Fisayo Akinduro, Osogbo
As part of efforts to combat the major challenges that confront Nigerian universities, government has been urged to grant the institutions autonomy.
Assistant Vice Chancellor, University of West of England, Bristol, Prof. Lukumon Oyedele who gave the charge at a public lecture in Osogbo noted that ineffective governance model, poor academic quality, and structural problems are part of the problems that affect Nigerian Universities.
While speaking on the theme of the lecture, “Internationalisation of Higher Education in Nigeria: A Change in Attitude and Strategy”, Oyedele disclosed that no Nigerian university ranked within the top four hundred among universities in the world.
Stating that Nigeria is not within the top five hundred universities, he expressed confidence in the fact that Nigeria can reach that height.
“The only way we can do it is to ensure that we embrace full autonomy in terms of everything that we are doing within the university system in Nigeria.
“I think that will give opportunities for universities to fund themselves and be able to do exactly what they want.
“It will cause issues definitely, there is no doubt about it. Some universities will collapse, some universities will merge, but the reality is that the ones that are existing will do well, and new ones will also emerge.”
The university don also stated that competency-based appointment and performance-based management can go a long way to increase academic quality in the country.
“It’s not about ethnicity, it’s not about tribalism, it’s not about where you come from or state of origin. It’s about who can do the job,” he said.
Speaking on incessant strike in Nigeria, he said the issue of not working and still getting paid is a panacea for failure and future strike.
He, however, maintained that giving universities full autonomy will enable each institution to determine and manage their resources.
He added that “the role of the government will just be about monitoring and ensuring accountability within the university system.”
He further underscored that Nigerian universities must embrace entrepreneurship.
According to him, “This is not just about teaching entrepreneurship. They must be entrepreneurial in nature by connecting with industries, ensuring startups from their graduates, and also generating their money through robust IGR to manage their operations. If these are put into place, I am very sure Nigerian universities can stand up and be counted.”