The National Open University of Nigeria has held a virtual convocation for a record 32,725 students who graduated in 2020 and 2021, but could not assemble together due to the rising COVID-19 cases in Lagos and Abuja.

The university held its convocation on Saturday where the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Abdalla Adamu, noted that 24,300 students were drawn from 2020 and 8,425 in 2021.

It is the first time the institution, which has study centres across the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, would hold virtual convocation.

Adamu, who is due to end his five-year tenure by February 10, said, “It became necessary to hold a combined convocation due to inability to hold the 9th convocation in March 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic.

“The virtual convocation is not the first in the country due to COVID-19 restrictions, but it is the most significant in being the largest single event mass graduation of students in the history of higher education in the country.”

President Muhammadu Buhari, who is the Visitor to the university, was represented by the National Universities Commission Deputy Executive Secretary, Ramon Yusuf.

He noted that “Open and Distance Learning mode” was becoming more acceptable to Nigerians in the country.

The NOUN Chairman, Governing Council, Prof Peter Okebukola, said the combined convocation was done to set a standard for other universities in the country.

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