In the words of Nelson Mandela, Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.
It will not be far from the truth to say that this wise saying inspired the vision of Gregory University Uturu. Motivated by the desire to change the world one student at a time, a renowned Human Capital Expert and Serial Entrepreneur, Prof Gregory Ibe, received approval from the federal government to establish Gregory University Uturu in the serene town of Amaokwe-Achara Uturu, Isuikwuato Local Government Area, Abia State, in 2012.
From inception the founding fathers of Gregory University Uturu had envisaged a technology driven citadel of learning that would equip students with relevant knowledge, skills and competencies that will in turn accord them liberty for impact, dominance and influence on the competitive global labour arena.
In consonance with the mission of the institution the founders aptly formulated a motto that says Knowledge for Tomorrow, implying that Gregory University Uturu aims at delivering to students in their today, qualitative and quantitative education that will afford them global prominence when their tomorrow dawns.
To achieve this objective the University management sought and received approval from National Universities Commission (NUC) to design and mount programmes that would meet the human capital needs of the global labour market. Thus commencing in 2012 with highly competitive programmes, the university distinguished herself from the onset with many unique features.
Firstly, to instill in the hearts of the undergraduates of Gregory University Uturu the mindset of research and studiousness, they are referred to as Scholars instead of the common appellation of Students. Also the university operates a hundred percent full residency policy, which ensures the on-campus domiciliation of all students in spacious hostel facilities with strict restriction of movements outside the campus. Gregory University Uturu maintains zero tolerance to cultism, sorting, examination fraud, sale of handouts and other deviant behavior. Consequently in the absence of such avoidable distractions as strikes and demonstrations, sufficient time is committed to teaching and learning, thereby ensuring the devotion of eighteen weeks to academic work every semester.
The acquisition of a second language is a mandatory requirement for graduation in GUU. To realize this mandate the university has made the study of French compulsory during the first year while a fully equipped language laboratory that simplifies the learning of German, Spanish, Latin, Hebrew and Igbo has been provided.
Another unique feature that differentiates the school from her contemporaries is her mission to take knowledge further from the head to the hands through practical entrepreneurial training. To achieve this aim Gregory University Uturu scholars are made to take a compulsory elective course in entrepreneurial studies under the tutelage of the Chancellor and Founder himself Prof Gregory Ibe, who as a consultant to such national and international agencies as TETFUND, UNESCO and ECOWAS Commission has been involved in the task of designing and developing academic curricula for entrepreneurial education. The scholars are also encouraged to acquire practical skills in any of the many university centres of enterprise including Media Complex, Digital Printing Press, Engineering Workshop, Soap-Making Plant, Paint Factory, Polythene-Bag Making Plant, Water Bottling Plant, Bakery, Tailoring Bay, Poultry, Fishery, Hotel and Micro Finance Bank.
As a way of ensuring the acquisition of comprehensive education that exposes the scholars to conditions of learning in other climes, Gregory University Uturu at inception initiated a very robust exchange policy that enables her maintain mutually beneficial linkage relationship with some notable institutions in United States of America. Through this policy, the university annually dispatches delegations of both scholars and staff to such schools as Morehouse College Atlanta, Kennesaw State University Georgia, Georgia State University and Langston University Oklahoma to participate in summer exchange programmes with very positive results. One of the many advantages of this exercise is that it confers on participating Gregory University Uturu scholars the status of extension students, thus granting them the privilege of immediate absorption into partnering American universities for post-graduate programmes.
Although the university was initially licensed at inception in 2012 to host only three colleges, over the years the management has pursued a robust academic expansion programme resulting in curriculum enlargement that enables the school to offer programmes in eleven colleges including; Medicine and Surgery, Pharmacy, Engineering, Law, Agriculture, Environmental Sciences, Natural and Applied Sciences, Social and Management Sciences, Humanities, Education and School of Post Graduate Studies.
Reputed for the domiciliation of the best engineering laboratories and technical workshops in the country, fully stocked research laboratories, modern state-of-the-art audio-visual studios complete with an Outside Broadcast (OB) van, the institution has continued to attract the hosting right for many national and international high profile academic events while scoring high in accreditation visits by National Universities Commission (NUC) and professional bodies. Such federal agencies as TETFUND and NDE have in the past deployed facilities in the institution for capacity building programmes, including, training of Engineering Lecturers and Technologists from all public universities and a practical hands on workshop used in transferring life skills to more than 1000 youths drawn from different parts of Abia State in a special programme tagged Youths Employment and Social Support Operation (YESSO). In the same vein, Gregory University Uturu has been awarded the hosting right for the 2021 edition of Nigerian Universities Theatre Arts Festival (NUTAF).
From a proverbial humble beginning in 2012,the university has witnessed massive metamorphosis in quality and quantity, attracting in the process many accolades. One of such is the appellation of the fastest growing private university in Africa given to the university by the former President of Nigeria Dr Goodluck Jonathan, which was later reinforced by the Executive Secretary of National Universities Commission Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, who referred to Gregory University Uturu as the foremost private university in Eastern Nigeria, while she was adjudged the best private university in Nigeria in 2019.
To be continued
ProGIMA-Prof Gregory Ibe Media Associates