Nigerian Universities have not performed well in global ranking over the years largely because they don’t have what it takes to compete with foreign universities in terms of security, funding, infrastructure, and ability to attract foreign students, Abubakar Rasheed, the executive secretary of the Nigerian University Commission has said.
The executive secretary disclosed that one of the key international requirements for any university to do well in international rankings is the number and the nationalities of students in the school. He said the listed challenges crippling tertiary education have made Nigerian schools unattractive to foreign students.
“We cannot compete with foreign universities. For example, most schools in the UK and US have students from over 150 countries in the world,” he said during an interactive session with newsmen in Abuja.
Rasheed said the need to improve the ranking necessitated the institution Nigerian Universities Ranking Advisory Committee (NURAC) headed by the former executive secretary of the NUC, Peter Okebukola with members drawn from the six geopolitical zones across the country.
According to Rasheed, the Committee educated universities on how to improve their ranking, which made it possible for up to 12 Nigerian universities in the 2023 Times Higher Education ranking. He said the NUC will continue to support the Committee to do its work independently and objectively.
Speaking further Rasheed, informed that the commission was collaborating with the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences (ICPC) to weed out illegal universities springing up in the system.
“We have set up a committee to look into that and I can tell you that we are doing a lot to end the ugly trend of illegal universities,” he said.
Rasheed urged the public to assist in exposing such illegal universities, saying that the task of safeguarding the quality of the university system was not only that of the commission.
He also clarified that the NUC has no hand in the appointment of Vice-Chancellors for universities in the country. He explained that the appointment of VCs was wholly vested in the hands of board members of the universities.