Amidst the chaos in the nation’s tertiary system, the Federal government has approved
the 2022 intervention funds for public higher institutions across the country.
Executive Secretary, Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), Arch. Sunday Echono who made the disclosure during a meeting with the Committee of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities (CVCNU) in Abuja, added that some proposed reforms have been approved for implementation.
Echono who further disclosed that all research proposals by lecturers and other scholars would henceforth be subjected to an anti-plagiarism test before attracting the funding of the agency, expressed worry over the over dependence of Nigerians on the internet or engaging the services of foreigners in writing of projects and theses.
He said: “We have received feedback, we heard it is now possible to go to internet and copy complete thesis or to engage even private actors outside this country, some countries have become notorious for that and we believe in the anti-plagiarism device you have developed we go a long way in detecting this and ensuring compliance.
“Indeed, we have adopted a policy in TETFund that going forward all proposals coming to us for support must go through your system and receive certification that they have acquired the minimum standard required from all publishers and for all authors before they can benefit from our support.
” If you look at the amount that we expend sending children across our shores – overseas for education, the cost per student sending people to Europe and America in particular, the cost to sponsor one child there is enough to train 15, 20 back here.
” Given the magnitude of challenges we face, we must find a way of looking inward, that is why we keep challenging, especially the private universities to create synergy and to compete with these foreign universities that are attracting our students,” he said.
Chairman of the CVC, Prof Samuel Gowon Edoumiekumo expressed confidence that Echono will continue with the trajectories of the past leadership and introduce new vistas that will add value to higher education provisioning in the country.
“As you may be aware, the CVCNU is working closely with the Fund to deploy the thesis digitisation for Nigerian tertiary institutions. This is in addition to deploying our home grown Plagiarism Detection Software called EagleScan.
“The application is a best-in-class solution that will enable all final year and postgraduate students undertake a plagiarism check before they submit their long essays/thesis, Developed by a team of software engineers from six public and private universities in Nigeria, EagleScan plugs into several local research repositories and offers 14 features, including local language support, that make it stands out against local and international competitors.
“The Funds support for both projects is a significant turning point in the efforts to develop a National Academic Research Repository.”
The CVCNU further called for a review of the funding support to beneficiary institutions to access tier one journals and repositories to improve the research capabilities of our staff and students and to also help build the capacity of academic staff for generating content, especially video and 3-Dimensional images, to support teaching.