HISTORY OF THE DEPARTMENT
English as an academic programme was established in the year 1983 – the very year the University took off. The programme started with just sixteen candidates but today, the viability of the programme is evident by the number of students on the programme. Currently, the programme has about 300 students spread over four different levels apart from 2000 students it has to cater for in GNS 101 (Use of English I) and GNS 102 (Use of English II): These are courses recommended by National Universities Commission for all University students spread over all Faculties in the University such as Faculties of Social and Management Sciences, Law, Agriculture, and the Sciences. Besides, the Department still services the Faculty of Law specifically with the following English courses: ENG 152, 153, 154, 151 and 155. We also service the Faculty of Education’s B. A. (Ed) English programme from 100L-400L. So, this Department, every session, attends to about 2,450 students.
Furthermore, the English programme of Olabisi Onabanjo University emphasises the study of English right from its inception with a view to making English relevant to the socio-economic and cultural needs of the African societies and Nigeria, in particular.
The programme also strives to remove the abstractness dominated by the Anglo-American tradition in English, especially when it was imported to African universities.
The importance and productivity of the programme could be seen in the exemplary performance of our students in the labour market today. Many of our graduates are in the academic, social, civil, finance, commercial sectors and in the armed forces. The widespread of English, as a discipline, and its global contributions to the development of nations, particularly Nigeria, are as a result of intellectual disposition of the programme and the commitment of the experienced staff in English studies that have continued to develop themselves in the various areas of study over the years.
The vision of the Department of English is fostered by historical, political and economic factors that have constituted English into a global language. From most indications English seems set to continue well into the future as an international language that is worthy of serious attention and study.
The department is poised to contribute to, and reap some of the benefits of the globalisation of English.
The mission of the Department is the study, development and promotion of the English language and Literature in English as a medium of cultural, scientific and technical communication in an electronic and computer age.
The programme aims at providing a solid foundation in English for those who want to do professional/academic course. However, two kinds of criticisms have been levelled against the establishment of English programme in Nigeria.
The first is that English as a subject taught in the university is too abstract, irrelevant and too remote to solve practical and social problems of the public that funds it through the university. The second, which is closely connected to the first, is that English programmes in Nigeria are dominated by the Anglo-American tradition.
Our English programme has striven to correct these anomalies. The English programme of Olabisi Onabanjo University has a focus in which its major objective is to build a Department, which will significantly yield to the quest for the socio-economic and cultural development of Nigeria. In order to achieve this objective, the programme is alive to bridging the traditional gulf between the academic study of English and social practice. Furthermore, our programme stresses the importance of a creative development from African perspective and this slant has been introduced to all core courses in English. The Department’s first and fourth year courses are also broadened to include oriental and continental European English.
The programme is taught with the belief that its objective can best be achieved if it is worked in close cooperation with other programmes and disciplines in the University. As a way of encouraging interdisciplinary study, the programme encourages courses to be taken by our students in the Social and Natural Sciences, History and Diplomatic Studies, Philosophy, Religion, Nigeria and other foreign languages, etc. Because of the diverse nature of English as a discipline, courses are offered in language, literature and Performing Arts. There are aspects of the programme that service the Use of English Study in other Departments. The Department hopes that the reciprocity and cooperation, which the Faculty encourages whereby students are given opportunities to offer courses from various Departments within the Faculty, will facilitate research collaboration with academics from across the Faculty of Arts.
In line with the university’s general strategic plan of action to make this institution a centre of academic and professional excellence, and the Faculty’s efforts at re-positioning for productive intellectual culture and recovering positive values, as suggested by the NUC (National Universities Commission), the Department of English has in place, measures that will:
- Enhance the quality of teaching, learning and research
- Compel staff and students to make books, academic journals, internet, and other relevant sources of information/knowledge/skill yield to them the requisite proportion of information/knowledge/skill that is complementary to the amount of information/skill obtainable from a classroom interaction between lecturer and student.
- Restore a healthy reading culture as a part of the university-wide effort to maintain a respectable academic culture.
REGULATIONS FOR UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAMMES
Admission requirement: 4 Years Degree Programme
For admission to the English programme of the Department of English, a candidate must fulfil the requirements for entering into the Faculty of Arts. In addition, all candidates for Honours Degree in English must have a credit in Literature-in-English at the General Certificate Examination, O’level or West African School Certificate, or the Senior Secondary Certificate Examination, or the National Examination Council.
The candidate may be admitted if he passes subjects in the required Entrance Examinations as stipulated in Arts, or a combination of Arts, the Social Sciences and the Sciences.
(i) UTME Requirement:
To qualify for admission through the UTME, a candidate must have passed five subjects at credit level including Literature in English at the GCE, West African School Certificate Examination or National Examination Council at not more than two sittings.
(ii) Direct Entry Requirement: 3 Years Degree Programme:
To qualify for Direct Entry Admission, a candidate must have passed two A/level subjects plus at least five other subjects at credit level in Ordinary Level/WASSCE/SSCE/National Examination Council Examination. The candidate must have obtained a credit pass in Literature in English at either Advanced Level or Ordinary Level.
(iii) Faculty Requirement:
- All candidates for B. A. in English must obtain at least 64 units in the 300 and 400 level courses.
- All candidates for B. A. English must obtain at least 33 units in each of the 100 and 200 level courses. 24 units must be in English, 6 units from a second Department and 3 units from a third Department.
This gives a total 130 units to graduate with a B.A. in English.
(iv) Departmental Requirement:
All candidates for B. A. Single Honours English Degree must obtain
a proficiency in one Foreign Language other than English. Special Ancillary courses for beginners in Foreign Language can satisfy this requirement. FRN 003 and FRN 004 are designed for this purpose. Students need to score at least 30% in these courses to fulfil the Departmental requirement. This requirement may be satisfied at any level or year of study of the student in the University (preferably in the last two years of study in the University).