UI VC laments poor access to university education in Nigeria

The Vice Chancellor, University of Ibadan, UI, Professor Abel Idowu Olayinka has lamented the problem of access to tertiary education in Nigeria saying that out of over 1.5m university admission seekers into the nation’s 168 universities, less than 500,000 candidates could be admitted annually.

Olayinka stated this today in his speech while rounding off undergraduate graduation ceremony at this year’s convocation.

According to him, “The public universities are usually oversubscribed on account of their reputation, age and free tuition policy of the Federal Government. Every year, the University of Ibadan receives no less than 60,000 applications from those seeking to come here for undergraduate studies. Even if we assume that only about 25,000 of these candidates are good university materials, we still have a crisis on our hands as we cannot admit more than 3,500 of these candidates. The logical question to ask is where would the rest go to?”

The VC however appealed to the universities’ admission seekers who could not secure admission through the Joint Matriculation Examination Board, JAMB, to take the advantage of the universities’ affiliated institutions, which would make them to still achieve their academic height.

He said that the quality of education students would be exposed to at various UI affiliated institutions and DLC are comparable to what the UI students would be exposed to.

Pointing out that UI have over the years consistently adopted a two-pronged strategy to assisting Nigeria in solving access problem, Olayinka said, “Currently, we provide quality full-time university education at a number of Colleges of Education such as Osun State College of Education, Ilesa; Federal College of Education, Osiele, Abeokuta; Federal College of Education, Special, Oyo; Federal College of Education, Okene, among others. In order to strengthen the administrative and academic processes in the interface between the University and these colleges, the Senate of the university in July 2017 approved the establishment of a Directorate of Affiliated Institutions. The Pioneer Director is Professor M. K. Akinsola, a much respected Professor of Mathematics Education and the immediate past Dean of the Faculty of Education. He has since been providing effective leadership to his Directorate. Admission into our Affiliated institutions is done by our Admissions Office, Undergraduate, while teaching and examinations are moderated by our lecturers from the Faculty of Education. We should all remember that the University of Ibadan itself started as a College of the University of London, in special relationship. We are very proud of our efforts in respect of the affiliated institutions”.

He continued, “Secondly, apart from the conventional face to face teaching, the University of Ibadan provides access to education for those who can study at home, while on paid job, through the Distance Learning Centre, ODL, which our highly regarded Distance Learning platform enables. The Score Card of UIDLC has been unprecedented in the last one year. The Centre has been reinvigorated and going through visible repositioning. The UIDLC calendar now runs parallel with that of the regular mode. This is evident in the number of undergraduates at the ongoing convocation. It is heart-warming to note that for the first time in recent years, graduates on the Distance Learning Mode are being presented alongside their counterparts on regular mode for 2016/17. This, again, is an attestation to the parity of esteem policy which the university projects. The Centre’s current enrolment stands at 9,200”.

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