Need for Universities Autonomy Deepens

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Need for Universities Autonomy Deepens

Need for universities autonomy in Nigeria’s tertiary education system has heightened over the years as they groan for lack of proper governance.

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The need for universities autonomy in Nigeria’s public education system came to limelight as education stakeholders lament heavily for the system record of unsubstantial progress and continued retrogression it has been suffering from since the last four decades.

Once upon a time, university education in Nigeria was not associated with the problems of autonomy and control   but by the 1970s  the calls for autonomy became strident and the search for autonomy has become a nightmare for public universities with every effort aimed at securing autonomy and control academically, resulting in an inevitable quagmire.

At one time the ASUU and the Federal Government of Nigeria had made a deal to clean up the university system after a 2-month long strike that shut down the entire system in 2011, moving the government to action.

Today, Nigeria’s government-owed universities remain in shambles with the government failing to provide the ivory tower with the autonomy and control they utmost desire and despite of the tremendous increase in the number of the universities in the country, the system continues to groan.

There has been further support through research work that university autonomy is highly a significant substructure that is integral to the idea of a university.

Education stakeholders have noted that by that NUC continuous strict supervision and the government movement of power away from the universities towards itself is no more a deserving development because of the compromise of the sanctity of the autonomy of the universities.

It is observed that universities lost their financial autonomy to the commission as it has the powers to receive grants from FG and allocate such to universities according to a certain sharing formula often disposed to politics and interests that have no direct bearing to the actual financial needs of the universities.

The issue of universities autonomy and control, featured at a conference in 2016 organised by stakeholders in Abuja with professionals holding the view that delivering autonomy to universities and providing efficient administration by key stakeholders are sine qua non for education development in Nigeria.

The theme of the conference, ‘Repositioning Nigerian public universities for global competitiveness in the 21st century’ , reflected the mood. The former chairman of the committee of Pro-Chancellors of Federal Universities in Nigeria, Prof Kimse Okoko, described that the current state of government-owned institutions was a reflection of several years of disregard.

Posted: March 23, 2019, | Category: Local News
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