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Most Nigerian students on scholarship abroad in poorly ranked varsities – TETFund boss

  • Says TETFund has spent N1.7bn on national research

 

THE Executive Secretary of Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), Dr Abdullahi Bichi Baffa, has revealed that most Nigerian students granted scholarships by the Federal Government to study abroad are in poorly ranked universities.

He made this known on Monday in Abuja when he received members of the House of Representatives Committee on Tertiary Education and Services on oversight visit to the agency.

He also disclosed that TETFund had voted over N1.7 billion for the National Research Fund over the years in order to encourage institutions in the conduct of cutting age research.

He, however, lamented that the researches have failed to translate to any improvement in the ranking of tertiary institutions in the country.

He said substantial number of the scholarship beneficiaries is “studying at the bottom of the league universities.”

While expressing concerns on the low impact such beneficiaries will make on return to the country, Baffa said TETFund is working on a guideline that would, henceforth, make the choice of top world’s universities mandatory, even as he said that the release of grant for international academic conference organised by third parties will no longer be allowed.

“TETFund has spent N1.7 billion on National Research Fund, but what has the nation benefitted? Grants (to researchers) will henceforth be based on performance based research,” he said

Baffa advised tertiary education institution against building ‘cubicles’ or ‘matchbox’ structures to serve as physical infrastructures in schools, saying that 30 per cent of the criteria use in the ranking  of universities is based on the environment.

Chairman of House of Representatives Committee on Tertiary Education and Services, Hon Aminu Suleiman, in his remark commended TETFund for its various strides in ensuring the massive development in tertiary institutions across the country.

Suleiman, however called for more attention in the area of provision of infrastructures in the 12 new federal universities established by the last administration, saying that  facilities in the schools are not up to 30 per cent of what is required.

The committee chairman also appealed to TETFund to also address the infrastructural needs of tertiary institutions in the North East of the country as a result of the insurgency in the area that took a toll on them.