From Fred Ezeh, Abuja

National Universities Commission (NUC), on Friday, unveiled what it considered as the major secrets that private university operators must know in order to successfully manage their institutions.

Executive Secretary of NUC, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, who unveiled the secret in a paper he presented at the pre-convocation lecture he delivered at the Bingham University, Karu, Nasarawa State, confirmed that private universities are becoming the toast of many Nigerians who are seeking university education.

As a result, he has asked the private university operators in Nigeria to stand firm on qualities and standard, academically and otherwise, in order to continually attract the kind of students they want and also remain relevant in the comity of ivory towers within and outside Nigeria.

In addition to that, he advised that they search and look out for proven competence and experience in terms of recruitment of management and staff, and not promote issues of ethnicity, religious, among others that would affect their employees.

He said: “The institution is called ‘university’, meaning that they should be universal in their activities and not restricted to a local or state environment. In public universities, the challenge of selection of Vice Chancellor or other senior management staff is big. Many communities often insist that it must be a member of their community, local government or state should occupy the office. Some go as far being fetish. That’s how bad it has become.”

He encouraged private university operators to look beyond state, community, or whatever, in terms of recruitment of management staff, rather subject all applicant to thorough scrutiny and be sure they are qualified, academically, experience-wise and other criteria.

This, he added, will increase public confidence in private universities, and also boost reputations, credibility especially this period that more people are considering private universities for their children because of periodic ASUU strike. “It will in turn, attract support, grants and other opportunities from within and outside Nigeria.

“Unarguably, periodic academic disruptions in public universities due to ASUU strike has made parents and guardians loose interest in public universities and are tilting towards private universities.

“Before this ASUU strike that just ended few weeks ago, private universities had accounted for little above five per cent of total university admissions. But the figure has gone up due the increasing lost of interest in public universities by parents and guardians. Recent record indicated that private universities now account for over 10 per cent of university admissions in Nigeria.”

He, however, commended Bingham University for being one of the private universities in Nigeria that is leading the way in terms of academic and non-academic activities, hence the improvement in academic and administrative programmes.

He assured the institution that NUC will continually provide them with support to ensure that they move from where they are currently, academically and otherwise, to where they ought to be, and possibly compete with other global ivory towers.

Vice Chancellor of Bingham University, Prof.
William Qurix, in his remarks, appreciated the NUC Executive Secretary, for what he termed as a loaded paper, and appreciated him for the support the school has so far received from NUC.

He assured him that the institution will continue to uphold standards and quality, in academic and non-academic activities.

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Source: news