Written by Godfrey AKON

More private varsities to be registered soon - NUC

More applications for private universities are being processed by the National Universities Commission, NUC, the Executive Secretary of the Commission, Prof. Julius Okojie, has disclosed.

Okojie, who stated this in Abuja during a press luncheon with Education Correspondents Association of Nigeria, ECAN, said some of the applications were received since 2005 but have not completed the 14-point procedure to progress to the level of inspection before being recommended for approval.

He however noted that the applications do not arbitrarily translate into approval as some are jettisoned after a rigorous process, adding that the reason applications are not closed is because some applicants may have new ideas to add to the system.

According to him, after a standing committee’s report on the application is made to NUC management, the university development committee of the NUC Board also considers the report and forwards it to the executive secretary before it proceeds to the minister of education and finally, the Federal Executive Council for approval.

Okojie said the commission would organise a workshop to stop the appointment of untested persons as Vice Chancellors of universities, stating that modalities were already being out in place to educate universities on the minimum requirement in appointing principal officers.

 “We intend to have a workshop for all universities and I have discussed with the Executive Secretary TETFund, we need a workshop because a lot of things are happening, not just convocation alone, even matriculation and the appointment of vice chancellors.

 “There are minimum academic standards; you must pass through a process. We think we need to address that area of the university system as to what you require to appoint principal officers not just award of degrees,” he said.

The NUC boss said there was no illegal university in Nigeria as the commission had closed down all unapproved universities, even as he denied allegations that some universities were exceeding their carrying capacities.

Okojie maintained that Nigerian university graduates were comparable to their counterparts in any part of the world.

He said the problem with Nigeria’s educational system was in primary and secondary schools, while calling on federal and state governments to declare free and compulsory education at that level and ensure quality.

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