FG to reconstitute governing councils of universities – NUC

The acting Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission, Chris Maiyaki, says the Federal Government is working to reconstitute the governing councils of universities.

According to him, all has been put in place by the Minister of Education, Prof Tahir Mamman, to work on the list.

Maiyaki spoke at a media parley with education reporters in Abuja on Wednesday, saying that the councils would be inaugurated once the list was consummated.

He was responding to the two-week ultimatum issued by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, to the government to reconstitute the governing councils of public universities, he said that the NUC boss said the commission was committed to expanding access to higher education.

He explained that the current 272 universities in the country are not sufficient to accommodate the ever-growing demand for university education by Nigerian youths, stressing that each year, Nigerian universities receive close to two million applications, only a small fraction of them are admitted.

He added that that is why there is a need for Nigeria to continue to increase access by establishing more universities to meet the demand for quality education in the country.

He said the NUC had identified strategic priorities that encompass curriculum development, quality assurance, research and innovation, infrastructure development, and internationalisation, among others on the initiatives put in place by NUC to boost the nation’s university system.

Chris explained that the NUC carried out an extensive review of university curricula from the Benchmark Minimum Academic Standard to the Core Curriculum Minimum Academic Standards that reflected the aspirations of Nigeria to attain a knowledge economy, driven by the 4 Industrial Revolution, known as 4IR, and the 21-century skills in order to encourage partnerships with industry and promote blended learning.

According to him, the CCMAS features an expansion of academic disciplines from 14 to 17, pointing out that the implementation of the new curricula came into effect in September 2023 for the 2023/2024 academic session, adding that the implementation framework of the CCMAS makes provision for the training of staff in student-centred tuition-delivery capabilities and development of textual materials to enhance teaching and learning.

Open and Distance Learning Guidelines, he opined is in a bid to assure quality in the regulation of the NUS, the Commission developed guidelines to provide a framework for the orderly adoption, integration and mainstreaming of e-learning into the conventional face-to-face modes of teaching and learning in Nigerian Universities, among other objectives.

He stated that the initiative was needed to assure quality in the delivery of university education, via the Open and Distance Education mode, and keep pace with contemporary global best practices, stressing that the Commission produced the following guidelines, as part of the efforts to broaden open and distance learning in the Nigerian University System.

The acting Executive Secretary explained that various guidelines, including Guidelines on Trans-National Education in Nigeria; Guidelines for e-Learning in Nigerian Universities; Guidelines for the Implementation of the National Policy on Open Educational Resources in Nigerian Higher Education, and the Guidelines for the Establishment of Private Open Universities in Nigeria, have also been churned out by the commission.

He stressed that the Guidelines for Transnational Education allows foreign Universities to collaborate in creating high-quality institutions in Nigeria through six competitive models, saying that the effort aims at making Nigerian graduates competitive, globally, so as to reduce the need for the nation’s young men and women going abroad to seek university education.

Chris stated that the launch of these ODL guidelines marks a significant milestone in the history of the NUC towards its dedication to greater quality, equity and access to university education in Nigeria, saying that it all follows from the recommendations for the establishment and expansion of universities, deeper IT penetration, and enhanced competencies in online delivery.

DailyPost / Arafat Ayofe

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