Dr. AjayiThe University has recorded yet another feat in the area of webometrics. This piece of information was disclosed by Dr. Olutayo Ajayi, the Acting Head, Information and Communication Resource Centre (ICTREC). According to Dr. Ajayi, despite the small size and age, FUNAAB remained a forerunner in webometrics ranking in Nigeria, ahead of some first or second generation universities such as University of Port-harcourt, Rivers; University of Benin, Edo and the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. He also lauded the University for setting high standards as one of the few universities in the country that cherished in-house development, by ensuring that most of its applications were developed in-house, thereby, saving the cost of outsourcing ICT projects.

The criteria used to rank the universities bordered on the assessment of Composite Indicators and Web Impact Factors, with development of indicators about resources in the society and social networks visualisation on the website, with friendly, dynamic and interactive graphic interfaces, design and evaluation of documented analysis techniques of web resources, genre studies applied to the scholar activity on website, development of applied cybermetrics techniques based on the positioning on search engines of web domains; and the analysis of the information usage through Website and data mining of log files, among others.

Webometrics Ranking is essential to knowing how visible a tertiary institution is in the world by ranking all universities and knowing the position of any institution. It also enables a university to know how well it is doing in the areas of research and the application of learning tools. It allows for assessment of how FUNAAB ranks with other universities. It leads to the improvement of the University’s website. He revealed that this achievement was made possible because of the enormous skill and staff strength that cover all areas of ICT, from network design to software development, web development, information management systems and training. He further stressed the need to groom more in-house talents and products from the campus in order to add to the home-grown heritage that FUNAAB enjoys. He added that the University had produced graduates; both from the Department of Computer Science and other departments that are making waves in the information Communication Technology (ICT) world, within and outside the country.

The Acting Head, ICTREC, shared his vision for members of staff, students and the University as a whole, saying he hoped that the University would be engaged in paperless processes in which students, right from entry to their last day in the University, would be engaging in all forms of IT procedures and learning technologies, where they do not need to be filling paper forms, course registration, examination as well as getting results and transcripts within a short time.

He also mentioned that he looked forward to having members of staff to be e-compliant, whereby newly-employed staff would have their orientation on a ready-made, interactive platform basis, where progress would be recorded; confirmation of employment done, as well as performance evaluation for promotion carried out, while looking forward to making Senate and other committee meetings less burdensome, by digitalising the major processes and workflow involved.

In addition, he stressed the need to leave the era of using conventional teaching methods such as writing on boards and go beyond the use of multimedia projectors, to the use of intelligent boards with playback functions, whereby lectures are delivered with electronics boards that are connected online, so as to aid access to instant resources that improve teaching. Dr. Ajayi added that the framework and blueprint to achieve the paperless/wireless system was available but the major thing needed to actualise this was having adequate funding for infrastructure which do not come cheap, saying to have a good network infrastructure, where one can enjoy the best Internet service in any community, there had to be uninterrupted power backup facilities, with a strong core or backbone that must be made of fibre optic cables while other remote areas would be through wireless radio connections. Dr. Ajayi, however, gave some challenges facing his Centre, such as inadequate power supply and power surges, adding another issue bordered on the susceptibility of the equipment in the wireless system to harsh weather and thunderstorm, which often led to the loss of many equipment. He noted further that another problem had to do with lack of adequate information on how to effectively utilise Internet access on campus, urging Internet users to endeavour to disconnect themselves when not in use. Dr. Ajayi called on the University Management to implement the existing IT policy; put in place, a strong and effective ICT management board to run ICT issues on campus and constantly retrain of staff. He charged members of staff that received grants for research to always ensure they include an allocation for Internet services which is a major component of their research works, saying this practice would help in improving and the development of IT on campus. In addition, he called on the University alumni in reputable establishments to endeavour to use their influence to win laudable IT projects for the University.