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Unbundling of mass communication takes effect September 2021, says NUC

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*Stakeholders converge for postgraduate curriculum review of communication and media studies programme

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The National Universities Communication (NUC) has assured that unbundling Mass Communication in Nigeria universities and other higher learning institutions is presently at the final review and may take full effect by September, 2021.

Subsequent upon NUC’s approval, students intending to study Mass Communication in higher institutions are now presented with the choice to select among seven specialised academic courses to bridge the gap between the town and gown in consonance with studies and learning of media related courses globally.

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The new courses are Public Relations, Media Studies, Journalism and Media Studies, Advertising, Broadcasting, Film and Multimedia Studies, Development Communication Studies and Information and Media studies.

Executive Secretary, NUC, Prof. Adamu Rasheed, gave the hint at the opening of a two-day interactive meeting of stakeholders for the commencement of Postgraduate Curriculum Review Process in Communication and Media Studies in Nigeria Universities at Bayero University Kano.

Rasheed pointed that NUC considered it most critically essential to approve the unbundling of Mass Communication into seven academic programmes in the higher institutions to further strengthen and project manpower training for the media industry.

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Represented by Dr. Noel B. Saliu, Director, Academic Planning at the commission, Rasheed declared that NUC is mandated as part of its core responsibilities to stimulate academic standards in the universities, adding that the commission has replaced minimum standard with benchmark for the accreditation and approval of academic programmes.

The NUC secretary explained that the review of curriculum of postgraduate programmes in Communications and Media studies become pertinent following the unbundling of Mass Communication at the undergraduate level.

He noted that NUC has only set guidelines for the view of the postgraduate curriculum while universities are allowed to develop the course contents.

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“The expectation of the commission is to ensure the content for the postgraduate program curriculum of mass communication as unbundled will be taken care of. Normally we provide a benchmark for Nigerian universities but at the postgraduate level it is going to be different. What we provide is guidelines because we know they are formidable enough to build the contents.

“While we are doing this with communication studies, we are doing similar with agriculture and architecture both in undergraduate and postgraduate levels and the essence is to ensure our curriculum is up to speed in the training of manpower development to fit in the modern industrial need. We pledged to support the universities to build adequate resources based on the development of the country’s academic system,” he said.

Vice Chancellor, Bayero university Kano, Prof. Sagir Adamu contended that BUK is prepared for seamless transition and adoption of their new innovation as specified in the content of unbundling of mass communication.

The VC noted that the Faculty of Communication, Bayero university is endowed with the manpower requirement and resources to run the seven academic courses while pledging the management commitment to continue to support the faculty.

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Adamu revealed that BUK will soon commence TV broadcast operation having secured the operation license along with the FM radio station which already runs full fledged broadcasting service.

The convener of the occasion and former dean, Faculty of Communication, Bayero University, Kano, Prof. Umaru Pate said Bayero university is strengthening leakages with the international media giant Al-Jazeera in the area of capacity building of staff and practical media training of students.

Professor Pate, who is the present Vice Chancellor of Federal University, Kaseri, Gombe State, disclosed that British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), had selected BUK Radio as the first training hub for journalism in Africa. The professor of Media and Society, emphasised that with the support from MacArthur foundation, BUK TV station will hit the airwave before the end of 2021.

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