The Committee of Pro-Chancellors of Federal Universities on Friday called for the introduction of tuition in Federal universities to support funding of the universities.
This is contained in a communiqué signed by Prof. Kimse Okoko, Chairman of the committee, in Abuja.
The communiqué decried the resistance to introduce tuition in some universities by the Academic Staff Union of Universities and Students’ Union Government.
According to the communiqué, the resistance is based on the argument that the introduction of tuition may take university education beyond the reach of the poor.
It stated that avenues for finance for indigent students includes the revival of the student loans schemes, bursaries and scholarship, education bank, among other initiatives, should be put in place.
The communiqué also stated that students who could afford to pay should be allowed to do so.
It also stressed the need to reposition the Nigerian public university system for global competitiveness in the 21st century, adding that increase funding was critical to achieve the repositioning.
The pro-chancellor said that government could not single-handedly fund the university system and pull it out of its current state of rot in spite of its best efforts and intentions.
The communiqué resolved that universities must explored new sources of funding, such as grants from local and multilateral agencies and joint venture investments.
It also urged the universities to explore facilities in the capital market, endowments, research for industries, and alumni endowments, among others.
The pro-chancellor urged universities to be more entrepreneurial in their operations and leverage on their areas of comparative advantage to partner with industries in their localities.
“The university councils should endeavour to work within the present constraints to initiate new directions, working within the laws that established them,’’ it stated.
It further urged government to boost the internally-generated revenue of universities and enhance their relevance.
The committee of pro-chancellor advised governments to patronise university departments and consultancy services in the execution of contracts and to involve universities in collaborative research with potential to directly impact on national development.
It also advised universities’ councils to take steps to increase their internally-generated revenue from 10 per cent to 30 per cent as an initial strategic initiative.
The pro-chancellors said that the university system must enjoyed full autonomy if it were to be repositioned for global competitiveness in the 21st century
It stated that such autonomy would enable the councils of universities to initiate steps capable of transforming the nation’s university system.
The pro-chancellors stressed the need for universities to invest in their host communities to ensure harmonious relationship with these communities.
Source – NAN