The Nigerian University Commission has reportedly commenced the process of delisting some courses of the curricular of specialised higher institutions across the country. This is in implementing an order from the Ministry of Communication restraining and stopping specialised universities across the country from running courses that are foreign to their area of specialisation. Universities of Agriculture, Education, as well as Science and Technologies are the ones immediately affected by the directive.
The minister of education had, earlier in January, directed tertiary institutions that were founded to augment the production of trained professionals that would boost specific sectors of the nation’s economy to stick to their mandate. The tertiary institutions which have largely deviated from the mandate of their creations now offer courses that have nothing to do with their specialty. For instance, at the Federal University of Agriculture in Abeokuta, courses in Banking, Mathematics, and Business Administration are offered.
The decision of the government received backlash in months following the directive, with many claiming the decision of the governing bodies of such universities was taken to ensure the survival of the educational sector in the wake of government’s irritable negligence.
Apart from it being an anomaly for special institutions to go outside their mandate, it is also an aberration of the standards for the degree that would be awarded to graduates of such schools. A graduate of Economics from the Federal University of Technology Akure would read BTech Accounting which loosely translates to Accounting Technology.
For one, a proper concentration of passionate students at schools where the course of study is the sole mandate would produce better graduates. And a time when Nigeria is said to be lacking properly trained graduates, the decision would ensure the production of graduates who are properly moulded in the profession they have chosen. A University of Agriculture would never teach Banking the same way the University of Ibadan would, just as it would be hard for the University of Ibadan to teach Agriculture the same way a specialised university would. And as much as these “illegal” courses are taken off the curricular of specialised schools, the number of schools that are offering these courses for which specialised schools are created should greatly reduce. This would encourage prospective students to select appropriate schools to study in.
While the Nigerian University Commission, NUC is bent on implementing the directive having already started meeting with officials of the Joint Administration and Matriculation Board (JAMB) and Vice Chancellors of the concerned schools, students who are currently enrolled in those courses at the specialised institutions, according to an exclusive report by Premium Times, would be allowed to graduate. Lecturers handling those courses will be redeployed to other related departments.