Dogara urges NUC to stop licensing private varsities
Former Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has expressed worry over proliferation of private universities and called on government to exercise restraint in approving further licenses.
Dogara who is the Chancellor of Achievers University, Owo, Ondo State, urged the National Universities Commission (NUC) to check the increased cases of proliferation of private universities to save public institutions and indigent students who may not be able to afford fees being charged by these institutions.
He said: “The National Universities Commission must be quick to have a recess, a break for a period of time to allow the very large number of private universities already licensed to mature.
“I am reliably informed that there are 202 universities in Nigeria, out of which the Federal government owns 49; states 54, while the remaining 99, including Achievers University, are promoted by private initiatives.
Many of the newly established private universities are still struggling to find their feet; not because there are no prospective university students in JAMB’s pool, but we would be shying away from the reality if we fail to realise that very many of the applicants cannot afford the fees charged by private universities.
“So many prospective university students would rather wait for a few years to benefit from public university rather than exploit the vast opportunity available in private institutions”
He, however acknowledged private universities for the great jobs being done for those who can afford it, and for assisting government in stemming the tide of education tourism.
“Hitherto, many Nigerian youths were found in great numbers in many universities across the globe, particularly in West African countries. But since the advent of private universities in the country, the story has changed for good.”
He also frowned at incessant strike by the various unions in the nation’s public institutions and restated call for dialogue to ensure strike free academic sessions.
“Are there no other ways of resolving disputes between the unions and government? Imagine Achievers University, licensed on December 11, 2007, commenced academic activities on April 2, 2008. Today, at its 14th anniversary, the 11th convocation is underway. No doubt, the funding challenges in public universities need to be seriously addressed but the unions are advised to think out of the box in channeling their grievances in the interest of the students and the quality of degrees they earn,” Dogara said.