‘Research in contemporary varsities has not faired well’
Vice Chancellor, Redeemers University (RUN), Ede, Osun State, Prof. Debo Adeyewa, has lamented that contmporary Nigerian universities are not living up to their mandates particularly in the area of research.
Rather than place emphasis on research and societal development, Adeyewa expressed regrets that university education places emphasis on widening access more than its core mandates.
The vice chancellor in a chat with The Guardian highlighted the core mandates of universities to include advancing knowledge through scholarly research and scientific investigation; disseminating knowledge through teaching; and imparting on the community through research outputs garnered over the years.
“But this is not the scenario in our universities. Overall, the role of universities in providing novel ideas and enhancing economic prosperity for the benefit of society has not been achieved. From the understanding of the core mandates of universities, we see that research is very central. It translates to development and when the research is conducted in the local environment to solve societal problems, it leads to sustainable development.
“If we are to be candid to ourselves, we will conclude that research in the contemporary Nigerian universities has not faired quite well. We should be concerned about the reasons why this has not been so. Notwithstanding, there are pockets of successes that should be acknowledged and applauded,” he said.
Listing the contributing factors to poor researches in Nigerian universities, he said, “first is that there has been so much emphasis on access (for admission) and not research. We now have 160 universities in Nigeria. Government talks so much about the need for access. Most of the universities established in the last 20 years even by Federal or state governments were aimed at addressing “access” and geographical spread and not the most important mandate of a university – research.
“The second is that our society has a very narrow view of the university system and therefore only plays lip service to its empowerment. Hence, in the real sense, universities have not been empowered to conduct breakthrough researches.”
Calling for collaboration with industries, Adeyewa said the norm is that research should be carried out in collaboration with the industries and local communities.