Private Universities Rise to 69 as FG Licenses Additional 8
The Federal Government, on Wednesday, approved eight new private universities across the country bringing the number of privately owned universities to 69.
The approvals bring to 151 the number of universities in Nigeria. Prior to these approvals, Nigeria has 143 universities out of which 61 were privately owned.
This number is still a far cry from the number of universities in the United Kingdom which though has a lesser population but boasts of 229 universities. Canada has 311 while Mexico has 1,250. Brazil has 1,648 and Bangladesh 1,258.
The approvals for the new universities were granted, Wednesday, during a meeting of the Federal Executive Council, FEC, which held at the council chamber of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The Minister of State for Education, Professor Anthony Onwuka, who briefed State House correspondents, said the ministry “submitted a memo seeking approvals for eight private universities after recommendation by the NUC”
He said the universities were licensed provisionally for three years and would be mentored by some existing older universities in Nigeria
He gave the eight new universities as: Anchor University, Ayobo, Lagos; Arthur Jarvis Akpabuyo University, Calabar, Cross River; Clifford University, Owerinta, Abia; Coal City University, Enugu; Crown Hill University, Kwara; Dominican University, Ibadan, Oyo; Kola Daisy University, also in Ibadan; and Legacy University, Okija, Anambra State.
Onwuka said the new universities were given three years provisional license.
He also said all the new universities would be mentored by older ones.
Acording to him, Anchor University which is being promoted by the Deeper Life Bible Ministry, would be mentored by the University of Lagos, Jarvis University owned by the Clitter House Nigeria Limited, will be mentored by the University of Calabar while Clifford University which belonged to the Seventh Day Adventist Church will be supervised by the University of Agriculture, Umudike.
Coal City University belonging to African Thinkers Community of Inquiry College of Education, Enugu, will be mentored by the University of Nigeria Nsukka; Crown Hill University owned by Modern Morgy and Sons Limited will be mentored by the University of Ilorin; while the two new universities in Oyo State, Kola Daisy promoted by the Kola Daisi Foundation and Dominican Universities, established by the Order of Preachers, Nigerian Dominican Community, will be mentored by the University of Ibadan.
Legacy University, Okija owned by the Good Idea Education Foundation, will be mentored by the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.
The minister said the approvals were given to make sure that the teeming population of the Nigerian students seeking admission into Universities were given the opportunity to do so.
He explained that mentoring was a requirement of the law and would be implemented by the Federal Ministry of Education and the NUC.
He cited the Education Act Cap E3, Law of Federal Republic of Education 2004.
According to him, mentoring is the part of the requirements.
The information minister also explained the rationale for appointing some older universities to mentor the new ones.
He said: "On the issue of mentoring, the law is very specific on exactly what is required. The first is that each of the mentoring universities would among other issues ensure that the correct appointment of the governing council is made; that they recruit appropriate principal officers both academic and administrative; that there would be availability of human and material resources for the commencement of any academic performance.
They also have the responsibility to ensure implementation of carrying capacity. They must also assist in staff development. They must also modulate students' examination; must guarantee quality assurances of the university. They also have responsibility to moderate admission and also moderate external examination even the older universities were also mentored by universities abroad.
"But we believe that by today, we have reached the situation whereby our own universities are capable of mentoring," he further said.
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