The Association of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities (AVCNU) has advocated that the nation’s universities should be repositioned to enable them effectively respond to the needs of the nation through strategic collaborations with industries to carry out research and develop prototypes that serve the needs of society.
The association made the call in a communiqué issued at the end of its four- day conference held at the Kwara State University, Malete.
The communiqué was signed by AVCNU’ s secretary- general, Prof M. O Faborode and was made available to newsmen in Ilorin,the Kwara state capital on Thursday.
The association urged the Nigerian governments to radically increase their investments in the country’s education sector to enhance access to quality education.
It said that bursaries, students’ loans, and scholarships for indigent students should be institutionalised to increase access to quality education.
It added that: “Accountability, transparency, and internal quality assurance measures should be institutionalised to strongly confront corrupt tendencies in the Nigerian university system.
“As access to quality education is crucial to attaining sustainable development, universities should mainstream the SDGs, offer insightful analyses and proffer solutions to challenges of climate change. Data acquired in the course of research should be shared to improve research geared towards development.
“Nigerian universities should key into the internationalisation agenda by leveraging on existing networks and also improving visibility to boost their profiles.
.”The enabling environment for students of Nigerian universities to acquire the right entrepreneurial skills should be provided. Student Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES) should be leveraged to improve hands-on experience in industrial and entrepreneurial training.
” Research and students’ projects should be innovative, purpose driven and tailored towards improving graduate employability, job creation as well as solving societal problems.
“Nigerian universities should encourage research findings to be in the public domain through budgeting for, and promoting open access publishing.
Universities in Nigeria should continue to strive to improve on their global recognition”.
The AVCNU thanked the host university, the government and the people of Kwara state for excellent hosting.