The National Universities Commission (NUC) on Thursday said that the part-time programmes being run by universities in the country have only been suspended and not scrapped.
The Executive Secretary of the commission, Julius Okojie, told newsmen in Abuja that this is contrary to rumours going round that the part-time programmes have been scrapped.
The NUC on June 29 announced the suspension of all part-time programmes being run by universities in the country.
“What we have decided to do about part time programme is to stop for a while, and see what the problems are and to do what is called forensic audit in the institutions.
“If there are 400, 000 or 10,000 students, we will find out whether they are qualified to be there, we are also looking at the staff strength, and the qualifications of teachers.
“We want the quality of part time programmes to be as good as the full time, so why are we quarrelling with it, there is a report that I have scrapped it, I have not scrapped it,” he said.
Mr. Okojie said that the commission observed that most of the universities were running part time programmes outside the university campuses without disclosing the number of students on the programme.
He attributed this development to the money the universities are making from the programme.
He said that NUC had been dialoguing with the universities that are running part time programmes for some time now on the need to enhance the quality of the programmes.
Mr. Okojie said that recently, the Lagos State University (LASU) graduated 22, 000 students in which majority of them were from the part-time programmes of the institution.
He said that the state universities are admitting more than the required students into the part time programmes for reasons best known to them.
“From now on, only 20 per cent of programmes accredited can be on the part time programme,” he said.
Mr. Okojie added that the commission is planning to implement a quality assurance programme of staff and students ratio for part time programmes.
He said that the commission would ensure that the same lecturers who are teaching in the full time programmes would also be engaged in the part time programmes.