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Bells varsity, others get certificates this week

Posted by From Mohammed Abubakar, Abuja on 2005/06/07 | Views: 462 |

Bells varsity, others get certificates this week


SEVEN newly approved private universities are to receive their Certificate of Operation on Thursday even as the National Universities Commission (NUC) hinted that eight more would join the pack before the end of the year.

SEVEN newly approved private universities are to receive their Certificate of Operation on Thursday even as the National Universities Commission (NUC) hinted that eight more would join the pack before the end of the year.

The new universities approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) last week included Bells University of Technology, Badagry, Lagos owned by President Olusegun Obasanjo's Bells Schools Conglomerate; Jubilee University, Wukari, Taraba State, owned by the immediate past Defence Minister, Gen. Theophilus Danjuma; Crescent University, Abeokuta owned by a former Attorney-General of the Federation, Prince Bola Ajibola.

Others are Nobena University, Delta; Renaissance University, Enugu State and the University of Mkar, Benue State.

Executive Secretary of the NUC, Prof. Peter Okebukola, however, said before December 31 this year, eight more private universities would come on board, making a total of 30 privately owned universities. At the moment, there are 15 fully licensed private universities.

Okebukola told The Guardian yesterday that the commission had made provision for 30 private universities to complement public ones.

According to him, the commission had received about 300 applications to establish universities out of which 145 were active.

"Active in the sense that the proprietors are taking steps to meet the conditions for licensing. Of the 145, FEC has approved seven. We have a cap of 30. By the professional calculation of the NUC, the system can accommodate 30 private universities," Okebukola added.

There are 26 federal-owned universities at the moment, comprising 24 conventional ones, one open university and a military institution - the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA).

Okebukola said state-owned universities were likely to peak at 28, translating to 54 public and 30 private higher institutions.

According to him, the demand for university education is immense, adding that, while it might not be possible for everybody to access university education, "what we are saying is that good percentage of eligible Nigerians should be able to access university education in the neighbourhood of 10 to 50 per cent.

He said: "We are anticipating that many of our secondary school leavers should have access to quality education. We believe that if we have that number of public and private universities, that should be able to absorb a good number of students for the next several years.

"We are hoping that after this seven, we would have another pack. The topmost of the active group will be in the final eight. Furthermore, we are going to have geo-political spread. Many of the zones can have effect on the presence of private universities," he added.

He allayed fears of backlash of the explosion of private universities. His words: "For us at the NUC, we are putting in place a very virile quality assurance mechanism. We have significantly strengthened our quality assurance operations so that the private and public universities operate not below the minimum academic standards."

He assured Nigerians that regardless of the number of universities, "they have already been planned for by the commission. We have taken care of all the elements that are needed to let them deliver quality education by putting in place a very efficient monitoring mechanism."

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.