Interviews

Deviation from Mandate, the Problem with Nigerian Universities

Written by Akeem Alao

PRESENTER:
Sir, in terms of specialization, do you any institutions you can outline to a particular discipline?
GUEST:
Of course, there are institutions mandated to fully explore technology, sciences and engineering and humanities. University of Agriculture has the mandate to run courses on agriculture. Federal University of Technology has the mandate to run courses related to technology. The same thing applies to National Broadcast Academy at Ikeja, Lagos. It is an institution mandated to run courses related to journalism. There is also College of Journalism. The problem is that most of these universities run courses outside their mandate.
PRESENTER:
Sir, don’t you think the universities run courses outside their mandate in order to sustain themselves? If a university concentrates on a mandate, don’t you think enrollment figure will decline drastically?

GUEST:
You truly have a point, but NUC has always been firm on accreditation. That is the reason why some universities face difficulty to run some courses. NUC will insist that necessary things must be provided before such universities could get accreditation. I agree with you that universities go outside their mandate to remain in the system. Definitely, more programmes will bring more students. They need it in order to sustain themselves. Universities cannot leverage sustainability to justify their deviation from the mandate given to them. Universities should spend more time on research to generate more revenue. This is how they can actualize their mandate. Lack of concentration or focus will kill the education system. Another thing that our universities need is support to carry our researches. Most universities such as Harvard University have a strong support system.
PRESENTER:
I think this specialization will greatly improve our university system. If we must suggest, how exactly do we expect this to go? Is it possible we have a blueprint? Can we just state that University of Lagos for instance should concentrate on this Humanities and University of Port Harcourt concentrates on Oil & gas, so as to harness the abundant natural resources in Niger Delta?
GUEST:
Nigeria is a wonderful country. with the statistics you just gave, it is clear that we have enough institutions that can cater to our needs. You have rightly said that Nigeria has more universities than other African countries. So, what I want to suggest is that we need to study the environment and available resources as well as facilities to give an institution a mandate. University of Nsukka for instance could concentrate on agriculture, especially farm produce. University of Ibadan should be able to lead in the area of cocoa production.
Education Dialogues comes up every Tuesday between 6.30 pm and 7 pm on Radio One 103.5 FM

About the author

Akeem Alao

Akeem Alao trained as a language teacher. He graduated from Adeniran Ogunsanya college of Education where he studied English/Yoruba Languages and Ekiti State University where he obtained a degree in English Education.

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