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Monday, December 5, 2022

‘Licensing more varsities, misplaced priority’

By Kehinde Oluwatayo

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Issuance of provisional licences for the establishment of more private universities in the country by the Federal Government has been described as a misplaced priority.

The Federal Government has recently approved the issuance of provisional licences for the establishment of 12 private universities across the country.

Reacting to the issue, Deputy Vice Chancellor of Olusegun Agagu University of Science and Technology, OAUSTECH, Prof. Francis Igbasan during an interview with The Hope, described the decision as a misplaced priority.

Igbasan insisted that the universities in the country are enough to cater for candidates seeking admission, adding that they should be strengthened to be able to serve the people.

“What we need in this country is not establishment of more universities. The already established ones should be strengthened to accommodate more students.

“In developed countries, a single university can accommodate 100,000 students. For example University of London alone has over 120,000 students on distance learning apart from full time students. How many Nigerian university can boast of 50,000 students? he queried.

He called on government to honour its agreement with Academic Staff Union of Universities ASUU adding that efforts of Union is what has sustained public universities in the country.

“I have been in the system for more than 30years. Public universities would have died if not for ASUU that continues to go on strike to make some demands. Government is shirking in it’s responsibilities.

“State and federal universities are not being funded, money is not allocated for research. Any capital project you see in these institutions is funded by TETfund. And this is what ASUU is clamouring for”, he noted.

He said private universities proprietors are out make profit adding that having more cannot reduce their school fees.

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