This was made known at a two days National summit on private Universities on Monday in Abuja by Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, the Executive Secretary of NUC. The summit had as its theme: “Private University Education Delivery in Nigeria: Challenges and Opportunities .’’

The National Universities Commission (NUC) says it is currently working on 303 new private universities applications to meet the needs of tertiary education in the country.

Rasheed explained that applications received were from groups of individuals, corporate organizations foundations and faith-based organizations from all over the country.

The executive secretary, while delivering a lead paper at the maiden edition of the summit, said the country currently had 170 universities out of which 79 were private with 38, representing 48.11 percent owned by faith-based organizations.

He said 41 universities, representing 51.89 percent were owned by corporate bodies, foundations or individuals. He noted that there were many private universities in the country, most of them are still unable to meet their admission quotas.

He, therefore, said that this problem was not enough to stop the licensing of new universities to meet the high demands of varsities education in the country.

Listing some challenges private universities were faced with, Rasheed included non-availability of quality infrastructure and facilities, merit-based student admission, staffing, and sustainable funding, among others.

Rasheed, however, said the summit was to serve as an avenue for the exchange and promotion of good practices in private university education delivery in Nigeria as well initiating a dialogue on the challenges and opportunities in the subsector.

“The summit aims at supporting the Nigerian government’s effort at developing academic, institutional and executive capacities within the higher education subsector.

“It will also enable it to compete effectively and be relevant in an increasingly knowledge-driven world economy,” he said.

He said though there were first class private universities performing excellently within their mandates, there were some also that had come to complicate the corruption that was in the system as convocations in some private universities were more like family meetings where only members of the family took charge. (NAN)

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