The National Universities Commission says it is collaborating with the Nigerian Universities System in embarking on a reform agenda that will grow the Nigerian universities system.
The Executive Secretary, NUC, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, said this in Abuja on Monday at a Retreat of the Executive Secretary with Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities.
The executive secretary noted that for Nigerian universities to remain relevant and also move into the future with its relevance, there was need to reform the system.
He also said that a total reengineering of the universities curriculum and reviewing of existing curriculum was necessary for quality assurance in the system.
According to him, the NUC believed that the commission and the Nigerian Universities must reinvent themselves to attain global standard in the education sector.
Rasheed said: “Our system is growing with 164 universities with about two million enrollments and over 50,000 academic teachers in the universities.
“We have a very large growing system which means we have to be coming periodically to review and maintain common quality assurance so that the difference does not become too wide.
“So, for us to be relevant and also move into the future with our relevance, the NUC and NUS has embarked on a reform agenda to growing Nigerian universities.”
He said some of the challenges confronting Nigerian universities are partly internal ranging from funding, handling admission processes and getting enough candidates as in the case of private universities.
Rasheed noted that in the last one and half years, the commission had done more accreditation of universities and courses than in the last five years which had showed positive results.
He, therefore, challenged university’s vice-chancellors to come up with new programmes, pledging the commission’s readiness to partner with them to improve the standard of universities education in the country.
He commended most vice-chancellors, who had completed the blueprint for Nigeria development for 2050, saying this would be key contributions to policy makers, politicians, industries, development partners and government at all levels.
He added that the blueprint would show the relevance of intellectuals to the system.
Also speaking, Prof. Samuel Oyebandele, Vice-Chancellor, Ekiti State University, commended the commitment and diligence with which NUC was moving the Nigerian universities forward.
He highlighted the continuous innovation in NUC compared to what was obtainable years past.
Prof. Debo Adeyemo, Chairman, Association of Vice-Chancellors of Private Universities, also called for a roadmap that would strengthen the quality assurance of the university system.
According to him, without quality assurance, there is nothing we can do. We need to provide a roadmap for others to follow. Quality assurance should be given its rightful place.
Adeyemo said: “It is time we are united as a common front. The quality assurance in the university system should be at par with any other university outside Nigeria.”
Adeyemo said the leadership of the universities was working hard to synergise on how to move the system forward.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the 2018 retreat was the second of its kind conducted for managers of Federal, State and Private universities.
Vice-Chancellors of the 164 universities in the country were present at the retreat to chat a common course on improving the educational standards of the country.