PROLOGUE: Building a Winning Team for Student Global Competition: What Universities Can Learn from University of Ibadan

PROLOGUE: Building a Winning Team for Student Global Competition: What Universities Can Learn from University of Ibadan

The Zain Africa Challenge won by the University of Ibadan Team in 2009 was one of the celebrated competitions of the University in its history of earning laurels.  The programme is a fast-paced televised quiz show involving universities from across countries from East, West and Southern Africa where the company has operation. Available information indicates that the students of the University have equally won different categories of competition between 2015 and 2020. In our data, we discovered that creative [advert], literary debate, law [Moot and Arbitration competition], medicine and pharmacy, entrepreneurship, technology-oriented and data science competitions have been won by the University Teams.

Eleven years after of the Zain Africa Challenge competition, another team from the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering after months emerged the winner of Huawei ICT competition at national and regional levels before doing it on the global stage in conjunction with other teams [comprising students from the University of Ibadan, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, and University of Port Harcourt].

Exhibit 1: Category of Competition Won Per Year

Source: Nigerian Newspapers, 2015-2020; University of Ibadan’s Website, 2020
Note: 10 national competitions and 1 global competition

Anywhere in the world, Information Communication Technology (ICT) knows no colour, race, religion, linguistic competence or ethnic colouration; all what it requires is one’s competence, mastery and creativity. These were the conclusions of the University of Ibadan Team.  Badiru Toheeb Adeniyi, Abideen Bolaji Olaide and Olubiyi Sulaiman Damilare, who were part of the Nigerian Team in all the three stages of the competition, speak with our analyst. They are 500 level students of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, University of Ibadan.

UI Team at Huawei

According to the prize winners, their exposure to the competition was a rare opportunity to sharpen their creativity as they worked on Network Track. Although preparing for the competition was physically challenging, brain-taxing and time-consuming, their dedication, thorough planning and guidance of their trainers kept them going from beginning to end of the 3-stage competition.

Thanking the Acting Head of their department, Dr A.R. Zubair, the Dean of their Faculty of Technology, Professor O.A. Fakolujo, the Dean of Students, Professor Keye Abiona, alongside other lecturers who stood by them, the three prize winners allayed people’s fear about Information and Communication Technology, maintaining that with connectivity and essential gadgets, ICT can take one to places one never imagines.

In subsequent pieces, our analyst writes on the significance of the competition, lessons learnt by the students and what other universities can draw from the approach used by the University of Ibadan for building the team.

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