Why Nigerian Universities aren’t world class – Prof. Popoola

By Abdulrasheed Akogun
A Professor of International Law at the Faculty of Law, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Professor Ademola Popoola has emphasized the need for the Nation’s education system to feature ‘local contents’’, stressing that developments have made some people to raise question and  seek clarity on the ‘University idea’.
Popoola made this submission today while delivering speech as the convocation lecturer at the combined 8th and 9th convocation of the Kwara State University, Malete which was held at the institution’s Convocation Arena.
The Nigerian University System, which had, according to him once worked and prospered has experienced decline and not seen to be fulfilling adequately the cardinal mission of knowledge generation, transmission and application implicit in the tripartite function of research, teaching and community service or civic engagement.
The OAU Don also said the COVID-19 pandemic which has made hybrid mode of on-line and in-class learning imperative, should be considered an ‘eye-opener’  in respect of  prospects of on-line learning even in apparently normal circumstances.
The University Don, who lamented that the Nation’s education sector was in crisis, added that many factors accounted  for this which “are ; poor governance, inadequate funding, corruption, lack of commitment and support for research and its deliverables, including innovation, creative works and better producer goods, internal factors including recurring industrial disputes.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is not showing signs of an early exit. Our institutions at all levels will  therefore have to continue to evolve means of coping with the pandemic. For now, the hybrid mode of on-line and in-class learning will have to be intensified. The Open and Distance Education mode also need to be deepened if only to broaden access to Higher Education’ he said.
“Nigerian universities have failed to meet the requirements that would get them included in the list of world university rankings because they lack the attributes of world-class universities which include having an international reputation for research and teaching and producing a number of research stars and world leaders in their fields.
“A world-class university must also generate innovative ideas , produce basic and applied research in abundance and  produce ground-breaking research output recognized by peers and prizes like Nobel laureate price” he added


Ibrahim Sheriff is the Editor of Fresh Insight and former Special Assistant on Media to the Speaker, Kwara state House of Assembly. Although a management science researcher by training, he has over five years experience of practice in Journalism, Public Relations and Communication Strategy. Sheriff holds a Masters Degree in Finance and Bachelors Degree in Banking and Finance from Kwara state University, Malete. He has Certificates in Digital Journalism, Enterprise Creation and Skill Acquisition (ECSA) and Basic Econometrics Data Analysis, as well as Bank of Industry (BoI) Certificate in Business Management. He is also a holder of Diploma in Cooperative Studies from Kwara state Polytechnic, Ilorin.

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