The National Universities Commission (NUC ) said that it would step up its programme monitoring mechanism to ensure universities did not exceed their capacities.
Executive Secretary of NUC, Prof. Julius Okojie, said in Abuja that the measure was to ensure that universities cater to students on their programmes to ensure academic excellence. Universities in Nigeria often exceed their admission quotas and thus stretched their facilities to deliver quality education to students.
Some of the universities also run unapproved programmes. Okojie spoke when he received a delegation, led by Mr Emmanuel Egbagbe, a member of the Governing Council of Benson Idahosa University, Benin-City.
“The NUC is taking this step further to re-introduce the programme. This is after years of allocating carrying capacities to the Nigerian universities, ‘’he said.
Okojie said the proposed carrying capacity of each course would be determined by the demand, needs and relevance to national development, based on the availability of requisite academic personnel and physical facilities. He said that the Federal Government policy on 60 to 40 ratio for science and arts courses was still in force.
According to Okojie, some universities are in the habit of violating NUC regulations with respect to new courses, postgraduate programmes and carrying capacity, thereby creating problems for students and parents.
“I want to assure you that students and parents will no longer be made to bear the brunt of unapproved programmes alone as government will henceforth sanction any vice-chancellor who mounts unapproved programmes,’’ he added.
The NUC secretary said the commission through the Nigerian Research and Education Network would address the challenges of inadequate bandwidth and other ICT- related issues in the Nigeria universities system.
He gave an assurance that the project would not only provide adequate bandwidth but also increase efficient interconnectivity among universities.
“This will also enable the universities to share resources and information among others, ” he said.
Earlier, Egbagbe said the visit was to introduce the acting Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Ernest Izevbigie.
He said that the institution currently had a student population of more than 2,300 with a major breakthrough in its research efforts with the discovery of “Edotide’’, from bitter leaf as treatment for chronic diseases. Egbagbe, however, commended the NUC for its support to the Nigerian universities, especially the privately-owned.