiatives proposed is this one; The Student –Institution Engagement Pilot Project.

The need for this has come in the light of the recent face off between the school authorities and the students, we in the UK identified after careful deliberations, the lack of proper engagement and negotiation skills on the part of our students as one of the contributory factors. It is an open secrete that many of us in the diaspora have had to re-learn proper communication and negotiation skills that facilitate working with authorities of institutions and establishments.

Therefore, we propose a pilot project that will in due course; enable our students to understand that proper engagement and negotiation supersedes confrontation in getting an institution to function maximally. Also, it is hoped that this will generate a two-way reaction where the school authorities too will develop improved sensitivity and prompt resolution of student identified issues.

 

 

PROPOSED PROJECT ACTIVITIES:

  1. Empowering aspiring student leaders

  2. Encouraging volunteering

  3. Improving Alumni-Student interface

  4.  Monitoring and Evaluation

1. Empowering aspiring student leaders

Activities:

A team of resource providers will be assembled by UBAAUK every year to do symposiums with all who have indicated interest in the student union leadership. They will be identified from the forms they have each completed as aspirants for different posts.

These persons will be especially invited to the symposium and after the general talk, which will include all students; they will be specially briefed about leadership and non-confrontational engagement.  This is to pre-prime them with negotiation and communication skills even before they get elected.

The aspiring students leaders will be made aware of what they can benefit from their experience as elected officers other than monetary expectations as well as making them aware of their responsibilities to the school. Key of which is maintaining and adding to the great image of the school. 

 

It is hoped that this will reduce the resort to confrontational means of getting the authorities to engage.

Periodicity: Yearly

Measurable outcomes:

Number of attendees

Number of confrontational onslaughts that occurs with the institutional authorities in an exco’s life span

The number of conflicts amicably resolved in an exco’s life span

Time lines:

The 2-year period of this project pilot but with yearly monitoring and evaluation of indices

Funding:

All providers to fund their trip to and from Nigeria as part of UBAAUK contribution

Expertise provided pro-bono as part of UBAAUK contribution

University of Benin to provide accommodation, feeding and internal transportation for duration of stay

 

2.Encouraging volunteering

Activities:

Encourage the culture of volunteering as it prevails in other climes and institutions. Volunteers from amongst the students will be stimulated to help carry out some of the works in the school that should have cost the school money to hire outsiders for. The volunteers will in return get a form of recognition/ certification for their effort.

 

More so, in the Engineering department, there is the need for the engineering students to carry out most of the repair works within the school in order to gain first hand practical experience instead of bringing contractors from outside the school. The students can be given 20% of the amount it will cost to hire from outside or should be given reduced school fees and other non-financial remuneration depending on what is eventually agreed.

 

 

Library volunteering abounds in almost institutions worldwide. We will together with the library staff and student body, organise a system whereby some students will go and assist in the library periodically as volunteers so as to reduce the burden of the librarians and to encourage more students to use the library. The students will later add to their CVs as work experience and get a certified reference letter from the librarian to that effect.

 

Other volunteer enhancing pathways proposed is to make it compulsory for every shop within the school to hire at least a student to work part-time during term times.

 

 

 

 

Periodicity:

Over the two years pilot period

Measurable outcomes:

The number of students volunteering

The number of department using volunteers

The number of school shops with volunteers

Time lines:

The 2-year period of this project pilot but with yearly monitoring and evaluation of indices

3.Improving Alumni-Student interface

Activities:

Encourage the school to complete the alumni website that was proposed to them that could help create an interface between a student and an alumnus who could serve as a mentor.

 

We can suggest having a fulltime paid SUG president and VPs later to be selected from the just graduated students so as to make them more productive as already being practice here in some schools in the UK.

Periodicity:

Over the two years pilot period

Measurable outcomes:

Number of identified Alumni- student-mentor-mentee projects or interactions

Time lines:

The 2-year period of this project pilot but with yearly monitoring and evaluation of indices

 

 

 

 

4. Monitoring and evaluation

Yearly audit of the measurable indices proffered for each activity with interventions generated as the case may be.

Interventions will be implemented and re- evaluation done.

Proper dissemination of findings and outcomes at relevant meetings, all media.

 

 

 

 

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