LASU to take its Pride Of Place Among Top Entrepreneurial Varsities

Lagos State University (LASU) Prepares to take it's Pride Of Place Among the Top Entrepreneurial Universities...Urged to Remain on the Path of Excellence.

Lagos State University as an academic institution must continue on the path of Excellence it has been identified with over the years, be more determined and committed to capacity building, and quality research works as it prepares to take its pride of place in the league of Entrepreneurial Universities across the world in no distance time.

This was the strong position of the Chief Executive Officer Cognity Advisory; Mr. Temitope Oyeniyi Toogun at an Interactive Session titled : BUILDING AN ENTREPRENEURIAL UNIVERSITY.

Delivering his paper earlier today - Wednesday, 8th July, 2020, at the 5th Virtual Senate Meeting and Interactive Session of the University, Mr. Toogun looked at Lagos State University on a 5 to 10 years journey from now with a reflection on where should LASU be? and What should the University be focussing on? He was quick to identify the strength of Lagos State University in it's strategic location on Agbara axis in the State. He stated thus *"...the University needs to brace up and tap into the benefits associated with the location...LASU should be a supplier/provider of knowledge to take advantage of the Agbara Industrial Complex that is in the institution's axis/neighbourhood."* The Complex, he informed was positioned for manufacturing and logistic hub to service West Africa.

Mr. Toogun discussed further that a long term initiative of African Union 2063 that will be driven by science, technology and innovation is centered on the "Africa We Want". He said *"...there is a plan to connect Africa by rail, build up competences in biotechnology and so on...for Nigeria to take part in this, the missing link is the need for a few knowledge producers to key in and take ownership, and define the agenda for Nigeria going into those engagements, narrowing it down, there is need for a university such as LASU to transition into an Entrepreneurial University."*

Classifying his presentation into three parts; WHY? - Why should LASU work towards becoming an Entrepreneurial University? WHAT ? - What does the Concept of an Entrepreneurial University mean, and HOW? - How should that journey proceed?, the guest speaker said " It is clear that Lagos State University is in pole position because of its presence in Lagos, the largest Cosmopolitan centre in Nigeria, the financial and commercial capital, and the largest sub - national economy, adding that, that has brought about a sophistication in the environment that an institution like LASU can tap into. *"...the need to address challenges that are peculiar to Cosmopolitan centres and those challenges in themselves present opportunities for a forward looking institution. The challenges include, but, not limited to Waste Management, Transportation, Security and Infrastructure* he said.

On Entrpreneurial University : THE WHAT? Mr. Toogun while discussing the characteristics of an Entrepreneurial University averred that they could arise as a response to government's demanding for Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to foster innovation, response to social, economic and regional development problems, commercialisation of University know - how, process of technology transfer, University - Industry collaboration and also be a solution to employment, employability and skills development agenda.

He advised that the institution should not stop at publication, but, must move on to patent, diffusion into the market, ensure process of technology transfer, engagement in the industry and employability of our graduates.

He highlighted academic entrepreneurship, mission governance and strategy, internationalisation (research collaboration), knowledge transfer (exchange and support), stakeholder engagement and entrepreneurship education as the objectives (potential for added values and innovation). He added that all of these will result into higher innovation, research excellence, research relevance, competitiveness, diverse revenue flow (earning more money), student employability teaching and learning organisation.

In his close to forty minutes presentation, Mr. Toogun equally stressed the need for the University to develop a shared vision/strategic plan which comprise baseline and must be bought into by different stakeholders in the University i.e (members of Senate, Faculty Deans, Departmental Heads, financial institutions, business organisations, staff unions, students' body, university leadership, Alumni and all), and record the journey (documentation purpose).

Conclusively, the Speaker stated clearly thus"...the outcome is important, but, not as important as the process."* He empahasised on the need to develop a strategic plan and also develop the implementation process. In his words *"...when the focus is on the outcome, we lose almost half of the lessons that we should learn."

Earlier in his welcome address, the Chairman of the University Senate and Vice Chancellor, Lagos State University, Prof. 'Lanre Fagbohun, SAN, NPOM, who moderated the close to one and half hour interactive session prepared the minds of the Distinguished members of the University Senate and critical stakeholders invited for the session; "...the current global development necessitate that we continue to think through different options that can enhance both the sustainability and competitiveness of our institution. Distinguished Members of Senate you will recall that sometime ago at one of our Senate meetings I hinted on the need to explore what should be the focus of our University going forward. It is as part of that exercise that we are having today's interactive session on Building an Entrepreneurial University...Mr. Toogun will have thirty minutes to interact with us..." the VC said.

At the Comments/Questions/Suggestions/Recommendations session, Distinguished Prof. Peter Okebukola while making his contribution equally commended the Vice Chancellor "...thank you very much our great Vice Chancellor, ubdoubtably and unarguably the best Vice Chancellor that LASU has ever had. I have been in this our University since it started November, 1984 and I know you have done so so well, we have a score card, so congratulations in setting this have succeeded in bring in a great fish to our great University."

The Dean, School of Transport, Prof. S.G Odewunmi, Acting Head, Management Technology, Dr. Ibraheem Olateju, Prof. 'Banji Fajonyomi and Dean, School of Communication, Prof. Rotimi Olatunji also asked questions and made valuable contrributions at the session.

Goodwill message was delivered by the Deputy Executive Secretary, NUC, Dr. Suleiman Ramon Yusuf.