Exclusive: Why Covenant University graduates are different
“There is no distraction in Covenant University; whatever your mind is fixed on, you get it done.” Rotimi
Rotimi is a Biochemistry graduate of Covenant University (CU) who currently works as a media associate in Andela, one of Africa’s biggest startups. His course of study and current specialisation seem to be on parallels, “I had enough mental space to do a lot of stuff while I was in school, that is what CU gives you,” he says.
For Leke Olarewaju a graduate of Accounting, he believes CU had a lot to do with the man he is today and most skills he acquired were during his school days. “We were trained by the school to be better by encouraging us to take exemplary roles while in school. The school also gave us a platform to showcase our talents, bringing about the likes of Simi, Bez, Emmaohmygod, among others. This training stays with you even after leaving the school.”
Students from Covenant University are among some of the most brilliant, confident and talented in Nigeria, but comments from some of the alumni I spoke to showed they did not have all the answers and were not exactly sure why they stood out. So it dawned on me that to better articulate this distinction, I had to compare a near perfect system like CU with the general educational system in Nigeria. I was right, the answers came forth.
Quality Education in CU
In comparison to other private universities in Nigeria, Covenant University is one of the least expensive. One begins to wonder what the top most expensive universities are really doing.
Although the class of those who can afford the fees for CU are in the minority, I engaged Dada Ben, a graduate of CU to ask about the requirements necessary to get admitted into CU. Here is what he had to say;
“It’s like a cycle, first of all, they have a bias in the kind of people they admit into Covenant University. So, you are looking at quite elite people, quite educated people, quite learned people or learned parents or from good backgrounds that have money. ”
Covenant University’s perceived reputation of academic excellence and enviable career opportunities for students, is the reason parents who have the resources to send their wards to CU, do so.
Over the years, Covenant University has justified their tuition fees. Over the years, where the state of public universities has steadily deteriorated due to government’s lackadaisical attitude, CU has grown stronger in its pursuit of excellence. There is a Nigerian pidgin that says “the soup wey sweet, nah money kill am” meaning that good things are most likely expensive, and this seems to be the case at Covenant University.
Seun Babalola, a seasoned Architect who was among the second set of students ever to get admitted into the University says “Covenant University is better than a lot of Universities here in Nigeria, we paid more and we had facilities and the learning environment was conducive. You get what you deserve and what you’ve paid for at CU.”
There is the preconceived notion that CU is a glorified secondary school due to the rules and regulation of the school. However, most of the graduates I have been able to interface with are doing great. They are graduates who see things differently and are ready to break the status quo in delivering excellence. However, I wanted to get further confirmation. I had a chat with Anita Emueren who is a final year student and President of the Accounting department at Covenant University. She told me why CU is special to her.
Here is what she had to say;
“I am a fan of organized settings, CU is a place where everything is in order, I like places like that. I became wiser, and so far I have had my best years, CU has given me a platform to find myself. I have been able to discover my talent enough to brainstorm beautiful ideas that I would implement after my graduation. CU graduates act differently because for the years they have been in school they undergo different processes that help to refine them, they are bound by rules and regulations that can help refine a person.”
I did not understand what it meant to refine students until I spoke to Leke who introduced me to (TMC) Total Man Concept, a compulsory course for every first-year student in CU. It teaches how a responsible human being in the society behaves, with emphasis on leadership qualities, case studies of leaders who have made it in the past and critical points to replicate the same success.
The course ends with an intensive session with the chancellor known as TTG (Towards a Total Graduate). TTG is a two weeks intensive coaching with the chancellor, who is the senior lecturer. Students know how all the variables and core values learnt in CU are implemented in their life.
So the aim of the two courses are to give you adequate knowledge on how to survive and succeed outside the comfort of Hebron (the school campus). CU believes that it is not just enough to offer an educational/ learning package designed to equip them for life’s tasks, but rather to present a package that is integrative in terms of relating the needs of humanity in all aspects of life.
A major reason why CU graduates are different is the entrepreneurial mindset. Individuals with entrepreneurial mindsets are often drawn to opportunities, innovation, and new value creation. It is not strange to see CU graduates dominating every sector in Nigeria. Situated inside the Hebron campus is the Hebron Startup Labs, a living technology hub wholly funded and run by the management of Covenant University. The aim of setting it up is to create more budding entrepreneurs among CU students. The hub also serves as an incubator for student-owned startups.
I never went to a private university so I could understand the difference between attending CU and a regular public school. Some other private universities are not doing badly but most do not have a latent combination of these points that makes CU great. The school has also invested a lot in the structure which has given the students conducive environments to explore, learn and unlearn. After all these expositions, I am convinced CU graduates are different from their counterparts. If you feel otherwise feel free to voice your opinions.