Don urges capacity building, offers solutions to varsity challenges
For Nigerian universities to rise to world-class status, there must be continuous training in both formal and informal process for system facilitators and administrative staff, who are considered the engine room of university management.
Secretary-General, the Association of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities (AVCNU), Prof. Michael Faborode stated this at the 3rd Registry Annual Lecture Series of the Bells University of Technology, Ota, Nigeria.
Speaking on the theme: “The Registry, University Autonomy and Strategic Advancement,” Faborode said Nigerian university system has deviated considerably from the ethos of quintessential ivory tower, hence the registry must be acquainted with internet-based management tools of governance and administration.
According to him, registry staff, as custodian of records and images of their respective institutions need different kinds of exposure to perform optimally and become relevant locally, regionally and globally.
He charged them to leverage on information communication technology (ICT) and re-strategise for future challenges through strategic rethinking process, as well as see themselves as part of those to ensure teaching excellence rather than transferring such responsibility solely for teaching staff.
The don bemoaned the overall decadence in Nigerian universities and the steady fall in national and international prestige linking to factors such as highly unfavourable political and socio-economic climate, regular strikes, facilities depletion and gross underfunding among others.
Faborode pointed out that Nigerian universities must not fall in achieving the focus of the world on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which seek to end poverty, hunger, ensure healthy living for all ages and ensure inclusive and equitable quality education among other goals.
Using Salmi, 2009 model of a World Class University (WCU), Faborode observed that the nations’ universities must be facilitated with quality assurance and framework needed to enhance research, teaching and learning, noting that this would enable them provide leadership at the national level and create supportive administrative framework for national development.
He said once those conditions are granted, Nigerian universities would be able to harness natural resources for sustainable development, bridge the innovation skills gap and harness the youth bulge and the inherent demographic dividend to mitigate dangerously growing youth unemployment and hopelessness.
“(STI) plan (2012), for example projects to produce 2000 PhDs yearly from 2013, yet no serious synergy exists among the Ministries of Science and Technology, Education and Communications Technology, talk less of collaboration of the other key sectorial ministries, such as agriculture, manufacturing and transport”, he stated.