The National Universities Commission, NUC, has scrapped sub-degree diploma programmes in the country’s University system, its Executive Secretary, Abubakar Adamu. Mr. Adamu said Universities currently running the programmes have been directed to begin to wind down immediately. The NUC scribe, who was speaking at the end of a meeting with Vice-Chancellors of federal, state and private universities, also disclosed the plan for a comprehensive review of the university curricula to set the benchmark minimum academic standards.
Besides, he said, a new ranking of Nigerian universities would be released next year, while accreditation of programmes would be conducted in May and November, and resource verification in March, July and December every year. The meeting also resolved to restart institutional accreditation of part-time programmes and resumption of the Nigerian University System Annual Review Meeting (USARM) as well as consider accreditation of academic programmes by professional bodies.
Equally, shortfalls in personnel emoluments and incorporation of Universities into the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information Systems (IPPIS) and matters arising from the 2009 agreement between the Federal Government and Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) were discussed, he said.
Apart from governance structure and University education component of the Ministerial Action Plan, the meeting urged all universities to develop and implement an institutional research policy and a research administration directorate to co-ordinate research activities in universities. Mr. Musa said the meeting was aimed at repositioning the NUC to work more closely with the Universities for effective quality service delivery, as they render teaching, research and community service.
He explained that the scrapping of University diplomas followed findings that running such programmes was not the business of universities, rather Polytechnics. “The Federal Government, as far back as November, 2001, had issued a circular stating that such diplomas could not be used for employment or promotion purposes in the Public Service,” he said.
Rather than stretch their facilities to run sub-degree programmes, he said Universities should direct their energies towards their primary function of producing high level manpower for the economy, by strengthening their part-time programmes, to offer high quality undergraduate degrees and postgraduate diplomas and degrees.