The acting Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), Mr. Chris J. Maiyaki, has debunked claims in some quarters that some universities in the country were charging tuition fees in dollar, but rather insisted that in the spirit of internationalisation of university education all over the world, only foreigners studying in universities in the country pay tuition in dollar.

Maiyaki, who spoke warned that the commission would not condone such act from any university. He explained that no law in the country permitted that tuition in schools should be collected in foreign currencies. He said, “On the dollarisation of tuition fees in the said university, we have investigated it and the university is not charging fees in dollars. They only charge dollars to foreign students. So, I want the media to join hands with us to tell the public that no Nigerian university is allowed to charge fees in dollars.”

Reacting to allegation that NUC had compromised the standard of education, given the number of private universities it was approving, the NUC boss explained that the commission was assiduously working to ensure that majority of Nigerians have access to quality higher education through the involvement of well meaning Nigerians who have capacity, capability and wherewithal to undertake such a onerous venture. Reaffirming the commission’s determination to giving Nigerians quality higher education, he vowed that would continue to approve more universities as long as they meet standards and demonstrated the capacity for sustainability.

He disclosed that the commission would issue licenses to two universities by next week to add to the existing ones in the country, saying the development would give room for access to tertiary education and stem the tide of Nigerians going outside the country to study.

The Acting Executive Secretary added: ”Due to the huge gap in demand and supply of university education, the NUC will continue to give approval for the establishment of more universities.”

Similarly, Maiyaki stated that the commission would as a matter of deliberate policy continue to recommend the establishment of more public and private Universities in Nigeria as the current number cannot meet the demand and supply gap.

He affirmed that Nigeria with about 270 universities would soon have an additional two coming on board next week as approval had been given. He explained that each year, close to 2 million candidates apply for admission into Nigerian universities, however only between 500,000 to 700,000 candidates were admitted, a development, which caused pain for the families of candidates, the candidates themselves, and the university leaders. “Nigeria will continue to widen university access by approving more universities to meet its demands and supply of quality education. “We have no choice but to as a matter of deliberate policy, undertake the massification of universities,” he said.

He said comparatively, the USA, which has 335 million populations, has over 1,000 universities, just as Brazil and Indonesia with a lesser population than Nigeria have more universities. He said based on this analogy, Nigeria with over 200 million population would require more universities. He declared that “Nigeria is under-subscribed as we have less numbers of universities compared to the UK, USA, and India,”.

Related News

Maiyaki said to improve access to Universities and meet the competing needs of candidates; Nigeria has approved the Transnational Education (TNE), Guidelines, which gave   the foreign countries opportunities to participate in the establishment of high standard universities in Nigeria. “This TNE system will make our graduates globally competitive. it is on the tripods of teaching, learning, and research. He said the action would stem the tide of Nigerians going out to seek foreign university education.

According to him, the agency was also processing applications for the establishment of Distance Learning Centres (DLCs) that would provide quality University Education, stressing the that TNE was a departure from the previously banned distance learning programs across the country

He said the commission in addition to public-owned Open Universities, has approved four new private open universities for location in different parts of the country. He said the commission has also developed a unit cost analysis of what it would take to train a student in Nigerian tertiary institutions, as part of ensuring the successful implementation of the student loan scheme, which would be launched next week. “It is a guideline for public and private universities in Nigeria as scholars begin to apply for the loan. They know how much it takes, for example, to train a medical doctor or an engineer,” he said.

He called on stakeholders to key into the recently released 2023/2024 Core Curriculum Minimum Academic Standard (CCMAS), as “it is a paradigm shift to make Nigerian universities and its graduates globally competitive.” He said a reference database for all Professors in Nigeria had also been published and will aid local and international agencies to collaborate and partner with Nigerian institutions for more development.

He further appreciated the decision of government to remove tertiary institutions from the IPPIS payment platform and consider it a major success recorded by the commission as it had given the universities more autonomy.

The acting executive secretary said the commission had always stood against issues of degree mills, and certificate racketeering, stressing that the committee set up to investigate the foreign university certificate racketeering would soon submit its report.

Despite the success stories, the NUC boss said the commission had faced challenges of incessant strikes by the university-based unions, which affected the smooth running of the academic calendar, adding that paucity of funds had also led to the slow pace of ICT deployment in tertiary institutions in Nigeria. Maiyaki informed the media that despite the paucity of funds, the NUC had done well to live up to its responsibilities of serving as a bridge to ensuring that quality was maintained and sustained in the system.

This was achieved by the recent review and finalisation of work on the curriculum of Nigerian universities by brining it in tune with global competitiveness, which was christened Core Curriculum Minimum Academic Standards (CCMAS).