Directorate of University Linkages and Advancement
The Directorate of University Linkages and Advancement of the Federal University of Technology Owerri, Nigeria was established in September 2009 by Professor Celestine O.E. Onwuliri FAS, 5th Substantive Vice-Chancellor as a Directorate in the Office of the Vice-Chancellor. The Unit was established to explore opportunities for possible collaborations with institutions, agencies, industry and individuals, within and outside Nigeria for training and research and for overall development and advancement of the University.
Since inception, the Unit has continued to achieve her mandate of attracting viable mutually beneficial linkages and partnerships leading to a positive internationalization of the University as a world-class institution.
The Unit has been led by seasoned academics with Professor Moses O.E. Iwuala as pioneer Director. He was succeeded by Professor Ifeanyichukwu J. Ogoke as second Director.
It is notable that the Unit was merged with the Center for Research and International Development (CRID) by Professor Francis C. Eze, 7th Substantive Vice-Chancellor in July 2016 with Professor Emeka E. Oguzie as Director. However, in the spirit of driving the culture of excellence with an emphasis on deepening research and innovation in the University on one hand and encourage the Linkages and Advancement Unit to focus on its core mandate of internationalization and advancement on the other hand, the Unit was de-merged and re-established in July 2017 with Professor Ikechukwu N.S. Dozie as Director.
The Directorate of University Linkages and Advancement functions primarily as an interface between the University and its affiliate collaborative agencies and institutions both nationally and internationally. The Directorate is responsible for exploring linkages/collaborations/partnerships with institutions, donor agencies and organizations, an industry as well as individuals within and outside the country for overall development and advancement of the University as a leader in technological and entrepreneurial education.
Specifically, the Directorate of University Linkages and Advancement has the following objectives:
- Promote fruitful linkages between FUTO and various public or private sector establishments and organizations nationally and internationally for purposes of qualitative manpower training, capacity building, and scientific/technological advancement.
- Provide a platform for effective upgrading and marketing of FUTO academic programmes at national and international levels, especially through a purpose-oriented curriculum, collaborative research and mutually beneficial staff and students exchange partnerships.
- Collate and publicize information on various linkage activities and attainments of FUTO for the attention of local, national and international beneficiaries, interested stakeholders and target end users.
- Support and facilitate productive cross-country technical, academic and administrative interactions and exchanges involving undergraduate and post-graduate traineeship schemes, plus other collaborative arrangements as may be worked out between FUTO and other institutions and agencies.
- Undertake any other roles and assignments as may be determined by the Vice-Chancellor in furtherance of the linkage potentials, opportunities and targets of FUTO locally, nationally and internationally.
On the assumption of office in June 2016 as 7th Substantive Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology Owerri, Professor Francis C. Eze made known his views and expectations on Linkages and Advancement. These views were clearly articulated in the Vice-Chancellor’s Inaugural Address to the 408th Meeting of Senate held on June 23, 2017.
The highpoints of this Inaugural Address as it relates to University Linkages and Advancement include:
- Adoption of new approaches to cross-disciplinary research and exploration of outstanding international research collaboration.
- Sourcing partnership with research funders
- Raising the profile of our research activities and expertise locally and globally
- Exploration of innovative staff exchange with industry and government via the FUTO Research and Technology Park facilities.
- Ensuring attractiveness of FUTO as an internationally significant institution and support new staff for enhanced effectiveness
- Brokering strategic partnership between academics, industry, specialists and other institutions to enhance the development of graduate attributes in students
- Creating lifelong links with Alumni and the wider Nigerian society, which are mutually beneficial and which bring richness to our student experience.
- Developing and deriving benefits from local and global strategic partnerships and collaborations with other leading universities, the commercial sector and governmental and civil society organizations, which are built on excellence and driven by shared academic interests.
Deriving from the vision of the Vice-Chancellor, the roadmap of activities for the Directorate for Linkages and Advancement for the period July 2018 to June 2019 will include but not limited to the following:
- Maintain an updated and comprehensive database of existing linkages and partnerships
- Strengthen viable linkages and partnerships by ensuring adherence to signed MOUs.
- Identify new linkages and partnerships with leading and reputable institutions and organizations to drive staff and students exchange, quality capacity building and collaborative research for development.
- Sustain synergy with Units with overlapping mandates to harmonize efforts to achieve institutional goals and objectives as envisioned by Driving the Culture of Excellence. Such Units include Centre for Research, Innovation and Development (CRID), Center for Agricultural Research and Extension (CARE), Institute of Environmental Health and Justice (IEHJ), Institute for Erosion Studies (IES), Center for Industrial Studies (CIS), Center for Energy and Power Systems Research (CEPSR), Center for Entrepreneurial Studies (CES), Institute for Women/Gender and Development Studies (IWoGDS), Center for Human Resources Development (CHRD), Nigeria/Israeli Center for Management Studies etc.
- Identify funding sources, investments, opportunities, endowments and other forms of support to mitigate institutional challenges and drive steady growth and development of the University.
- Enhance regular engagement and inspire a culture of philanthropy amongst alumni, friends, benefactors and other stakeholders.
- Identify key alumni and other persons with a genuine interest in research and innovations to support the advancement of the University through endowment activities.
- Enhance the global outlook of the University through period publications of the activities of the Directorate.
- Elevate the reputation of the University as a technological hub and instil passion and confidence in our partners.
- Support the Vice-Chancellor as Chief Fund Raiser of the University in efforts to raise financial and material resources for University development and overall advancement.