Private universities have helped to restore the otherwise eroded integrity in our university system and also stabilize it,’’ Olurotimi Ajayi, the Vice-Chancellor, Crawford University, Igbesa in Ogun State, has said.
The university administrator said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria while commenting on the role of private universities in the tertiary education in Nigeria.
Mr. Ajayi said that private universities had helped to stabilise tertiary education in the country due to its “modus operandi’’ in maintaining conflict-free academic calendars.
“If we look at the operations of private universities, you will hardly find all those conflicts that exist in the public universities such as industrial unrests, students’ violence and others.
“Faith-based universities do not tolerate indiscipline of any form or corruption. I think the change mantra started with our private universities because we trained our undergraduates in the fear of God,” he said.
The don said that this was what the larger society was in dire need of at present, adding that a Godly graduate would never involve himself in economic sabotage such as corruption.
“It is pertinent to note that only Godly and responsible graduates can give this country the required change that we are talking about and this is the core pursuit of the faith-based universities,” he said.
Mr. Ajayi, a professor of Environmental Physics from the University of Ibadan, said that the country could only attain greater height if products from its tertiary education are Godly.
“What do you expect from a graduate that had gone to the university to become a gangster, rapist and manifesting all sorts of delinquencies? They will become a problem to the nation.
“They are not only a moral burden onto the country they will also become economic saboteurs,’ he said.
He said that giving children education was not enough; it must be complemented with
the fear of God which he said the private universities were championing.
“Our public universities are plagued with cultism, gangsters, alcoholism, rapists and other youthful exuberances. How can graduates produced under this unhygienic academic become the leaders of tomorrow?
“Faith-based universities are not just interested in academic excellence but also producing corrupt-free-minded graduates,’’ he said.
Mr. Ajayi said that before the advent of private universities, the quality of graduates produced by some tertiary institutions, were at their lowest ebb.
But private universities had helped to provide the necessary competition, he said.
“Sometimes around 1980s, when there were no private universities, the landscape of the university system was on the slope because only the federal and state governments were shouldering the responsibility.
“With growth in population and increasing demands for tertiary education, there came different degree-milling centres in form of satellite campuses all over the country.
“It became apparent that the population of youths qualified to receive university education could not be met by the existing universities then.
“During the military administration, the funding of universities was abysmally low and the standard of education was fallen drastically.
The universities then, in order to augment their meagre subventions, resulted to setting up satellite campuses, he said.
Mr. Ajayi said that the degrees awarded by the mushroom satellite campuses then almost ruined the educational system adding that private universities came as an intervention.
He said that part of the gains of private universities was a healthy competition, quality assurance, and sound academic excellence.
The faith-based Crawford University, Igbesa, was established in 2015, by the Apostolic Faith Church Mission.