On the 5th of February 2021, the American University of Nigeria (AUN) marked a historic milestone, awarding its first-ever Ph.D.
Information Systems Graduate student, Nasiru Yakubu successfully defended his research before a panel of internal and external supervisors. He also accomplished the impressive feat of publishing eight peer-reviewed journal and conference publications with one in review.
The thesis committee was made up of top-notch Information Systems researchers from 3 reputable Universities: University of Cape Town, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Obafemi Awolowo University, and an external committee member, a distinguished Information Systems Professor from Virginia Commonwealth University. Dean of the Graduate School, Professor Chris Mbah, Provost Attahir Yusuf, Vice President University Relations Abba Tahir, Dean Olumide Longe, Professor Samuel Tesunbi, and Professor Mohammed Ahmadu were all at the venue of the viva voce to witness the momentous event.
“I am fully excited today and I will like to share the excitement with the rest of us,” said Professor Chris Mbah, welcoming guests to the event. He thanked the founder of the American University of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar, Madame President, Dawn Dekle, and everyone who made it possible for the Ph.D. candidate to reach this final stage.
Ph.D. candidate, Nasiru M Yakubu’s research titled “Acceptance of Learning Management By Nigerian Students, investigated the disparity in the acceptance and use of technology by public and private universities in northern Nigeria.
His research was guided by Professor Muhammadou Kah and Dr. Salihu Dasuki of the University of Sheffield, UK. Professor Kah was overjoyed at the achievement of his student.
”Quite historic! I am much grateful and appreciative of the distinguished honor to contribute modestly as the main supervisor of our 1st Ph.D.… My Ph.D. student, now Dr. Nasiru Yakubu is honored with a deserving 1st Ph.D. produced by AUN and interestingly in my academic discipline Information Systems.” Said an excited Professor Kah.
Dr. Nasiru M.Yakubu AUN’s 1st Ph.D
Speaking about the significance of his research, Mr. Yakubu said.
“Theoretically the study develops a conceptual model that explains students' acceptance and use of learning management systems which also brings the students and teachers together so that learning goes on beyond the classroom. The contribution to practice is that the research informs educators and university governing bodies about what needs to be done to implement digital technology for teaching and learning.”
Mr.Yakubu stated the differences between public and private universities' acceptance and use of learning management systems. These systems he said are lacking in public institutions but are fully supported by private universities. He concluded his presentation by recommending further research to understand what factors contribute towards the acceptance of Learning Management Systems by Nigerian students.
An external examiner, Professor Jean-Paul Van Belle from the University of Cape Town in South Africa congratulated the candidate, Mr. Nasiru, he also congratulated his supervisors and AUN for.” a huge success.”
The main external supervisor, Professor Abimbola Soriyan praised the quality of work done by the Ph.D. candidate. “It is evident that the candidate displayed considerable originality in the research work. The thesis is easy to read and it's content well articulated. The goals were largely achieved. The study covered the Northern part of Nigeria. The literary quality of the work is good” Professor Soriyan said.
After hours of meticulous verifications and substantiation of academic procedures, at about 7 PM, Professor Abimbola congratulated Dr. Nasiru M Yakubu saying ”Nasiru is the first person to have successfully defended a Ph.D. in Information Systems in Nigeria.”
The Vice President for University Relations, Dr. Abubakar Abba Tahir, who witnessed this historic moment said. “I was exceedingly proud to have participated in the viva mainly for the excitement and celebration of witnessing an inaugural AUN employee move stridently from administrator to an accomplished scholar, who has made it as the very first Ph.D. graduate in the university. From our early days at AUN, many colleagues were convinced that Nas the gentleman, will go places in his career of information systems management, not only in Nigeria but around the world. And true to that tall billing, he has proved us right and made us proud by setting a very high bar for other AUN employees, and indeed for external enrollees into AUN’s elite graduate program. On this auspicious day of his remarkable academic foray, the sky will be the starting point for our exemplary colleague and founding employee.”
Reported by Rebecca Ikponwonba