Vice chancellors of Nigerian universities have highlighted reasons no university in the country has been able to measure up to the standard of their counterparts in other countries of the world.
This was disclosed at the just-concluded 28th annual conference of the Association of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities (AVCNU), held at the Federal University of Technology, Akure, the Ondo State capital, attended by 60 vice-chancellors and 70 other officers of various universities.
In a communiqué issued at the end of its five-day conference, AVCNU noted that Nigerian universities do not operate under the same circumstances, “Having been established by various entities, inadequacy of funding by university proprietors is a major cause of declining educational quality in all universities.”
AVCNU also noted that proliferation of universities without increased funding poses challenges to the new public universities, adding that teaching, learning and research take place in resource-poor contexts and, therefore, make it near impossible for Nigerian universities to measure up in an increasingly competitive global-knowledge economy.
The communique said “the availability of infrastructure, such as energy and telecommunication, is a critical need in Nigerian universities,” suggesting that “universities, therefore, need to seek innovative sources of financing education outside government and private proprietor funding, such as student loans and scholarships and private sector contributions.”
Also AVCNU stressed the need to seek innovative and workable solution to instability in the university system occasioned by students and staff union issues, adding that “unionism has to be put in the right perspective to be responsive and responsible to nation building as it used to be.”
The conference also bemoaned funding of varsities, explaining that funding from private sector is inadequate, because according to it, Nigerians do not know how to give to worthy causes.
It, however, recommended that “philanthropy should be encouraged in order to have more advancement in the university system, while differentiating between genuine advancement and ‘cash and carry advancement’ that compromises our integrity.”
The conference also mourned the death of the former President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Prof. Festus Iyayi, who died in fatal motor accident in Lokoja, the Kogi State capital last week, praying God to give his family, ASUU and the University of Benin the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
Source: Daily Watch