Written by Godfrey AKON

NUC wants varsity degrees raised to int’l standards

Poised to improve the acceptability of Nigerian graduates across the world, the National Universities Commission, NUC, has said measures are being put in place to churn out graduates that would meet international needs.

Executive Secretary of NUC, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, who stated this at a Stakeholders’ Roundtable on University/Industry Linkages organised by the commission in Abuja, said 50 per cent of the university curriculum will be geared towards meeting international needs.

“We are interested in the international dimensions; we are not just trying to produce graduates who will only work in Nigerian industries; no, but anywhere in the world.

“And therefore at least 50 per cent of the curriculum ought to reflect international dimensions such that our graduates can easily transit to other nations to go for their masters, PhDs. We should be producing graduates for the global markets not just for the local or national markets,” he said.

Rasheed said the commission was working on eleven strategies in a blueprint that would bring collaborations between the university system and industries in the country, while calling on industries in the country to actively engage local universities in their research instead involving foreign institutions and paying heavily for it.

Earlier, the Nigerian Economic Summit Group, NESG, said the 26 per cent minimum benchmark for education budget recommended by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural organization, UNESCO, was not visible.

Chief Executive Officer of the Summit, Mr. Olaoye Jaiyeola, said the demand was outrageous and if the health, security and other sectors were demanding the same, the federal government would be in jeopardy to implement them.

I his remarks, NUC Director of Research, Innovation and Information Technology, Dr. Suleiman Ramon-Yusuf, said the Students’ Industrial Work Experience Scheme, SIWES, was a fraud.

He clarified that students, who were posted to acquire work experience, ended up serving tea at conference rooms that participated in what would have given them experience in their course of study in the institutions.

Ramon-Yusuf disclosed that the gap between the university system and industries, informed the hosting of the roundtable to discuss measures that could curb the problems.

“People think universities are working in silos, but beyond research findings, very little is seen outside the system, that is why we called for this roundtable to examine ways, which there could be a collaboration.

“To move the nation forward, there must be an involvement of the academia and the industries”, Ramon-Yususf said.

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