The Discourse on Making Higher Education Work in Nigeria


Tuesday, April 09, 2019 04:34PM / Bukola Akinyele for Proshare WebTV / Header Image Credit: Guardian 


At the recent Nigeria Economic Summit Group (“NESG”)  and National Universities Commission (“NUC”)  maiden summit on education  themed  “ Revitalizing Higher Education in Nigeria” stakeholders expressed their opinions on the way forward for the univeristy system .

Speaking at the event, Dr. Doyin Salami, an economist and lecturer at the Lagos Business School (“LBS”) said for industry to feel the impact of the university system, industry must have its problem solved and for that to happen TETFUND, NUC, and the Federal Ministry of Education must come together and develop a mechanism for collating and addressing the nature of problems that industries in Nigeria face.

He said there must be cooperation between the Education ministry and that of Budget and Planning.  According to him the failure of a coordinated plan that develops higher education, will only lead to expenditure in billions of dollars without achieving the desired outcome.

Also contributing  to the discourse  Professor  Attahiru Jega  the former Vice Chancellor of Bayero University of Kano (“BUK”), said the primary challenge in trying to revitalize our the university system was going back to the original objective of producing graduates that are learned and have character.

He noted that, it is not just about focusing on entrepreneurship because if the focus is solely on entrepreneurship , the fundamental essence and the objective of entrepreneurship may not be achieved.

Jega was of the view that, the crisis of higher education in Nigeria is related to the eroded capacity of these systems to give adequate and appropriate learning with character to the graduates.

He said, the challenge is how government in partnership with universities and the private sector can  go back to address that fundamental challenge.

Speaking further, Jega called for an enabling environment for universities that choose to become primarily “entrepreneur universities” to achieve their goal .

He believed the partnership can help to create that environment. “Most of our public universities have legal constraint in terms of how they can push and drive the issue of entrepreneurship beyond IGR as a revenue generating component” Jega said . 

Prof Jega emphasized the need for universities to promote entrepreneurship in their curriculum and programmes, but that should not necessarily mean becoming an entrepreneurship-based university.

In his conclusion, the scholar asserted that all stakeholders must work together with a clear roadmap and commitment to set policy guidelines to achieving the objective of a revitalized university system.

The NUC has rolled out a five-year plan (2019-2023) which is designed to reposition Nigerian universities as competitive institutions of higher learning in Africa and the globe.


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