COMMITTEE of Vice
Chancellors of Nigerian
Universities says it is no
longer realistic to have
tuition-free university
education in Nigeria,
calling for a change in the
policy.
The vice chancellors in
a communiqué signed by
Prof. Michael Faborode,
the committee’s secretarygeneral,
issued after its
biennial meeting in Abuja,
said a change in policy
would enable parents,
guardians and government
“to equitably share
the financial burden of
education.”
The communiqué
said: “This will enable
students pay revised fees
commensurate with the
true value of university
education.
“The current inclination
towards free tuition or free
university education is
unrealistic to the national
vision for practical and
qualitative education and
not sustainable.
“To account and provide
for poor and indigent
students, government is
encouraged to set up/
re-establish an Education
Bank to provide loans and
access to finance.”
It urged university
managements to “think out
of the box” to exploit all
alternative and additional
means of funding
universities, including
payment of tuition fees.
The communiqué also
called for a holistic overhaul
of the education sector so as
to tackle the decay reflected
from the primary to the
tertiary levels.
The vice chancellors
urged universities to work
out fresh strategies to build
linkages with industries
and partnerships with the
private sector.
They urged the federal
government to ensure
sustainable funding of
universities and other
tertiary institutions to make
them relevant, globally
competitive and be properly
positioned to spearhead
sustainable development.
The communiqué also
advised government to
increase scholarships,
bursaries and other aids
for students desirous of
pursuing tertiary and
postgraduate education.
It urged university
managements to control
the unending labour
disputes in campuses and
ensure transparent and
accountable management
of resources.
It called on the
government to ensure that
full university autonomy
was attained and sustained
in Nigerian universities.
It said: “In this regard,
and as captured in the laws
of the various universities,
councils should be given
unfettered leeway to deal
with all matters in their
respective universities.
“Such that the task of
university governance
should be wholesomely
formulated by the
Governing Council, on
paper and in practice,
including determining
its future direction and
fostering an environment
in which the institutional
mission is achieved.
“As independent arbiters,
councils are central to
industrial harmony,
peace and stability on
campuses and indeed the
entire Nigerian university
system.”
The communiqué further
said that proprietors
of private universities
should adhere strictly to
guidelines and templates
for appointing chairmen
and members of the
councils.
This, the communiqué
said, would ensure that
only the best in society
were saddled with the task
of governing the nation’s
universities.

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