EXCLUSIVE: NUC moves to implement ban on ‘illegal’ courses offered by Nigerian universities

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The National Universities Commission, NUC, has commenced the process of dis-accrediting some courses being handled by specialised universities.

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Specialised universities are those set up to pursue specific courses and programmes to generate manpower in particular sectors of the economy. They include universities of technology and those of agriculture.

The NUC’s action follows a directive two months ago by the Federal Ministry of Education that specialised universities should not handle courses outside their mandate.

The government further directed that such universities should stick to their core mandates for which they were set up and desist from running programmes which they were not meant to.

The education ministry had condemned the current situation where such universities offer programmes in law, accounting, and business administration, among others. It also said it was an aberration for such institutions to change the nomenclature of those controversial courses to read, for instance, Banking Engineering and Accounting Technology.

While investigating the implementation of the directive, PREMIUM TIMES found that the NUC was already meeting with officials of the affected universities on modalities for deregistration.

The NUC Director of Information and Public Relations, Ibrahim Yakasai, who confirmed the meetings told PREMIUM TIMES that the commission held a meeting last week Tuesday in Abuja with the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB, and the vice chancellors of specialised to harmonise the courses being offered by the institutions.

“On Tuesday, we met with JAMB and Vice Chancellors of Specialized Universities,” Mr. Yakasai said.

“The schools brought all their programs and we are looking at them.

“We are looking at the courses that are actually related to the mandates given to them, looking at the courses that are relevant for the Agriculture universities and those that are also relevant to technology universities; thereby delist those that are not relevant and ask them to stop doing them.

“We will then revert back to the schools on the ones being approved for them and then we forward it to JAMB.”

On the fate of the students who are currently studying the affected courses, Mr. Yakasai said they will be allowed to graduate.

“We are not NAFDAC, we are dealing with human beings and not medicines that we can ban and discard. Whenever there is an order like this, we have to allow those already being enrolled legally to finish and their degrees will be recognised,” he said.

On the fate of lecturers of the courses that will be affected when the ban is fully implemented, the NUC spokesperson said such lecturers will be deployed to other related courses as many universities already suffer from inadequate manpower.

Mr. Yakasai also declared the NUC’s support for the directive saying specialised universities should stick to their core mandates. He said that the schools where set up by the government to run specific programs and that it is clearly stated in the laws establishing such schools.

“Every school has laws and when those laws were written, it is clearly stated in the laws why they are set up for.

“So what is difficult in the government asking them to go back to the laws and mandate the government approved for them,” he said.

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