The Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) has organised a two-day workshop on the need to strengthen and position Nigerian universities for higher global ranking. This workshop was held in Lagos with a mission to improve the global ranking of Nigerian universities.
The workshop was organised for the Vice-Chancellors and management staff of universities in the Southern part of Nigeria.
Meanwhile, universities in the northern part of the country has theirs scheduled for Abuja next month.
Speaking on the occasion, the Executive Secretary of TETFund, Prof. Suleiman Elias Bogoro, said the workshop became imperative following the poor showing of Nigeria in the global ranking of universities despite the huge support the Fund allocates to them.
“In all of Africa, it is perhaps mostly the universities in South Africa and Egypt that have featured relatively well in the world ranking tables. The performance of Nigerian universities still remains far below our expectations.
“The situation is so unfortunate and worrisome that it calls for reflection and action on the part of the government, the Nigerian intelligentsia and indeed the Nigerian people. It is challenging in the sense that the success of our universities is tied to the progress and development of the nation. If the Asian countries were able to rise to such enviable place together with the ranking of world universities, nothing stops Nigerian universities from making similar progress if they are so determined,” he said.
Bogoro listed factors militating against the top ranking of Nigerian universities to include poor investment in the sector, decay infrastructure, corruption, high number of mushroom universities among others.
Also speaking, the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission, NUC, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, represented by the Deputy Executive Secretary, Dr Chris Mayaki, said it was unacceptable that with about 201 universities in the country, the ranking on the African continent was dominated by South Africa, Egypt, Ghana, Uganda among others.
“The theme of this workshop resonates with the efforts of the NUC to reinvent the university system in Nigeria. It is at the heart of our efforts. NUC aligns with the vision and priority of TETFund and it has the potential of transforming the university system to be globally competitive,” he said.
The Chairman of the Board of Trustees, TETFund, Alhaji Kassim Ibrahim Imam, stated that the Fund felt bad that in spite of support for the university system in the country, tangible results in terms of the ranking were yet to be achieved.
“We have done a lot and we agreed that we need to do more in research, innovation and knowledge. We are also extending the same to the polytechnics and colleges of education.
“Out of the top 1000 universities in the world, only three are from Nigeria. We must improve and that has become necessary,” he said.
Imam said the world’s economy is now driven by knowledge and such could only come from a sound education system.
Also speaking on what to expect from the workshop, the moderator, Prof. Olanrewaju Fagbohun, SAN, said they included deepening of the understanding of what is required to improve in ranking, raise the consciousness of university administrators to be globally competitive and know what TETFund and NUC can support them with and enhance the ability of these universities to implement identified initiatives.