Nigeria/August 25, 2022/By: Qosim Suleiman/Source: https://www.premiumtimesng.com/
The Deputy Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Chris Maiyaki, has said the agency has developed a guideline for the implementation of transnational education.
He said the guidelines on transnational education will guide foreign investment and partnerships between foreign universities and their Nigerian counterparts.
Mr Maiyaki spoke on Wednesday at the pre-departure orientation programme for over 200 Nigerian youths who won the 2022 European Union (EU’s) Erasmus+ scholarship to study in EU countries.
He said the transnational education guidelines are one of the other projects by the NUC to develop university education in Nigeria.
“The NUC is relentless in its efforts to reposition the Nigerian university system. But we reckon that we cannot undertake this onerous task alone,” he said.
“Therefore, the commission, in conjunction with critical stakeholders, has recently embarked on some legacy projects. We have just consummated our guidelines on transnational education which will allow foreign universities into the Nigerian university space through the establishment of campuses in Nigeria. They can also undertake partnerships with existing universities.”
Mr Maiyaki listed some of the models drawn out by the commission to include the franchise model, branch campus, twinning and articulation, distance learning and acquisition and merger models.
He said the models will increase access to Nigerian universities which currently admit far below the number of eligible applicants yearly.
According to him, there are currently 219 universities in Nigeria.
He said: “The consummation of the guidelines will open universities to genuine and mutually beneficial collaborations with overseas partners. We want to make this very clear that we are now open as a university system. We also re-engineer our curriculum. We have come up with guidelines for internationalisation portfolios so that we can give the Nigerian education brand the visibility that it deserves.”
Admission into Nigerian universities
Every year, around two million candidates seek admission to Nigeria’s tertiary institutions including the universities. But data from the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has over the years revealed that less than 50 per cent of the applicants usually get admitted into these institutions. One of the reasons is the lack of space in the institutions.
While quotas are allocated to institutions, some of them have said they do not have the capacity to admit many students.
In the 2021 admission year, for instance, only about 400,000 of about 1.4 million candidates have been admitted. However, JAMB said only 637,573 of the candidates are eligible for admissions based on their preferred institutions’ cut-off points and O’level results.
Another reason, JAMB said, is the suspension of the admission process by some institutions due to the industrial action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
In 2020, 2.1 million candidates sought admission into Nigerian tertiary institutions. While about 1.1 million have their O’level requirements and met the cutoff points, only 551,553 gained admission as of August 2020.
In 2019, there were 1.7 million eligible candidates, only 612,557 had secured admission as of June 2019.
There is also a funding problem plaguing the Nigerian public universities. This has led to a face-off between university workers and the Nigerian government.
University lecturers under ASUU have downed their tools since 14 February, demanding better funding for the system and better pay for members. Other unions such as the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and the Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities and Other Allied Institutions (NASU) just suspended their five-month-old strike last week. They vowed to continue with the strike should the government not meet their demands –which include funding and better pay– in the next two months.
Qosim Suleiman is a reporter at Premium Times in partnership with Report for the World, which matches local newsrooms with talented emerging journalists to report on under-covered issues around the globe