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Assessment Of Nigeria's Universities And Their Hosting Towns And Cities

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Assessment Of Nigeria's Universities And Their Hosting Towns And Cities

Post by Admin on Mon 28 Dec 2015 - 20:49

ASSESSMENT OF NIGERIA’S UNIVERSITIES ENVIRONMENT
by Elvis Boniface

The university system of education like other levels of formal education mostly evaluates her students’ performance and knowledge attainment by grading. However, the students’ performance is driven by the environment. Thus, a holistic assessment of the university’s environment, in this case Nigeria is worthwhile. Environment in its simplest meaning is the area in which something exists or lives or the totality of the surrounding conditions. Just like it is in the global education ranking, knowing the divisions or tiers of Nigeria universities will be ineluctable to aid this appraisal. This is because according to George Orwell they can never be exact equality in any sphere of existence or creature.

According to the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), there are one hundred and eight universities in Nigeria – Thirty four Federal universities, thirty four State universities and forty private universities. As stated earlier, a near perfect assessment of the Nigerian universities environment on the inequality espousal will therefore be better achieved based on the university's divisions.

First off, I will try to compile a rough guide of Nigerian Universities based on the areas of concentration of this essay; Social Environment, Political Environment, Academic Environment, Infrastructure, Research Opportunities, Cult Activities, Religious Activities, Accommodation, Feeding, Students Unionism, University Administration, Impact of university on host community and the Total Environment of the Universities as follows:

First Division (a)

Pan-African University, Ajah, Lagos.

First Division (b)

University of Ilorin, Ilorin.

University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos.

University of Ibadan, Ibadan.

Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-ife.

University of Nigeria, Nsukka.

University of Benin, Benin.

Ahmadu Bello University. Zaria.

University of Agriculture, Abeokuta.

SECOND DIVISION (a)

University of Portharcourt, Portharcourt.

University of Calabar, Calabar.

University of Uyo, Uyo.

Bayero University, Kano.

University of Jos, Jos.

University of Maiduguri, Maiduguri.

Usman Dan Fodio University, Sokoto.

Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.

University of Abuja, Abuja.

Federal University of Technology, Akure.

Federal University of Technology, Owerri.

Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi.

Michael Okpara University, Umudike.

Lagos State University, Ojo.

Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso.

Federal University of Technology, Minna.

Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Bauchi.

National Open University of Nigeria



SECOND DIVISION (b)

Covenant University

Igbinedion University, Okada.

Babcock University, Ilishan-Remo.

Bowen University, Benin city.

Redeemer University,

Benson Idahosa University, Benin.

Caleb University, Ikorodu.

Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti.

Madonna University

American University, Yola.

THIRD DIVISION

Delta State University, Abraka.

Federal University, Lokoja.

Federal University, Lafia.

Federal University, Wukari.

Federal University, Dutse.

Federal University, Ndufu-Alike.

Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun.

Federal University of Minna, Yola.

Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko.

Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma.

Abia State University,

Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki.

Adamawa State University, Mubi.

Evan Enwerem University, Owerri.

Umaru Musa Yar'adua University, Katsina.

Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island.

Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University, Lapai.

Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye.

Crawford University, Enugu.

Enugu State University, Enugu.

Crescent University, Lafenwa.

Novena University, Ogume.

Renaissance University, Ojiagu Agbani.

Federal University, Oye-Ekiti.

Federal University, Otuoke and others.



A University Campus Environment in Uyo, Nigeria

The first division (a) university, Pan-African University also called Lagos Business School might be contended not to make this list, being a business school that doesn’t run undergraduate programmes for now. However, arguing in favour of the above contention is the fact that their accreditation and operations is solely overseen by the Nigerian University Commission (NUC). The gap between the third division universities and other universities is piffling, thus, my grouping them together.

SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT

Though man is philosophical accepted to be a social animal, man is not a solitary, and as long as social life survives, self-realization cannot be the supreme principle of ethics – an essential attribute expected from a suppose graduate of any institution. The social environment is simply the culture the student is educated or lives in, the people and institution which the student interact with. With the black continent social status, class and circle segregation, the Nigerian student or ‘wanna be’ student faces some level of inferiority complex as a result of the social environment.

The first division (a) students’ enjoys the experience of the social environment to almost a hundred percent, and it’s usually symbiotic amongst fellow students. This is because to be eligible for admission into this university, the candidate must be an academic high flier and have some reasonable work experience, in Africa, an individual independent grant liberty.

The first division (b) universities social environment is relatively exciting in various measures. In recent years, the universities are filled with ‘children’ in the Nigerian context. This young dude, mostly of ages fifteen to seventeen years makes friends based on fellow students parents social class, ways of fellow peers dressing, speaking, and intellectual capability. This always affects the student negatively since most times, some student claim and pretentiously act to attract their fellow students. Social interaction between students and lecturers alike also favours top grade students of the institution. The low grade students are considered ‘unserious’ and prevised to have bleak future. In this division, sociability is more high-pitched from students of the University of Lagos owing to the commercialized nature of Lagos, the commerce capital city of Nigeria. Commerce improves and betters social environment! The benefitting nature of this division social environment is also spur by the exposure of the lecturers. A good number of them had studied abroad, worked in corporate organization where the customer is king, and a good number are consultants to varied multinationals.

The second division (a) university social environment is relatively profiteering to her students. The environment is enhanced in universities that are located in State capitals and urban areas. Universities of the second division (b) are mostly private universities owned and founded by individuals and organizations. The laissez-faire leadership of these universities makes its social environment to be proportional to the founder’s or organization’s volition, demeanour, exposure and belief system. The social environment is mostly sullen because of the tyrannic trait of the founders who are mostly former government officials and religion bigots. Nigeria, a democratic state reputed for dictatorial leaders. This sullen social environment is solidify by the biblical ‘father-son’ and Koranic ‘Allah supremacy’ principle on the part of the organization-found universities.

The third division universities social environment is middling due to their location, her location’s people customs, their theism, tribal tie-up and close-mindedness, poverty level and subconscious blockage for positive change.

POLITICAL ENVIRONMENT

The envisaged new world requires a conducive environment for innovation and out-of-box thinking. This conducive environment can only exist by the politics of the land. Education, the major channel to rise from doom to the apex of development is the sole responsibility of any government to her citizenry. Political environment is the state, government and its institutions and legislations and the public and private stakeholders who operate and interact with or influence that system. The stability of the political environment and government will impact on the prioritization of mental health policy in relation to other policies, the funding available to mental health and the time frames in which policies and programmes can be realized. Political environment also includes the political culture i.e. “widely held views, beliefs and attitudes concerning what governments should try to do and how they should operate and the relationship between the citizen and the government. The success of the educational sector will depend on government policy reforms, resource allocation, and motivation for the manpower.

The first division (a) political environment is favourable and leads to ‘complete’ academic experience to the student. This is because the government is not solely responsible for her funding. Her lecturers are well motivated and the internal fight to occupy administrative offices is minimal if not non-existence. This is because most of her lecturers are accomplished professional in their respective fields, and mostly teach for the love of it.

With the inability of most of the first division (b) universities to generate funds internally, and for those that do, lack of accountability has made these division universities to be victims of political instability. Another negative effect of this division ivory towers political environment is her lecturer inconsistency or lack of research after their doctoral thesis. To this end, their vice-chancellor and senate becomes stalwart to federal government stipulation without revolt. Also many of these division administrative officers hobnob with the country democratic-turned autocrats who churned out poor policies. Thus, the political environment is most time of detrimental effect to the student. The most adverse effect of the political environment is felt in state universities because of the autonomy that vest power in the state governors to do what they like. Most times this state Chief Administrator experiment with these universities in the name of policy formulation. Also, the statutory and complete power of the president to appoint the Minister of Education without consultation to the academic community often result to compensating the ruling party loyal members with the portfolio rather than to merited individuals. The effect is better imagined! The disconnection in policy scrutiny between the executive and legislative arm of government also cringe the university political environment.

The case is however different in second division (b) universities because there are private. Their owners who are former government office holders and religion leaders command so much respect and loyalty from their employees and their decisions are binding without revolt. With this factor, the political environment is undeniably favourable.

ACADEMIC ENVIRONMENT

Measuring the academic environment in the ivory towers will be scientifically justified by balancing the reactant and product of the university equation. The reactant in this case being the knowledge garner in the twelve years of pre-university education, and the product , the rate of knowledge assimilation while in the university. Since the university is suppose to be focused on research, the student’s secondary school experience, commitment, learning culture, and eventual knowledge attainment plays pivotal role in surviving at the university. The first division’s student is mostly at an advantage using this equation, because of the good schools in the urban areas compare to the rural areas where laboratories are non-existence and ‘anybody’ teaches the student any subject. However, because of the freedom in the university, the urban secondary school graduate is most times lost in the river of social activities to the detriment of his studies, while the rural counterpart who is committed succeeds irrespective of his background.

The syllabuses of all Nigerian universities are outdated with exception to first division (a) and some universities in second division (b). This deters any commensurability between what is taught in school and what is applicable in the real world. A defeat of the universities mission! This mission derail adversely affect science and engineering students more. This is because after graduation there are always lost in the ever changing technological and innovative world. The way out for the smart Nigerian student is to acquire updated training relating to his course of studies outside his school walls, and in today's global world to read beyond the decades old textbooks that the lecturers teaches from. Thanks to amazon.com, a Nigerian student can read the same text book a Harvard university student is reading. Personal effort and commitment makes one win the Nigerian educational game.

INFRASTRUCTURE

The education sector like every other sector is a reflection of a nation’s apex and central government. The Nigeria’s infrastructural state is undoubtedly deficit. To this end, the infrastructure of Nigerian universities is very poor, and in some cases it never exists, except classrooms are classified as infrastructure.

The case is comparatively better in the first division universities, this is because the founding fathers of the Nigeria state appreciate and know the impact of quality education then. Then education was given high priority in the national budget compare to now. The inconsistencies in educational reforms with succeeding government have made the first generation universities the first choice to prospective candidates. This is why university of Ibadan choruses the mantra ‘the first and the best’. This however does not mean the first generation universities are at their peak when compared with their global counterpart. In today’s changing world, to remain relevant and compete with the best requires a holistic gear up and pursuing of current changes, mostly infrastructure and informed manpower to handle it. This is lacking in Nigerian universities. This infrastructure deficit highly affects science and engineering courses negatively, these courses are at best science histories. Some second division (b) universities can boost of good infrastructure depending on how wealthy the owner or organization is and his main goal – business venture or impact. The reverse is the case with the remaining universities of the divisions, there can at best be classified as advance

Suffice it to say the infrastructure of the second division (a) and third division is very poor.
secondary schools.

Infrastructure at Covenant University, Ota, Nigeria.

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