From Lateef Dada, Osogbo

The Conference of Pro-Chancellors of State-Owned Universities in Nigeria (COPSUN) on Thursday advised the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to explore alternative ways of venting grievances in all its agitation.

A communiqué issued at the 6th biennial conference of COPSUN, hosted by Osun State University (UNIOSUN) and signed by the Chairman, Committee of Pro-Chancellors of State-Owned Universities, Yusuf Alli, urged the Federal Government to fulfil the agreement voluntarily reached with the ASUU.

Maintaining that strikes cannot be a solution, COPSUN said ‘it was high time ASUU sought alternative ways of venting grievances and demonstrating that lecturers were equal stakeholders in the Nigerian project.

‘There is a need to recognise that both COPSUN and ASUU are partners in progress with similar goals, even if there may be divergence in the strategies adopted to achieve the same objective of developing the university system in the country.

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‘In the same vein, the Federal Government needs to do more to reassure ASUU/lecturers of its commitment to fulfilling agreements voluntarily entered into.

‘Since the future of any nation depends on the quality of its education and the recognition accorded it internationally, the current state of our universities leaves much to be desired.

‘Therefore, greater attention should be devoted to improving the fortunes of the university education system in the country.’

Calling for the autonomy of state-owned universities, the communiqué stated that ‘visitors to the universities should give full autonomy to pro-chancellors to run the universities according to standards acceptable globally.’

Noting that the creation of new private universities has not added any value to the enrolment of students or their access to university education in Nigeria, the association spoke on the ‘need for strict regulation and control, and if possible, a moratorium should be placed on the establishment of private universities in the country.’

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