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Councils of Federal Varsities Adopt Action Plan

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NUC logoThe Governing Councils of Nigerian Federal Universities, on Wednesday, 10 July, 2013, rose from a two-day retreat, with far-reaching decisions, including the need for universities to lay emphasis on postgraduate training to ensure a sustainable Nigerian University System (NUS). The retreat, organised by the National Universities Commission (NUC), in conjunction with the Federal Ministry of Education (FME), held at the Sheraton Hotel and Towers, Abuja from 9 to 10 July, 2013.

In a Communiqué issued at the end of the retreat, the Governing Councils noted:

  • the growth and development of the NUS since the establishment of the first university in Ibadan in 1948;
  • the importance of funding for the overall development of universities;
  • the gradual increase in funding of federal universities;
  • observed the overall underfunding of Nigerian universities and the challenges of access to university education;
  • relevance of programmes;
  • governance structure;
  • equity and quality of graduates;
  • that the funding pattern of public universities is characterised by heavy reliance on government funds and is unsustainable and that the university is the epitome of scholarship, the pinnacle of research, the cornerstone of development, the place where civilisations are shaped and where youths are prepared and the future of a country determined.

Among others, the Councils recommended that:

  • universities mount programmes relevant to national needs and give priority to research;
  • internal quality assurance should be strengthened to complement the external, to ensure a robust quality assurance system in Nigerian universities;
  • emphasis should be given to the maintenance of academic traditions with a proper mentoring system and credible procedures for the appointment of professors put in place; and
  • Nigerian universities should be innovative in the tripartite functions of teaching, research and community service to turn around the low rating of Nigerian universities in world rankings of universities.

Other recommendations include that:

  • Universities should ensure that the rules guiding all university ceremonies are strictly adhered to, so as not to lose their purposes;
  • Appropriate speeches, dress codes and conduct should be given top priority at university ceremonies;
  • The purpose of convocation ceremonies is for the award of degrees to students. Consequently, conferment of honorary degrees should be minimised during convocation ceremonies;
  • Councils should seek to enhance infrastructure in the institutions, so as to increase carrying capacities;
  • Councils should monitor the finances of the universities in such a way that expectations, realities, incomes and expenditures are in consonance;
  • Councils should be firm on issues of discipline, by applying appropriate sanctions and promoting a positive image for the universities;
  • Universities should ensure that due process is followed in the award of contracts and project execution;
  • Universities should ensure that their respective Tenders Committees are in place and that the Vice-Chancellors are the Chairmen of the Committees;
  • Universities should ensure that projects are effectively monitored and seen to logical conclusion;
  • Management should take Councils into confidence in project execution and implementation, especially through resource mobilisation from Alumni, TETFund interventions and endowments and avoid breaching the law in fund utilisation;
  • Universities should ensure cost effectiveness in the management of funds allocated for projects, by conducting preliminary tests and proceeding systematically in project execution, to avoid project variation;
  • Governing Councils should use their positions to assist the universities and not get involved in practices that are inimical to the growth and development of the universities;
  • Governing Councils should update obsolete statutes to guarantee relevance to their subject matter;
  • The determination of appointment of staff, by Councils should be done in accordance with laid-down laws and procedures and with regard to due process;
  • Councils should implement White Papers and reports of Visitations, with dispatch, before they become irrelevant;
  • Intense and proud promotion of Nigeria’s technologies and innovation as well as regular university Science Technology and Innovation (STI) exhibitions should be given top priority;
  • The government-approved National Technology Innovation Fund should be made functional;
  • Federal Government and MDAs should sensitise parents and funding agencies on how best to, jointly, fund education, through the introduction of reasonable tuition fees and activation of the Needs Assessment funding;
  • Governing Councils and university managements should be allowed to accountably control and utilise IGR fully, including contributions from partnerships/donors;
  • Improved legal framework and support should be developed for PPP in the governance of universities, recognising the peculiar characteristics of the university environment;
  • Governing Councils should focus on staff development, as a means of developing the universities;
  • Universities should set up machinery to manage resources, by developing an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) model;
  • Income should be separated based on generation and outflow;
  • Government should give NUC the responsibility of constituting Governing Councils for federal universities; and
  • The academia, student associations, unions of Nigerian universities and alumni should be encouraged to participate in university development.

Source: The NUC Bulletin

July 20, 2013 |

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