Poor funding undermining varsities’ ranking globally, says Ex-FUTA VC
Former Vice Chancellor, Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), Prof Adebisi Balogun, has challenged stakeholders in the nation’s education sector and other wealthy Nigerians to assist government in the area of funding higher institutions, saying no government can fund the sector alone.
In his keynote address at the 14th convocation ceremony of Crawford University, Igbesa, Ogun State, Balogun noted that poor funding of education has negatively impacted the ranking of the country’s higher institutions globally.
In the lecture, titled ‘Governance and insecurity: Key issues involved in the management of higher education institutions in Nigeria,’ Balogun said with the proliferation of universities, it is imperative that issues of underfunding be properly addressed.
He said: “It is clearly established that all public universities are poorly funded in Nigeria compared to other countries in Africa, and even some countries in West Africa. While Nigeria budgets are in average of 5.1 per cent for education, countries like South Africa, Togo, Senegal, Namibia and Ghana budgeted an average of 18.4, 20.4, 21.1, 24.8 and 31 per cent respectively for education.”
He said the continuous low performance of Nigeria varsities on the global ranking ladder exposed how stakeholders and the government have failed to embrace the responsibility of funding for better system.
He said: “Must we continue to have models where the Federal or state government is responsible for funding universities? Gone are those days when we have a number of bursaries and scholarships, but these days, it is very difficult. So, when we are talking about funding, stakeholders should be involved.”
Balogun also expressed concern over poor governance and insecurity, saying they are impeding internalisation of the country’s higher institutions.
“The characteristics of a world-class university is to be able to attract international reputation in the area of research, teaching, staff and also command a high proportion of foreign and international students based on global best practices.
“The university is a global village that should hold all nationalities in that village with conducive infrastructure and learning environment. Time was, in some of our first-generation institutions, that you found a good mix of international staff and students. These days, it is difficult to find such mix.”
He commended the efforts of some private institutions in putting resources together to achieve academic excellence through funding of their universities.
The vice chancellor, Reuben Kolo, enjoined the 324 graduates to remain committed to God’s service for positive outcomes after their graduation.
He charged them to put the knowledge and biblical teachings acquired in the school into good use, contributing robustly to national and global developments.