The Politics of Access: University Education and Nation-Building in Nigeria, 1948-2000

The Politics of Access: University Education and Nation-Building in Nigeria, 1948-2000

The Politics of Access: University Education and Nation-Building in Nigeria, 1948-2000

The Politics of Access: University Education and Nation-Building in Nigeria, 1948-2000

Excerpt

Access to university education in Africa was inadequate during the colonial period. At independence, however, African countries departed from the elitist colonial education system by embarking on programs aimed at providing education to all, regardless of class, ethnicity, gender, or creed. Nowhere in Africa has the question of access to university education reached such a crescendo of concern and posed such a challenge to the polity than in Nigeria. This book constitutes a history of the policies and politics surrounding the push for mass university education (massification) in postcolonial Nigeria. The concept of massification as used in this study refers to Nigeria’s postcolonial shift from elitist university educational system to mass education. As the most populous, oil-rich nation in Africa, with a protracted ethnic and religious conflict between the predominantly Muslim North and Christian South, the push for mass university education is central to understanding Nigeria’s postcolonial socio-economic and political history. This book argues that the premise of building a modern Nigerian nation underscored the pursuit of mass university education policies by Nigeria’s successive postcolonial governments. It shows the centrality of a vision of university education to the “nationalist project” in Nigeria and demonstrates that the move to mass university education . . .

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