Written by Godfrey AKON

Imo gets sixth state university

The Imo State Government has secured the approval of the National Universities Commission, NUC, for additional three universities, bringing the total number of universities’ owned by the state to six.

The recent approval comes barely three weeks after the commission approved University of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, Umuagwo.

Other universities owned by the state include: Imo State University, Owerri established in 1992 and Eastern Palm University, Ogboko established in 2016.

Meanwhile, the newly approved universities in Imo State are University of Creative Technology, Omuma, University of Medical Sciences, Ogboko and University of Science and Technology, Onuimo.

Executive Secretary of NUC, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, who conveyed the approval to Governor Rochas Okorocha, said the institutions have met all the requirements necessary for their recognition.

“All the requirements have been met, the documents have been presented and the laws setting up the universities passed by the State House of Assembly have also been presented. We hereby formally recognise the establishment of these universities,” he said.

Rasheed said the Commission would work out new curriculum for the new universities as most programmes the institutions will run are innovative and would require massive input of NUC.

“What is left before the take-off of the universities is the due diligence of NUC. No university can start a programme without a visit by NUC. We will quickly develop curriculum because most of their courses are new,” he said.

On his part, Governor Okorocha said the universities were established through the instrumentality of the State House of Assembly, adding that the main aim of putting in place the new institutions was to bring development to rural areas and increase access to university education.

“For the past seven years we have the highest number of students seeking university admission in the country; it is only 20 per cent of them that are admitted. This will give admission to the 80 per cent who are denied admission and are roaming the streets,” the governor said.

On the funding of the new universities, Okorocha said adequate arrangements have been put in place to ensure issue of financial challenges are not associated with the running of the institutions.

“If education remains a priority, there is enough fund to run university. We are also involving the private sector because the universities are open to public and private partnership. The project started long time ago,” he said.



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