By Chijioke OKoronkwo
The National Universities Commission (NUC) has scrapped sub-degree diploma programmes in the Nigerian university system.
The decision was taken at the interactive session of the Executive Secretary of NUC, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, with vice chancellors of federal, state and private universities.
The Deputy Director of Information of NUC, Mrs Adebukola Olatunji, said in Abuja on Monday universities have been directed to begin the process of winding down sub-degree diplomas.
“A comprehensive review of the entire university curricula – the Benchmark Minimum Academic Standards and ranking of Nigerian universities – has been scheduled for 2017.
“Two of the cardinal activities of the commission, Accreditation of Programmes and Resource Verification, will now take place only twice and thrice a year, respectively.
“May and November are for Accreditation while March, July and December are for Resource Verification.’’
Olatunji added that other decisions taken included the revamping of Institutional Accreditation, commencement of accreditation of part-time programmes and resumption of the Nigerian University System Annual Review Meeting.
She said accreditation of academic programmes by professional bodies, shortfalls in personnel emoluments and incorporation of universities into the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information Systems were also discussed.
Others were matters arising from the 2009 agreement between the federal government and Academic Staff Union of Universities.
“Rasheed told vice-chancellors that running sub-degree diplomas was not the business of universities, but that of polytechnics.’’
The executive secretary reminded them that federal government, in 2001, issued a circular stating that such diplomas could not be used for employment or promotion in the public service.
“Rather than stretch facilities to run sub-degree programmes, universities should direct their energies toward their primary function of producing high level manpower for the economy, by strengthening their part-time programmes.
Olatunji said the universities were urged to develop and implement an Institutional Research Policy and establish a Research Administration Directorate, to be headed by a professor. (NAN)