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The Growth Of Tertiary Education In Nigeria

Tertiary education is defined in section 6 of the national policy on education ( NPE ,1998). as ” Education given after secondary education in universities, colleges of education , polytechnics, monotechnics.. ”

it’s specifies the following as objectives of Tertiary Education which includes  :

(A) Contribute to national development through high-level  relevant manpower training.

(B) Develop and inculcate proper values for the survival of individual and the society.

(C) Develop the Intellectual capability of individuals to understand and appreciate their local and external environments.

(D) Acquire both physical and intellectual skills which will enable individuals to be self – reliant and useful members of the society.

(E) promote and encourage scholarship and Community service.

(F) forge and cement national unity and promote national and international understanding and interaction.

The Rise Of Higher Education In Nigeria

The goal shows that Tertiary Education institutions should embark on teaching , research and development of programmes and maintain minimum educational standard.

The Growth Of Tertiary Education In Nigeria

They should also seek inter – institutional co – operation and dedicated service to the community.

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Between 1995- 2008, many institutions of higher education were established. The reasons for the growth of the institutions were many.

In An article by Ajao in the vanguard newspaper of September 25 ,2008 ,the writer attributes the growth to the astronomical increase in the population of applicants to institutions of higher learning and observes that there is greater demand for admission than available space.

This, he said was what led the obasanjo administration to allow private institutions to come on board.

This contention was supported by another writer in a story published in the Guardian of June 12, 2008.

In a story entitled” Education Sector Still at Crossroads”, the author stated that ” At the tertiary level , 5.8 million candidates are angling to get into tertiary institutions but only 1.5 million have been absorbed”.

The Growth Of Tertiary Education In Nigeria

Besides the above , the comments of international organisation that NIgeria needs more institutions of higher education can be seen as another source of inspiration that jiggered NIgeria into endless and indiscriminate setting up of higher education institutions.

An article attributed to news agency of NIgeria ( NAN) also agrees that applicant are more than the available admission spaces.

It says : ” The federal college of Education ( FCE ) in zaria ,Kaduna state is facing the problem of admission explosion, following large turnout of applicants offered admission by the college”. ( Anonymous,the punch , February 2002).

Finally ,it is note worthy to understand that the negative comments of western world about NIgeria’s education needs,could lead her various state governments into establishing more and more tertiary education institutions.

This is the dominant idea contained in fidelis story titled “UNESCO  rates Nigeria amoung nine illiterate countries “. published in the punch of January 2004

The establishment of yaba Higher college in 1932 marked the beginning of higher education in Nigeria. The purpose was to produce assistants who would relieve Colonia administrators of menial tasks.

The establishment of the university of ibadan as a campus of university of london in 1948 marked the beginning of university education and institutions I NIgeria.

From the pattern of establishment of western education which was lopsided to the western region of NIgeria by the colonial Master, it suffices to say that the vision to employ education for social and economic development was lopsided from the start because a section of the country was mobilized before the others.

Before the 1970’s , educational institutions were established to provide qualitative education for NIgerians with a small number of intakes made up of the best brain and highly intelligent individuals who were admitted on merit not on quota system , catchment areas, geographical origin, discretion, list from the president, Ministers, Commissioners, Vice – Chancellor’s, Provost,Dean’s, Heads of Departments and all manner of lists including alumi and even philanthropist list of those who are said to be in position to assist the educational institutions by giving donations which is common on many Tertiary Education institutions today.

Educational institutions in the seventies were established in recognition of the political realities and cultural diversity of the nation to balance the political brinkmanship directed at satisfying the ethnic groups.

This trend is now more pronounced and entrenched in the citing of public institutions by the federal, state, as the case may be .

Another strategy of compensating the ethnic, political and religious sects of the country is state is the multi- campus system of institutions.

Political interventions in the higher education system under a series of military government imposed distortion and constraints on the systems development.

By 1980, NIgeria had established a well regarded higher education system offering instruction at an international standard in a number of disciplinary areas.

The universities of Ibadan and ahmadu bello for example earned global recognition for their research  in tropical health and agriculture, respectively.

Under successive military government during the 1980’s and 1990’s however , this sparkling reputation steadily tarnished.

The political pressures of social demand for access ,the system was permitted to expand rapidly.

The proliferation of universities, polytechnics,colleges of education and other Tertiary institutions in Nigeria has been very alarming. There has been a wave of establishing study centres ,outreach programs and scouting round for potential students.

The chargeable fee for student to acquire education in Nigeria is now staggering ,it runs into thousands of naira for federal and state institutions and millions of naira for the private institutions.

Education now seems to be an economic commodity for sale to the highest bidder , which is priced out of the reach of students from poor economic backgrounds.

Because openings in the universities were for about 20 percent of the qualified applicants annually, competition for places in higher education is severe . In  1996- 1997 , for example 475,923 applied for university places but only 79,904 recieved offers.

Almost 50 percent of those enrolled in higher education go to universities to work on bachelor level degrees .

The annual dropout rate for all university students is about 18 percent .

For the 1996, academic year , teacher educational institutions of higher education enrolled 89,247 students . Those enrolled in technical education numbered 148,666.

There are several types of tertiary Education institutions but the four most common are those that offers university degrees, those that offer national diplomas, those that offer teacher training,and those that offer a variety of professional and skill certificate.

In 1998 NIgeria had 37 arts and sciences universities, 3 agriculture universities, one military university, 4 polytechnics , and 63 colleges of education.

In 199 , the national Universities commission (NUC) , which oversees the university system approved the creation of private universities.

The technical colleges , polytechnics and colleges of education offer the ND. For two years of study , and the HND for four years of study .

University programs in the arts ,social sciences, and pure sciences usually takes Four years for the bachelor’s degree.

Engineering and technology degrees typically takes five years , Medicine and dentistry are six years programs.

For a master’s degree ,one or two years is normal . Doctoral degrees takes two or three years after finishing a master’s degree.

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