t a recent meeting of the Committee of Vice Chancellors (CVC) of Nigerian universities, it was calculated that Nigerians spend about $500m annually on schooling in European and American universities. In the UK alone, there were 17,585 Nigerian university students registered in the current academic year and this number is expected to balloon to 30,000 in 2015.
At the end of a two-day summit in Dakar, Senegaltitled Dialogue on the Future and Relevance of the NigerianUniversitiesand other Tertiary Institutions, organised by CVC and Trust Africa, the vice chancellors asked that the trend be reversed. In a communique signed by Michael Faborode, the former vice chancellor of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife, the CVC noted that the amount spent on overseas education was about 70% of the total allocation all Nigerian federal universities in 2008.
They said that this was an indication of the loss of faith in Nigerian universities as shown by the rush for foreign institutions and those of other African countries. They added that the constant clashes between students and host communities, weak governance structure and processes and poor administration were some of the challenges facing the Nigerian higher education sector.
They also noted that the global ranking of Nigerian universities had nose-dived considerably, adding that there had been growing concern over the quality of graduates from Nigerian universities. The CVC communiqué also added that the appointment of vice chancellors must include respect for academic excellence, managerial, leadership capabilities, transparency and accountability.
According to the vice chancellors, the application of the federal character principle with regards to appointments to appease emerging sectional agitations and the clamour for indigenes and other parochial interests was another big problem. The communiqué called for the setting up of an education, research innovation and development council to coordinate the synergy between knowledge, innovation and development in all the sectors of the economy.
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