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An ideology worthy of emulation (3)

It is a notorious fact that Nigeria has never funded its tertiary educational institutions properly and it never can, given the attitude of Nigerians to endowments, donations and gifts as well as the enormous social and economic challenges which the government is always faced with the limited and scarce resources which it has to apply and the attitude of Nigerians to donation or giving.

Two weeks ago I began a discussion of the principles and ideology behind the Rorary International and how the country as a whole can benefit if all Nigerians adopt the idea of selfless service which drives the activities of the group.  Last week week I highlighted the numerous contributions of the group at the national and international levels. This week in order to place things in proper perspective as regards just why it is imperative that Nigerians imbibe this culture of giving I want to refer to a Lecture I delivered in 2010 at the occasion of the Alumni day of the Ibadan College of Medicine Alunmi Association tiled Philanthropy and Sustainable Development in which I stated as follows:

“Government alone cannot reasonably be expected, particularly in the light of the world’s current economic realities, to improve the quality of life of everyone to the level which most people expect. Government alone cannot fix and repair every bad road or replace every worn out desk in every school or provide every single child or individual with the best medical facilities required. I must not be mistaken as saying that these are not objectives to which every government anywhere in the world should seek to achieve and surpass. My contention simply is that our present realities make the attainment of such ideals difficult in the extreme. ..So what is the way out? The answer is Philanthropy.It is in recognition of this that philanthropy as a concept has been utilized by many, individuals and corporate institutions alike to help in wealth distribution or re-distribution as the case may be. ..To achieve this they have either set up foundations to carry out their objectives or chosen to be directly involved themselves in charity work.”

 

Focus on education

Rotary International operates one of such foundations referred to in my lecture. I will now discuss the work of ROTARY INTERNATIONAL in relation to qualitative Education.

Education is a serious business world over. Scholarships are giving to encourage the most brilliant minds. Funding is much an essential component of education as is training and research. In Nigeria, government educational institutions derive their income mainly from “government allocation” and in the case of private institutions, the Founder or other private institutions, grants, fees and donations from Nigerians. The problem with funding however is: that funding of education has always  been extremely poor in Nigeria. Nowhere is this challenge felt more than at tertiary institutions which include both government-funded and private.

The challenge of poor funding is indeed a formidable one as no tertiary educational institution or any educational at all can provide quality and functional education without adequate funding. Funding is at the heart of any serious academic enterprise and even when government is not able to fully support tertiary institutions, some institutions especially the private types have found alternative means of sourcing funds particularly through donations, endowments, and gifting. Universities have always utilized funding to pioneer research in existing and novel areas of academic enterprise.

In Nigeria, there are two main kinds of Universities, based on ownership structure; Universities could be Public or Private. Public Universities are practically founded by, and funded totally by allocation of funds from the government although grants and donations are not completely unknown. In the case of private Universities, the funding comes from the Founder which could be individual, churches or corporate bodies.

It is a notorious fact that Nigeria has never funded its tertiary educational institutions properly and it never can, given the attitude of Nigerians to endowments, donations and gifts as well as the enormous social and economic challenges which the government is always faced with the limited and scarce resources which it has to apply and the attitude of Nigerians to donation or giving.

The old saying is that nothing is big or small otherwise by comparison. Hence I will proceed to illustrate how and why universities in America and UK are ranked among the best in the world while our universities are ranked among the poorest.

FUNDING: FOREIGN AND NIGERIA UNIVERSITIES.

Figure 1

2014       2015

UNIVERSITY        TOTAL BUDGET ENDOWMENT/DONATIONS        TOTAL BUDGET ENDOWMENT/

DONATIONS

$              $              $              $

1              Harvard University          4,369,900,000     1,691,253,000     4,463,089,000     1,735,151,000

2              University of Pennsylvania          6,610,522,000     175,580,000        7,119,997,000     193,417,000

3              Princeton University       1,566,267,000     83,873,000           1,621,075,000     88,023,000

4              Columbia University       3,842,982,000     346,928,000        4,020,887,000     353,242,000

5              Yale University  3,116,099,000     1,189,670,000     3,297,677,000     1,238,181,000

6              Brown University             771,305,000        228,506,000        808,665,000        241,417,000

7              Cornell University            3,514,366,000     381,136,000        3,636,631,000     320,956,000

8              Dartmouth College          866,743,000        188,546,000        876,247,000        214,225,000

9              Stanford University         7,924,146,000     1,181,396,000     9,051,276,000     1,291,747,000

£              £              £              £

10           University of Oxford       1,174,400,000     30,300,000           1,429,300,000     25,200,000

11           University of Cambridge               1,504,000,000     25,000,000           1,638,000,000     25,500,000

12           University of London      151,030,000        3,457,000             144,264,000        3,820,000

The first column contains names of 12 universities. The second column contains the amount budgeted by each university in 2014 and the third column contains endowment and donations in dollars from public spirited people and alumni. The fourth column contains the budget in dollars for 2015. The fifth column contains endowment/ donation in dollars in 2015.

 

(To be continued).