Underfunding Huge Challenge Facing Nigerian Universities — Don

Prof.Ezekiel Adeoti,inaugural lecturer and LASU management

A Professor of Social History, Ezekiel Adeoti says that underfunding and dependence on government funds remain a huge challenge for university governance in Nigeria.

Adeoti, a lecturer in the Department of History and International Studies, at Lagos State University (LASU), said this at the 95th inaugural lecture of the institution, on Tuesday, in Lagos.

The theme of the lecture is: “Interrogating Multidimensional Crises in the Management and Funding of University Education in Nigeria: A Historian’s Perspective”.

He said that the current economic realities in the country demonstrate that the government alone could no longer fund university education.

“The inadequate and poor funding of higher education has significantly impacted research and teaching, two core focus areas of the university system.

“This has forced managers of our universities to embark on all kinds of income-generating projects for the sake of alternative funds.

“Various alternative models can be explored by university managers to fund higher education in Nigeria.

“For universities in Nigeria to match their counterparts in developed nations, their managers must look at innovative ways to help generate funds,” Adeoti said.

He said that some of the other major challenges of higher education in Nigeria include a lack of capacity to ensure that these institutions were real citadels of learning and poor remuneration of staff.

“Others include inadequate academic staff, poor staff training and development, poor teaching and research traditions.

“The assumption that higher education is meant for all is a major challenge that has created over-reliance on paper qualifications.

“People who should ordinarily take up other vocations or skills struggle to obtain paper qualifications for which they do not have the capacity,” Adeoti said.

He called on the policymakers to arrest the glaring deterioration in the Nigerian academic environment.

“It is not just by providing adequate funding for research, teaching and publication of scholarly works, but also by restoring, without delay, the glorious traditions of academia.

“Let us all learn from history lessons, to avoid a reoccurrence of intellectual, cultural and political slavery.

“The provision of adequate funding for university education must be treated as paramount; no more, no less, because it is a sustainable antidote to the crises of nation-building,” Adeoti said.

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