…allows Varsities to decide 30% of their curriculum
…as 12 new private varsities gets licenses
By Linda Violet Musa
The National Universities Commission (NUC), has reviewed and approved a new curriculum for universities in the country.
With the review, universities have been given the go ahead to decide and provide 30 per cent of their curriculum along with expected outcomes, based on their individual contextual peculiarities and characteristics.
This is coming as the Benchmark Minimum Academic Standards (BMAS) for universities has been revised to Core Curriculum Minimum Academic Standards (CCMAS), which would be unveiled to the public soonest.
Executive Secretary of NUC, Prof Abubakar Rasheed who made the disclosure on Thursday in Abuja at the presentation of licenses to 12 new private universities recently approved by the Federal Executive Council, (FEC), he noted that the CCMAS would provide 70 per cent of what should be taught along with the expected outcomes
According to him, the radical re-engineering of curricula in Nigerian universities was primarily to meet global standards and international best practices towards preparing Nigerian graduates for relevance in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), world economy with the skills needed for the future.
The NUC boss however regretted that universities in the country were grossly inadequate due to demand, despite the over 200 universities in the country with a little over 3 million enrolments.
Prof. Rasheed who charged proprietors of the new universities to ensure quality was not compromised at the expense of maximisation of profit, warned that the NUC would not hesitate to sanction any institution that violates its operational guidelines.
He said: “Even with over 200 universities, access to university education remains a challenge in the education sector in Nigeria due to the high demand for degrees from an increasing number of secondary school graduates and even graduates of Polytechnics and Colleges of Education.
“Records show that the number of applications for university admissions for the 2020 Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations (UTME) was 1, 415,501 out of which only 527,929 representing 37.2% gained admission to universities in Nigeria.
“Nigeria is still grossly deficient in access to the university education sub-sector, which is the highest producer of the skilled level manpower required to activate and sustain the socio-economic transformation of the country.”
Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, noted that the licenses approved were approved by FEC on 6th April 2022, to widen access to university education in the country, as the 12 new universities brings the number of private universities to 111 and the total number of universities in the country to 215.
Adamu who said the need for establishment of more universities Nigeria has never more compelling considering the nation’s population, noted that government recognises the place of education in bolstering the economic fortunes of the country and therefore, welcomes private sector investment in the university subsector.
The 12 newly -licensed universities include: Pen Resource University, Gombe, Gombe State; Al-Ansar University Maiduguri, Borno State; Proposed Margaret Lawrence University, Galilee, Delta State, and Khalifa Isiyaku Rabiu University, Kano, Kano State.
Others are Sports University, Idumuje, Ugboko, Delta State; Baba Ahmed University, Kano, Kano State; Saisa University of Medical Sciences and Technology, Sokoto, Sokoto State; Nigerian British University, Asa, Abia State; Peter University, Achina/Onneh, Anambra State. 10. Proposed Newgate University, Minna, Niger State; European University of Nigeria, Duboyi, Abuja, FCT and Northwest University, Sokoto, Sokoto State.