By Goodluck Okorie

The preparation for the hosting of 2021 Nigeria University Theater Art Festival NUTAF, billed to hold at the prestigious Gregory University, Uturu starting from the 2nd to 8th May, 2021 is almost completed. In a release singed by the Chairman Local Organizing Committee, Dr Oluseyi Ogungbesan, a senior lecturer in the department of Theatre and Media Studies, said that the participating Universities and contingents are expected obey certain rules and regulations. According to him,
“theatre in its best form connects and celebrates unity, love, peaceful co-existence, joy, laughter, and social well-being”.

The objectives of the festival therefore, are built around these values. To harness creative talents and potentials of Nigerian youths,
nurture new crops of Nigerian Cultural and Creative industries professional, boost the creative ability of the Nigerian youths, create a platform for expression and exhibition of the diverse and rich cultural heritage of Nigeria and collapse ethnic borders and stereotypes by inculcating the spirit of oneness through the Theatre Arts.

He added, that “the University in her efforts to transform the narrative of the festival, has put structures in place to provide not just comfortable accommodation but to give corporate and private awards to best student participants in the various competitive events”.

Gregory University Uturu is an innovative institution of higher learning licensed in 2012 by Nigerian government and founded by a globally acclaimed intellectual Entrepreneur of repute, Professor Gregory Ikechukwu Ibe.

The main campus is strategically situated on over One Hundred Hectares of land in Amaokwe-Achara, Uturu, a peaceful and serene town in Isuikwuato Local Government Council of Abia State that is fast emerging as the education hub of South East. Aesthetically, the school is a masterpiece, parading scores of architecturally smart edifices with ultra modern 2000 capacity Goodluck Jonathan auditorium, 1000 capacity amphitheater, media centre, with campus radio, television and audio studios.

According to the Registrar of the University, Rev Sleek Ogbonnaya Ogwo, “Gregory University was born with the vision of producing God- fearing, ethically sound and highly skilled global leaders who shall be drivers of technology and socio-economic advancement, with the mission of imparting our scholars with skills and competencies that will turn them into champions in line with our school`s motto: KNOWLEDGE FOR TOMORROW”. He said.

In 2012 when began operation, it started with 26 programmes domiciled in 3 colleges and as today the university currently offers 55 programmes in 10 colleges, which include, Medicine and Health Sciences, Law, Engineering, Allied Health Sciences, Agriculture, Education, Environmental Sciences, Natural and Applied Sciences, Humanities, Social and Management Sciences with a fully functional School of Post Graduate Studies.

The founder and Chancellor, Professor Gregory Ikechukwu Ibe, is an entrepreneur, he, therefore, from inception promoted skills acquisition among scholars of Gregory University Uturu. “It is compulsory for every of my scholar to take elective courses in entrepreneurial studies. I personally handle that course, so they undertake practical training in any of the available university centres of enterprise, which including; Paint manufacturing , Soap making, Wielding, Carpentry, Tailoring, Hotel and Catering, Media, Broadcasting, Videography, Printing, Poultry, Animal Husbandry and Agric business. We also encourage the acquisition of French as a second language”. He stressed.

At Gregory University Uturu, scholars are trained to imbibe excellent leadership qualities through the practice of raising their president from among the students with the highest cumulative Grade Point Average. “It is a succession plan that enables the best performed scholars to undertake the direct management of scholar’s activities on campus”.

The strategic location of the main campus in Amaokwe Achara, encourage little distraction as students are compelled to concentrate on knowledge and skills acquisition. The Gregory University Uturu exchange programme afford scholars the opportunity of embarking on annual education tourism to foreign partner institutions in the United States of America, Canada, Europe, India and China through student and faculty exchanges.

The vision of Gregory University, Uturu is to be a world renowned university noted for high quality of its academic and research programme as well as its professional, practical and entrepreneurial capacity development.

The University intends to produce graduates with sufficient theoretical and practical skills that shall enable them become job creators rather than job seekers. ” I foresees a practical oriented problem solving institution of high standard, whose main focus shall be science and technology based for service, partnership and meeting social needs”. Professor Ibe said.

True to the vision of the founding fathers of Gregory University Uturu, since Nigeria University commission lincenced it in 2012, it has continued to blaze the trail. It was adjudged the fastest growing private university in Nigeria, rated the best private university in Nigeria and is the first private university to win the hosting right for the Nigeria universities Theater Art Festival, NUTAF.


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