Universities

ASUU Members, Others Respond to Exclusion of Nigerian Universities

Following the exclusion of Nigerian graduates from a new UK visa – High Potential Individual Visa, reactions have followed the development, with many linking the cause to the continued school closures, in particular the strike actions of the Union of Academic Staff of universities.

The punch had reported on Friday that a new UK visa barred Nigerian university graduates from applying for jobs due to the requirement that graduates applying must be from one of the top 50 universities in the world rankings.

The punch gathered feedback from some stakeholders in Nigerian universities.

The President of ASUU, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife Branch, Dr. Adeola Egbedokun, noted that Nigerian degrees were not inferior to those of their counterparts abroad, adding that Nigerian lecturers were equally qualified to teach outside the country.

However, he said, “Nevertheless, the difference lies in the process and the facilities with which the teaching and learning is done and this is the issue that ASUU has been pursuing for decades. Because facilities are not readily available in our universities, infrastructure is not maintained among many other challenges, while university ranking depends on such and many other criteria.

“The incessant strikes, imposed on ASUU by the government, have always resulted in unstable timetables, challenging the duration of study programs in Nigeria.”

“If the government hadn’t paid lip service to ASUU’s demands over the years, we wouldn’t have experienced the rots we have at universities and these UK authorities wouldn’t have exempted our graduates” , Egbedokun said. The punch.

He urged the Nigerian government to urgently listen to ASUU’s demands, adding that “the deafness of the Nigerian government is really hampering the chances of our graduates overseas. ”

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An Associate Professor of Governance and Policy Research at the University of Lagos, Akoka, Kayode Eesuola, in his reaction said: “The UK has the statistics of graduates from Nigerian universities who are boosting the economy of the country in professions ranging from medicine to engineering and computing. . Statistics will hardly support or justify such discrimination. That’s the mischief part.

“The reality is that it cannot be denied that Nigerian universities are underfunded and under-equipped in material and human resources, the consequences of which are the relentless ASUU strikes the country is currently facing. Apparently, students become the victims because they lack focus and advanced training compared to their peers elsewhere. Their finishing qualities will be affected,” Eesuola said.

Speaking further, he noted that training grounds do not determine the quality of graduates, adding that the United States has “some of the best football and athletics training institutions and facilities in the world. world, but the best marathon runners and footballers come from other countries.” He added that this was evident in Nigerians who were doing well in their overseas careers.

He concluded that the Nigerian government should “understand and appreciate the wider implications of ASUU’s struggle for the revitalization of education in Nigeria, as this alone will improve the grade (not necessarily the quality) of our graduates in the world”.

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A lecturer who deals with hydrology and geographic information system in the OAU Department of Geography, Dr. Bayo Eludoyin, for his part noted that lecturers now sponsor research with their salaries while students also lacked funding for their research.

“I do not find this decision surprising. We are definitely not in the top 50. I am not sure if any university in Nigeria is in the top 800 or 1000 depending on which ranking we use.

Speaking further, he said, “The Nigerian public university system still has a long way to go before it can even rank 500th. Forget the so called ABUAD or Covenant University ranking but find out about the basis of the ranking. Is it about student satisfaction, research results or specific programs? The base differs and the classification is specific. Nevertheless, I think there are many things wrong with the administration of teaching and learning in Nigerian public universities, and many private universities can do better in some of these areas, including including some selective installations and teacher-student relationships.

Dr. Eludoyin called for the autonomy of public universities to enable competitiveness, adding that the most successful universities abroad were autonomous.

An OAU masters graduate, Ogumah Andrew Segun, said the quality of teaching at public universities should not cause anyone to argue over UK standards.

“I think we can’t blame the UK for their criteria for admission to their country, especially on certificates or qualifications. I think we should blame ourselves for the little attention we pay to education in our country.

“Today, virtually no federal university in the country has a functional laboratory. Part of what ASUU is fighting for is the revitalization fund to improve our campus facilities. Why don’t we go to the bottom of the rankings when today the endowment of the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa alone exceeds the total budget of Nigeria for the past five years! Ogumah said.

“What is the quality of education in our public universities that we want to argue that we should be included in?” He asked.

Another student activist from the University of Lagos, Adeyeye Olorunfemi, said: “The blame for this debacle must be placed on the doorstep of the government. The question is why are we not ranked well globally?

“I disagree with some who say our teachers cannot deliver quality that is why the UK would not issue visas to Nigerian graduates. Many of our speakers also give talks abroad and their expertise is beyond doubt.

“In practical terms, how do you manage to be a real scholar when you spend a month in class and the next three months at home or on the streets because of the incessant ASUU strikes?

“How will such an arrangement rank well globally? It is not possible,” added Adeyeye.

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