ELEVEN-YEAR-OLD Pan-African University, Lagos, has been changed to Pan-Atlantic University. The name change came as a result of the establishment of a Pan-African Universities across Africa by African Union (AU).
The Vice Chancellor of the institution, Professor Juan Elegido, who announced the name change recently in Lagos, said, the AU created universities are meant to be a network of universities across Africa, adding that all efforts to stop AU’s decision were futile since AU is a large organisation.
By implication, the name change he said, will affect the schools’ certificates, stationeries, materials and all other documents, stressing that students’ fears; the alumni’s and foreign students reaction has been appropriately addressed “and they are all satisfied with the explanation”.
His word, “In 2008, the AU established a Pan-African University that is meant to be a network of universities across Africa. One implication was that here in Nigeria, there would be two Pan- African Universities. The first, a private university based in Lagos and owned by the Pan-African university foundation and which has been in existence since 2002, and the second, a node of the AU- supported institution which would operate from the university of Ibadan”.
“Several efforts to get the AU change the name of its institution met with no success. Once it became clear that we could not get the AU to alter its decision, we decided to change our name. This is because the confusion that could arise from sharing our name with another institution would be damaging for everyone concerned. In
choosing Pan-Atlantic University, we were mindful of its closeness to the former name and the fact that we can retain the acronym PAU”.
Elegido, stated that the name change has not in any way affected the institution’s vision, mission, values, ideas and strategies. ‘Wechoose Pan-Atlantic because we have always put emphasis on quality, as an institution with international standard, our ambitions are large, Atlantic in the terms of Atlantic ocean goes across the continent and we are moving into chartered waters of knowledge”.
He assured students that the name change would neither affect fees, course contents or any other fees as the school has decided not to levy any individual for the expenditure incurred. “Even if our fee increases in any way it has nothing to do with the name change”. Afirming that though it cost much to rebrand, he said its cost cannot quantify the challenges of changing a brand built over the years, especially now that the school is about to take off with its under degree programme.
“Its indeed a pity that a brand built over the years is now being asked to change its well known identity a lot of people that know about Pan-African University and are planning to enrol and suddenly you will inform them that the name has been changed, really it was not a happy moment for us, especially now that our under degree programme will commence next year, but certainly our substance remains”, he said.
He further explained that the new name has already been approved by the institution’s governing council and the National Universities Commission (NUC), and will come into immediate effect. He said JAMB has also agreed to add formerly Pan-African University alongside Pan-Atlantic University in its brochure.
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