NUC To Unveil Two New Varsities Next Week

The National Universities Commission (NUC) has hinted that it would announce the establishment of two new universities in the country bringing the total number of universities in the country to 272.

Acting Executive Secretary of the NUC, Chris Maiyaki gave the hint on Thursday, February 15, 2024, during an interaction with journalists in Abuja.

Maiyaki stated that the NUC would continue to approve new universities to cater for the admission gap in the country, adding that, while about two million candidates seek admission into universities every year, the total available quota for admission ranges between 500,000 and 700,000.

He said this in response to concerns raised by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and other stakeholders in the tertiary education sub-sector against the proliferation of institutions in the country by the government at the Federal and State levels.

Stakeholders on numerous occasions said the establishment of new universities amidst poor funding of existing ones was not the way to go and hence had called on the government and the NUC to halt approvals given to new public universities.

“We have no choice but to as a matter of deliberate policy undertake the massification of universities,” Maiyaki said.

He disclosed that what separates the developed today from other countries was the level of investments in education.

The NUC Boss said every year, almost two million candidates seek admission into the universities but only between 500,000 and 700,000 students get admitted.

He said, “You need to see the anguish and the frustration on the faces of families who are desperate to make sure that their children attend university education every admission session. It is very tough and challenging for university leaders and NUC so we have no choice but to continue to approve the universities.

“The approval for two more varsities to bring the number of universities in the country to 272 has been concluded and will be announced next week.”

He maintained that Nigeria will continue to widen universities’ access by approving more universities to meet its demands and supply of quality education.

He further noted that countries like Brazil, Indonesia, and others who have a population not up to Nigeria have more than 1,000 universities, therefore, efforts were ongoing to reposition the university system through transnational education by allowing foreign varsities to come in and operate in the country.

The Executive Secretary said the Commission was presently processing applications for the establishment of distance learning centres that will be monitored to provide quality education.

Reacting to a statement by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) inviting proprietors of private universities and other institutions of higher learning in Nigeria to charge fees in dollars, he said no tertiary institutions is allowed to charge tuition fees in dollars.

He said the Commission had made an inquiry into the allegation but discovered that the said private university was not charging fees in dollars:

“On the dollarisation of tuition fees in this said university, we have investigated it and the university is not charging fees in dollars. They only charge dollars to foreign students. So I want the media to join hands with us to tell the public that no Nigeria university is allowed to charge fees in dollars,” he said.

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