EXPERTS CHART WAY FORWARD FOR HIGHER EDUCATION AT FUTA REGISTRY WORKSHOP
Professor Debo Adeyewa, former Vice-Chancellor, Redeemers University, Ede and one time Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), has identified the sustenance of strong University culture and effective governance as critical elements to be embraced by drivers of Nigeria Higher Education in the quest for global relevance and competitiveness. He made the declaration while delivering the keynote address at the 3rd edition of FUTA’s Registry Workshop which held between Monday July 22 and Wednesday July 24, 2019. He said University Administrators are the heartbeat of the University System, stressing that without them the educational system is incomplete. Adeyewa described higher education as a process of knowledge acquisition and social development. He emphasized the relevance of education generally to a society, describing it as the bedrock of a society. He disclosed that between 1962 and 2019 the Nigerian University system had encountered exponential growth, however, remains at a crossroad because of the rapid decrease in quality of education against the increase in number of higher institutions.
He listed poor funding, inadequate skill development, gender issues, poor governance, policy inconsistence, inadequate infrastructure among others as part of issues plaguing the Nigerian education system. Others drawbacks according to him include poor reading culture, depressed graduates, insufficient office space, epileptic power supply, poor curriculum development, lack of modern technology, inadequate and unskilled personnel, insufficient classroom spaces and union issues. The Don further expounded that 89% of Nigerian Universities suffer funding issues, 81% infrastructural issues, 71% each for insufficient staff deployment and poor reading culture.
Proposing the way forward to avail Nigerian Universities the opportunity to cope in the face of emerging challenges, Adeyewa suggested increased access to education, continuous curriculum review, reduction in academic corruption, increased funding, better governance and introduction of culture of excellence. He also advised Universities and the industry at large to rise to the challenge of fund raising and not leave the cumbersome task of developing the system in the hands of government since they are all stakeholders.
Speaking also on the theme “Towards Accomplishing Impactful and Globally Relevant Higher Education Institutions Administration”, the Vice-Chancellor, FUTA, Professor Joseph Fuwape who was represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Development), Professor Philip Oguntunde added that Administrators needed to be availed the opportunity of addressing issues that would bring about a revolution and an innovation that will ensure the affairs of higher education institutions are conducted in line with international best practices.
The Registrar and host of the workshop, Mr. Richard Arifalo, while welcoming participants and guests noted that the workshop would equip participants with competencies that will improve their performances on the job and provide strategies for increased productivity in the face of emerging challenges in tertiary institutions. He charged participants on the need to maximize the opportunity because of the need for constant knowledge update and enhance professionalism in the performance of their duties.
The two day workshop drew participants from higher institutions across the country.