By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The National Universities Commission (NUC) has cancelled pre-degree and diploma programmes in Nigerian universities.
The agency said the programmes should now be handled by polytechnics and not universities.
NUC said universities should now focus on producing human capital in the core undergraduate, part-time and post-graduate courses.
According to a statement, the Executive Secretary of NUC, Prof Abubakar Adamu Rasheed, gave this order during the meetings held between October 10 and 12 with Vice Chancellors of the 143 universities in Nigeria.
The NUC also directed that the research directorate of the Commission be strengthened to work with those of universities.
This, it explained, was to co-ordinate research activities in universities and ensures relevance of their outputs.
Consequently, the NUC would engage a mix of old, experienced and young vibrant academics to come up with curricula that would not only be dynamic and responsive to national needs, but also conform to global trends.
“A comprehensive review of the entire university curricula (the Benchmark Minimum Academic Standards (BMAS)) and ranking of Nigerian universities have also been scheduled for 2017, while two of the cardinal activities of the commission, accreditation of programmes and resource verification, will now take place only twice and thrice a year, respectively: May and November for accreditation as well as March, July and December for resource verification,” the NUC said.
The Commission also warned that any university that failed to present its programmes for accreditation promptly without satisfactory reasons, given well in advance, would be denied same and the relevant agencies (JAMB and NYSC) duly notified.
VCs were enjoined to be creative and innovative enough to come up with new courses and programmes that would address emerging societal challenges, while the NUC expressed its readiness to work with them to develop the BMAS for such new programmes.
The NUC urged universities to identify their areas of strength to mount joint Ph.D. programmes in view of increasing cost of training overseas.