NUC wants varsities to rev up teaching, research
The National Universities Commission (NUC), has charged institutions of higher learning to accelerate efforts and strive to effectively meet their tripartite mandate of teaching, research and community services.
Speaking on the sidelines of a three-day educational conference, held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, South Africa, the Executive Secretary of the commission, Prof Julius Okojie, said owing to the benefit inherent in teaching, research and community service, efforts should be in top gear to fulfill the mandate.
The yearly conference tagged “Going Global,” was organised by the British Council for leaders in higher education around the globe to discuss issues affecting the sector and proffer solutions as well.
A statement endorsed by the communications manager of the council in Nigeria, Desmond Omovie, said this year’s edition had as its theme,
“Building Nations and Connecting Cultures: Education Policy, Economic Development and Engagement,” Over 800 participants were in attendance.
Okojie who was one of the delegates from Nigeria, pledged that going forward, Nigerian universities would intensify globalisation drive in the areas of collaborations and exchange programmes with other universities, in both developed and developing economies, adding that such would drive healthy competition.
On consistent low ranking of Nigerian universities globally, he said it was not as if Nigerian universities have done badly, but that the parameters, which form the basis of such rankings were just unfriendly not only to Nigerian, but African universities, essentially because they were relatively younger in age.
He said, “Our universities would continue to strive to get better by the day so as to stem brain drain and the crave for foreign studies, and at the same time attract both foreign lecturers and students. We would also strive to produce graduates that would become global assets.”
South African Minister for Higher Education and Training, Dr. Blade Nzimande, who spoke at the opening plenary session of the world’s largest education conference, told the audience comprising of ministers, higher education leaders, policy-makers, vice chancellors and institutional heads, that South African universities make a significant contribution to supporting education on the continent.
He said other institutions should endeavour to do so by allowing academics to undertake researches and produce quality outputs that would inform quality policy globally.
“One of the main thing we need is for our academics to undertake research and produce quality outputs that in the end will inform policy and influence positive outcomes for the greater good of society. We must deliberately seek to change the location of our continent in knowledge production from consumer to producer of globally respected knowledge.”
Chief Executive, British Council, Sir Ciarán Devane, said, “I believe this century will be an African century. That is because Africa has one very big thing on her side, which is potential. No one nation, or even one continent, can hope to adequately address all the big issues facing people. And because challenges are connected, solutions must be connected.”
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