NIGERIA: NUC Seeks Collaboration with UK Bodies

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The National Universities Commission (NUC) is collaborating with  the United Kingdom Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education to further standardise the nation’s tertiary institutions in line with emerging trends.
The Chairman of NUC Board, Dr. Ahmadu Ali, disclosed this yesterday in  London in interview with the News Agency of Nigeria(NAN)  following a presentation by Eagle Scientific,  a UK based  education equipment company.
Ali, who alongside other NUC officials visited some UK higher education agencies including the Association of Commonwealth Universities, said  the move was to seek for synergy especially in quality assurance.
“The NUC Board decided to examine all facets of higher education in relation to quality and standardisation in the various universities to ensure that there is uniformity.
“We visited some agencies in the UK and discussed collaboration and  intervention in our university system.
“We also looked at how  NUC  as a body would coordinate the synergy  in view of its regulatory roles,” he said.
Ali, who noted NUC’s regulatory function of quality assurance of education, said“ we wanted to know how the UK handles its own system, so as to improve on our own.”
Although he observed that both nations had different higher education systems, he added that such collaboration would be beneficial to the NUC especially with the increased number of private universities.
In the same vein,  the NUC’s Executive Secretary,   Prof. Julius Okojie, said in the area of quality assurance, the issue of teaching aids was a main concern.
To this end, Okojie stressed the need for equipment audit to enable NUC ascertain what equipment institutions required, and where it would be located as well as its quality.
“You can have big structures but without  teaching equipment you cannot teach effectively, be it in the laboratory or  for research purposes. “ With the upsurge of new universities and obsolete teaching equipment, we need to find a way of upgrading  and standard sing.
“In the past, NUC had equipment maintenance centres in universities this was shut down since universities, now collect money directly, NUC could not fund these centres again.”
Okojie, who stressed the need for those centres to be resuscitated, said that  following the  “centres of excellence’’ recognition  given to 10 Nigerian universities out of 18 in Africa,  there was need for the institutions to have  essential equipment for research.
“We need to  resuscitate these centres and ensure maintenance culture as well as fund research in our institutions,” Okojie added.
Meanwhile , Mr. Tim Johnsen, Managing Director of Eagle Scientific said that the company had been operating in Nigeria since 1978.
He said the main areas of  partnership  with the NUC would  be in equipment specification and maintenance.
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