By: Kebba AF Touray
Photo: Acting Vice Chancellor delivers matriculation speech.
Professor Pierre Gomez, the Acting Vice Chancellor of the University of the Gambia (UTG), has told the new UTG matriculates that the institution must go back to its glorious days.
He said this while addressing the matriculates on the occasion of the 11th matriculation ceremony held on Wednesday, 22 December, 2021 at the UTG Law Faculty’s Auditorium.
The ceremony, he said, represented a major milestone in the lives of the young men and women, who are inducted at the UTG and bears a large measure of significance for their families because it marks the beginning of a life-changing experience.
“We have assembled competent and experienced professors, lecturers, administrators and other professionals to provide you with the training you require and ensure that your stay in UTG is productive,” he informed the matriculates.
“Last semester, we introduced for the first time the EBSCO Journal database that helps researchers and students to have access to millions of peer reviewed journal articles. This week, we are launching the Turnitin Plagiarism Software,” he added.
He explained that the academic tool promotes academic integrity, streamlines grading and feedback, and improves outcomes across educational levels and content areas.
“It also leverages innovative technology, provides tools that prevent plagiarism, delivers formative and summative feedback, surfaces actionable reporting, and investigates academic misconduct,” he said.
He also explained that as one of the core traditions of higher education institutions, it is during the matriculation ceremony that the matriculates formally gain studentship status of the university by taking the “matriculation oath” like the one that was administered to them during the ceremony.
“We have not held matriculation ceremonies for some time now because of a myriad of administrative and governance issues. We have henceforth resolved to hold matriculation ceremonies at the end of every admission session,” he said.
He noted that the long journey of the matriculates through primary and secondary education has ended, and another journey of being a University Student has just begun for them. As such, he said they have now joined a community of scholars, gaining the envious status of a student in an institution of higher learning.
“I therefore take this opportunity to congratulate all of you for selecting UTG as the institution from which you wish to receive your higher education, an important vote of confidence for our institution,” he felicitated the matriculates.
He assured the matriculates that UTG takes seriously the vote of confidence reposed on them by the matriculates, adding that they have a very high responsibility towards the matriculates to ensure that they live up to the expectations of the matriculates.
“To exceed your expectations and honour the confidence you have shown in our ability to deliver not only in terms of the academic experience and culture to which you will be exposed here, but also to the general socialisation we hope life on campus will expose you to,” he told the matriculates.
He also told them that they have every right to feel proud to be students of the UTG, and expressed his strong belief that they will learn, nurture and develop
knowledge and skills that will propel the new students (matriculates) forward in the challenging world of the 21st century.
“I therefore urge you to stay focused, be steadfast, always strive to achieve excellence by developing critical thinking skills and to have the right balance between your academic and social life,” he said.
In order to do this, he said, the matriculates must plan their time wisely and use all the opportunities and facilities provided effectively, telling them to raise their concerns when they have them. He urged them to make use of the laid down channels and avoid any form of behaviour that may ruin both their studies and future.
He reminded the students of the Matriculation Oath and encouraged them to go by the tenets of the oath and be guided by the rules and regulations contained in their students’ hand book.
“This is a University with extraordinary vision and goals. It is uniquely placed and comparable to none. We assure you that you are in the right place at the right time. I wish you a happy learning and a productive time on campus,” he said.
“On behalf of the Governing Council, the Senate and on my own behalf, I would like to congratulate you on your admission and welcome you as a junior member of the University of The Gambia.”