A management consultant and University don, Professor David Iornem has advocated for the establishment of university colleges to cater for admission crisis being suffered by qualified Nigerian students.
Professor Iornem who won an American life time achievement National award for service in education expresses worries with the education system in Nigeria, lamenting that “it is disheartening that over 20 million qualified Nigerian students seek admission into Nigerian universities but only about 500,000 can actually be admitted, largely becuase the existing education system cannot accommodate them.
“But if there are university colleges, such admission challenge will be catered for and the quality of education improved upon.
“The crisis of confidence and admission and huge corruption going on in the the higher education calls for concern.
“I want to call on the president to unbundle the higher education sector from a cabal that is feeding on such corruption being perpetrated in the higher education sector.”
He stated however that Nigeria is not the first country to encounter admission crisis, sighting examples of other countries like the United kingdom, United state of American and neighbouring countries among other countries but came out of it through the establishment of university colleges.
“They overcome it by unbundling the higher education system to allow for a lot of investment, they allow small university colleges to offer degrees, bigger universities can licence small university colleges under their supervision to ensure quality.”
He therefore suggested that the Nigeria University Commission (NUC) can licence smaller university colleges and supervise them to ensure quality unlike what is being done now whose quality according to him is low standard.
“When you talk to graduate that NUC is producing through their accreditation, more than three quarter of them can hardly construct good sentence. A lot of them do not know the subject matter under which they have acquired their degrees through the NUC accreditation.
“NUC must be thoroughly re-organized to promote quality and access to university education and not to restrict it. Because there is probably a cabal feeding on corruption in the system that is denying the Nigerian children access to higher education.
“Opening up the system will break up the cabals and with more universities, there will be room for competition.
”If Nigerians are allow to run a small university colleges, it will not only help solve admission crisis, it will also reduce fees being charged in the Universities, education need to be democratised.”
Professor Iornem who has set up a university in Benin Republic and accredited to run degree programs in Marketing and Human resources, averred that such is also a possibility in Nigeria if the government allows it.
On the issues surrounding the performance of the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), the university don says, there is no need for the Establishment in the first instance, stressing that, “JAMB is an elimination mechanism and not a qualification to enter universsity.”