The Academic Staff Union of Universities has frowned on the proliferation of university in Nigeria by the State and federal governments warning that establishment of University should not be turned into constituency projects if the country desire qualitative education.
Speaking with newsmen in Jos, the National President of ASUU Professor Biodun Ogunyemi who condemned such proliferation said it can lead to the destruction of qualitative education, bastardization of standard and bring academic works to disrepute.
Professor Ogunyemi narrated that most state governors out of desperation and sentiment to establish university often ambushed the National University Commission NUC though their respective State House of Assembly in the guise of readiness for such establishment
“State Governors usually ambush NUC, once the State Houses of Assembly passed the bill for the establishment of new University, the hand of the NUC will be tied. The only the Commission can do is to insist on facilities that must be placed. You can trust Nigerians they can even borrowed facilities to show you that they are ready and give you a beautiful work plan of what they are going to do in the next five years.
“The moment they are presented with a certificate, there is little NUC can do again, the federal government also established university without laws, and you are establishing university you don’t have plan for. Establishment of the university has become a campaign issue, not quality education. Proliferation leads to the destruction of quality, the bastardization of standard and they bring academic work into disrepute, we are opposing that but we are engaging the NUC”.
According to him, the new Universities being established by both the state and federal governments are not necessary considering the reality on ground adding that most of the specialized Universities recently established are mere duplication of the existing ones.
“ Most of the new universities are not necessary, take for example the University of Transportation and others, are these courses expected to run not available in other universities. As a union we believe the government should be more serious and the establishment of university should not be turned into constituency project. The past administration created 12 universities in a day without any plan to develop them. In other climes, such universities would have been given ten years development plan and the fund budgeted for but we don’t see that happening in Nigeria.
He called on the State and federal governments to strengthen the existing ones and position them to compete with their counterpart across the globe.