New private universities raise questions on quality, capacity

Forums Federal College of Education, Obudu New private universities raise questions on quality, capacity

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      Festus Adabi

      For a nation with over 65 per cent young population, one of the greatest challenges confronting the country is providing quality education to her teeming youths. At every level of learning, from primary to tertiary, there are hurdles before Nigeria can meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4, which entails inclusive and equitable quality education, and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all by 2030.

      Available data showed that between 2010 and 2015, only 26 per cent of the 10 million applicants to Nigerian tertiary institutions gained admission. At least, one million students seeking admission through the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), every year have failed to get slots, as the system cannot admit more than 600,000 in any given year. For 2016, a total of 1,589,175 registered, just as 1,736,571; 1,662,762; 1, 816, 254; and 1, 900,000 registered in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 respectively. This means that in the last five years, over one million applicants per year failed to gain admission into tertiary institutions.
      The number of universities, including private and publicly owned is 171. While federal universities are 44, states have 48 and privately owned are 99. When compared with countries like India’s 4,354, United States 3,228, China’s 2,596, Indonesia’s 2,304 and Brazil’s 1, 335; analysts emphasised that the number of universities in the country, compared to its population, is grossly inadequate.

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