A Symposium on Higher Education: Getting Our Universities Back On Track: CONVERSATION ON HIGHER EDUCATION IN NIGERIA

 In Activities, Education, Public Policy Group, Seminar Series

A Symposium By The Ibadan School of Government & Public Policy in collaboration with Pan-African University Press 

Time: Monday, July 10, 2017, 10.00 am -5 pm

Venue: Conference Center, University of Ibadan, Opposite Chapel of Resurrection

*This is a public forum, and registration is not required

Chief Convener:
Professor Akin Mabogunje, CFR, CON, NNOM

Professor Toyin Falola,
Jacob and Sanger Mossiker Chair in the Humanities, University of Texas at Austin
and President, Consortium of Pan-African University Press

Lead Speaker
Prof. Femi Mimiko, mni
Immediate Past Vice Chancellor,  Adekunle Ajasin University

Lead Panelists
Prof. Gabriel Ogunmola,

ex-Chairman, Governing Council and current Chancellor, Lead City University, Ibadan

Prof. Eghosa E Osaghae,
Vice Chancellor,  Igbinedion University

Prof. Jibrin Ibrahim,
Chairman, Editorial Board, Premium Times and
Senior Fellow, Centre for Democracy and Development

Prof.  Adebayo Okunade,
immediate past Director, Centre for Distance Learning at the University of Ibadan

Prof. Olubunmi Olapade-Olaopa,
Provost, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan

Prof. Diji Aina

Vice-Chancellor, Caleb University

Prof. Sunny Ogunduyile    
Vice-Chancellor, Adekunle Ajasin University

Prof. Koya Ogen  
Provost, Adeyemi College

Prof. Tola Badejo  
Former Vice Chancellor,  Wesley University

Prof. Igbekele Amos Ajibefun,
Vice Chancellor, Adekunle Ajasin University

Prof. Ishaq Oloyede,
Registrar JAMB

Prof. Jide Owoeye,
Proprietor and Pro-Chancellor, Lead City University

Prof. Friday Okonofua,
Vice Chancellor,  University of Medical Sciences, Ondo

Professor Ayobami T. Salami,
Vice Chancellor,The Technical University, Ibadan

The criticality of higher education to national development is undisputable. Indeed, it is difficult to imagine national development outside of the context of the general tenor of higher education in the emergent knowledge economy. Nigeria has in excess of 100 universities, public and private, and a greater number of polytechnics, mono-technics, and colleges of education. Yet, the country would seem to be inseparably married to, at best, development in fits and starts. Questions, therefore, continue to be asked about the relevance of these institutions. These would continue to be legitimate questions for as long as the Nigerian political economy refuses to rise to the occasion and lead the task of constructively addressing the rapidly expanding‘revolution of rising expectations.’

For now, the country continues to post at best, a perfunctory commitment to education, fails to confront its clearly defined fault lines, and reels in the cesspool of corruption under a state that seems completely committed to reproducing mass alienation. All of these make the continual interrogation of the state and status of higher education in Nigeria ‘a task that must be done.’ What is it that is required to have the Nigerian higher educational system rise to the challenge of leading national development? While the ridiculous funding pattern of education has been well noted; the place of the internal configuration of these institutions, and the different constituencies engaged therein, has largely been marginalized.

One critical element here is the practical realities of managing these complex organizations. Without doubt, the managerial capability requisite to repositioning the institutions, even within the limits imposed by a largely dysfunctional political economy, which provides the context for their existence, is increasingly in short supply. Many a university administration ends up overwhelmed by the sheer weight of the challenges they are called upon to track and manage. But it is possible to devise a management scheme that is at once appropriate for the situation, and makes the best out of a clearly bad situation. This would involve creating the right vision, and calling up the right strategies at transforming such into reality. The former Vice-Chancellor of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko (AAUA), Prof. Femi Mimiko, mni, has just given vent to all of these in a new book published by Pan-African University Press. Titled Getting Our Universities Back On Track ,the 514-page book, to all intents and purposes, equates a playbook of sort for the type of seminal transformation our higher educational institutions must witness to begin to fulfill their mandate.

The Ibadan School of Government and Public Policy (ISGPP) considers this book, and rightly so too, a needful platform for pushing further the frontiers of this debate. Thus, in collaboration with the author and the publishers, it is putting together a ‘Conversation on Higher Education,’centered on the book, where the critical issues requisite to repositioning the nation’s higher educational system could be interrogated. The event is designed to bring together critical stakeholders in the higher educational sector, especially former/serving VCs, Provosts, Rectors, and officials of government, and several of its relevant agencies. Participation by some international organizations is also expected. Sub-themes to be covered will include but not limited to the following:

  • The Governance Role of the National Universities Commission (NUC)
  • University Autonomy or Freedom: Academic, Administrative or Financial?
  • Higher Education Funding: Challenges and Strategies
  • The Roles of Governing Councils and Staff Unions in Higher Institutions
  • Multiplication of Higher Institutions: Tonic or Toxic for National Development?
  • Global Ranking and Recognition: Impediments and Prospects

The outcome of the discussion is to be forwarded to relevant stakeholders, including government, as a critical input into policy.

A possible outcome is creation of ISGPP/Pan African Working Group on Higher Education It’s TOR would be to engage in sustained interrogation of the outcome of the Symposium and allied matters. Undertake advocacy and organise follow up activities to achieve the objective of taking our universities to global competitiveness and attend to the crisis state of higher education in Nigeria.