VCs say disruptions caused by student and staff union issues
The Association of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities, AVCNU, has called for innovative and workable solutions to disruptions in the academic calendars of universities.
In a communiqué issued at the end of the 28th Annual Conference of the association, the vice-chancellors noted that the disruptions emanated from student and staff union issues.
The communiqué, issued in Abuja on Thursday, stressed the need to make trade unionism responsive and responsible to nation building.
It called for broad and well thought out reforms that would make the higher education system in Nigeria more stable in terms of quality, effectiveness and relevance to national values.
It observed that the proliferation of universities without corresponding increase in funding would pose challenges to the new public universities.
The association acknowledged that universities did not operate under the same circumstances, having been established by various entities.
It said that inadequate funding by university proprietors was a major cause of decline in quality of education and low global ranking of Nigerian universities.
The association noted that teaching/learning and research took place in resource-poor contexts and as such made it near impossible for Nigerian universities to measure up in an increasingly competitive global knowledge economy.
It said that the availability of infrastructure, such as energy and telecommunication (bandwidth), was a critical need in Nigerian universities.
The association said universities, therefore, needed to seek innovative sources of financing outside the government and private proprietors’ funding, such as student loans and scholarships as well as private sector contributions.
It stated that there was a need for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics education at all tiers of the Nigerian education system to make room for the development of intellectual capability, creativity, and innovation.
The communiqué stressed the need to review the curriculum of the Nigerian University system to make it more entrepreneurial and need-driven.
It stated that all the issues deserved further examination at a national education conference, which AVCNU planned to convoke with the Nigerian Economic Summit Group for all stakeholders in education, in 2014.
The association condoled with Academic Staff Union of Universities and the family of the late Festus Iyayi, who died in an auto crash on November 12.
The association also condoled with the family of the late Yahaya Mahmood, Pro-chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Akure, who died on November 15.
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