NESG, NUC Partner To Host Maiden Forum to Revitalize Varsity Education in Nigeria

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Friday, April 05, 2019 10.00AM / Ottoabasi Abasiekong for Proshare WebTV

 

The Nigeria Economic Summit Group in collaboration with the National Universities Commission today hosted its maiden stakeholders forum on “Making Higher Education Work in Nigeria”.

 

This was a culmination of several months of engagement between the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) and the National University Commission(NUC). The NESG has adopted the concept of the Triple Helix of university-industry-government  relationships model, as the core operating framework for setting and delivering the University Education Reform Agenda in the Medium Term (2019-2023) and the Long term (2023-2050) focused on repositioning the Education sector to deliver national outcomes and impact.

 

 

Recall that global economists and international development agencies have in the last three years, emphasized the need for Nigeria to give top priority to investments in human capital.

 

The Universities across the globe are seen as the critical pivots of human capital, which informs the need for quality education at that levels and development of practical and an applicable curriculum that fits the 21st century.

 

At the first NESG-NUC retreat on “Revitalizing University Education in Nigeria” stakeholders from the academia, business community, government converged to explore the possibilities of driving an instrumental and productive varsity system, that will be of immense benefit and value to Nigeria’s economy.

 

Giving the welcome address the CEO of NESG Mr Laoye Jaiyeola  said the Academy-Industry agenda is to explore how to address some key questions, which include;

  • How University Curriculum will be reviewed to drive Industry Competencies that drives Socioeconomic performance and impact.
  • How Teaching and Research can be retooled to be fit to produce a Graduae Workforce that can deliver the National Development Mandates;
  • How University System could develop proactive mechanisms for monitoring, assessing the evolving of industry competencies and requirements as the impetus for Research innovation; facilitating industry competency revalidation and accreditation alignment.
  • How cross-fertilisation of competencies and skills across University and Industry could be better managed.
  • How the University system could explore innovative resourcing opportunities, options and reforms;
  • How the National University System could be repositioned to encourage the development of an Entrepreneurial University Culture that is more attuned to the Demand-Side of the Industry and the National Development Priority Imperative. 

 

 

Speaking further Mr Jaiyeola said “The retreat will seek a consensus for Academia and Industry as to what the Future-State of National University system should be fit for purpose and capable of ushering Nigeria into peaceful, prosperous and productive future, where its millions of citizens are equipped with the quality of education to make significant and tangible contributions to the advancement of the Nigerian State”.

 

Giving a brief overview of the Blueprint for Revitalization of Nigerian University System, Dr Noel Saliu  Director, Accreditation, NUC  said the 4-page document set out some ambitious goals for the country, which include;

  • Implementing a Sustainable  funding model for Universities in Nigeria by 2019.
  • Ensure that the National Universities Commission is empowered to deliver on its regulatory role.
  • Achieve enforcement of minimum standards of governance in the NUC by 2023
  • That 30% of facilities in the Nigerian Universities should meet global standards by 2023.
  • That Quality of Graduates will improve by 20% in 2023.
  • The Gap between teachers and students will reduce from 30% to 20% by 2023.
  • To attain the top 3 Universities ranking in Africa by 2023
  • To reduce corruption in Nigerian Universities
  • That the Nigerian Varsities are rated in the top 3 National Productivity standards ranking.
  • To Improve access to Universities by 20% in 2023

 

Other critical areas the five year blueprint will seek to address in the Nigerian University system are;

  • Improving Facilities
  • Enhancing Teaching Qualities
  • Increase activities in Research
  • Encourage ICT development
  • Emphasize skills development
  • Address Gender issues in Varsities
  • Improve the Regulatory environment for Varsity education

 

Mr Tope Toogun the Head, Human Development Policy Commission for the NESG said from the private sector feedback on the blueprint, the core issues to be given priority include;

  • Establishing Entrepreneurial Varsities
  • Driving an Innovation Culture in Universities
  • Emphasize the Triple Helix of University-Industry-Government
  • Work out modalities on How Varsity System could explore innovative resourcing opportunities, options and reforms. 

 

The Executive Secretary of the NUC Professor Abubakar Rasheed speaking with Proshare WebTV  said the 2-day forum was a follow up to the MOU signed October, 2018  between the NUC-NESG and Ministry of Labour & Productivity, to form a tripod and close the gap between the experience of the classroom and the workplace.

 

He stated that the “Triple Helix” is a process to enable seamless transition from the classroom to the office, and was happy for the maiden NUC-NESG roundtable.

 

The NUC Executive Secretary said a National Jobs summit will be hosted later in the year, for an interaction between the academia and industry players.

 

Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Education Architect Sonny Echono who represented the Government, reiterated the commitment of the current administration to an enabling environment that enhances the development of a robust University system.

 

The event featured two panel sessions “Future of Education in 2050 and the Role of University-Industry-Government Nexus” and “Demand-Led Tertiary Education: From the Learning to Employment”.



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