Varsity tackles unemployment through entrepreneurship skills
*Introduces two-stream undergraduate programmes
To address the increased cases of unemployment among our graduates, prepare them to be self-employed and employers of labour, Lagos State University (LASU) has launched an entrepreneurship programme, which would run alongside the normal undergraduate degrees in the institution.
Vice chancellor, Prof Olanrewaju Fagboun who disclosed this at a briefing said the stream two scheme would not only increase access, it would add value to the access being provided.
“This programme is what you do just for ease of reference, the uniqueness of this is that any student who comes in through this programme will have a degree in any course of study and also gets another certificate in competency in requisite skill acquired. Such a student will also have the opportunity of registering with the relevant professional bodies; this is exactly what we are doing.
“It is voluntary, students are made to understand that there are two streams and have the option of choice. The entrepreneurship programme is made up of hands-on skills. The university does it with partners and small-scale industries. The students actually go there, acquire the skills and are awarded certificates. These partners we must pay them for services rendered as well as for the use of their facilities.”
“The programme is designed in such a way that even if you are not our student, you can apply for the stream two scheme but you are not our regular matriculated student. Naturally, what we are doing will also result in giving more access to teeming admission seekers, but we want to see how we can additionally put value to that access we are given.
“If we are able to deepen your skills to the extent that when you go out, you are not going out as somebody who wants to be employed but as somebody who wants to be self employed and employ others, that means we have done something beyond giving access to you. A lot of students gain admission but when they come out of school, there are no jobs, it is not because there are no vacancies but most of the jobs out there are not robust enough to be able to accommodate all of them, but if we have a graduate of economics for instance who is very proficient in the repairs of vehicles which is one of the things we will be doing here, it will make a huge difference in the life of such a graduate because it is not tied to wanting to seek employment by al means.Having passed through the university to get the right knowledge and also equipped with the necessary skills, he will put it to use,” Prof Fagboun stated.
On fears that the new scheme may negatively impact the regular programme, the vice chancellor said a directorate of quality assurance has been put in place to monitor every programme of the university in order to achieve best practices.Prof Fagboun added that entrepreneurship courses would be taught only during the first year of the regular stream one programme, while it would be taught throughout the duration of the stream two scheme.
The vice chancellor also debunked claims of hike in tuition for its undergraduate programmes. According to Fagboun, while tuition for the regular programme still remains N25, 000, with medical students paying slightly higher, the entrepreneurship programme is put at N150, 000, aside of acceptance and medical fees.On his part, the director, LASU Centre for Entrepreneurship, Prof. Martins Anetekhan said the institution was concerned about widespread unemployment among graduates of Nigerian universities.
“After investigation, we realised that most graduates are not getting jobs because the available vacancies can not accommodate them it means they have to be skillful and adjust their mindset to become entrepreneurs who can also employ others and contribute to national development.