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NUC approves upgrade of three institutions in Delta to varsities

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National Universities Commission

The National Universities Commission (NUC) has approved the upgrade of three institutions in Delta State to full-fledged universities.

The institutions are the College of Education Agbor, now University of Delta, Agbor; Delta State Polytechnic, Ozoro now University of Science and Technology, Ozoro, and Delta State University, Anwai Campus, now Dennis Osadebay University, Anwai.

Executive Secretary of the NUC, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, issued the letter of recognition of the varsities to a delegation from the state led by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa at the Commission’s headquarters in Abuja yesterday.

Rasheed noted that the development has brought the total number of universities in the country to 197, explaining that 98 of them are public universities while 99 are private.

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He added that the approval has also made Delta the state with the highest number of universities in the country, given that with the three newly approved universities, the state now owns four universities.

Delta State also has two federal universities – Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko and Petroleum Training Institute, Effurun – making the total number of universities in the state six.

The NUC boss charged the governor to provide sustainable financial resources for the survival of the universities, noting: “It is something worth celebrating. We advise the governor to kindly make the universities to serve the purpose they are created for by providing sustainable funding.

“The Delta State University, Agbor, is the 54th university in the country, while the Delta State University of Science and Technology is the 52nd university in the country.

“The total enrolment in the 99 private universities is slightly over five per cent of the total enrolment in the university system. We have only 2.1 million university students and only five per cent are accounted for in the 99 private universities.”

“So, we need governors who are education friendly to come up with these initiatives and to follow it up with concrete plans and arrangements for the success of the universities so established.

“No doubt, you will do something to ensure the universities do not become beggars,” he said.

Rasheed said NUC would continue to work with the state to ensure the universities take their place among other universities.

On his part, Okowa said the sharp increase in demand for degree programmes and low student subscription necessitated the upgrade of the institutions, noting that Delta State University, Abraka, has over-stretched its capacity.

“The sharp increase for the demand of degree programmes was observed in 2007 at the College of Education, Agbor after the NUC formalised the approval of its affiliation to Delta State University to offer some degree programmes, thus the continuous increase in the demand of degree programmes,” added.

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