Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

The Role of Academic Libraries in the Accreditation of Undergraduate Programmes: A Case Study of Federal University of Technology Minna, Niger State

Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

The Role of Academic Libraries in the Accreditation of Undergraduate Programmes: A Case Study of Federal University of Technology Minna, Niger State

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

Background to the study

The accreditation of degree and other academic programs is an acknowledgement process in which standards, guidelines and procedures are evaluated to ascertain the quality of a particular program by accrediting authorities which are either government agencies or professional bodies. Okebukola (2006) opined that accreditation of undergraduate programs in Nigerian Universities is meant to ensure that the provision of Minimum Academic Standard documents is attained, maintained and enhanced. It is a process of examining the obtainability and adequacy of resources, merit rating of resources and programs in order to enhance the quality of output. Accreditation as a process ensures that the curriculum, personnel, infrastructure, learning materials as well as the learning environment satisfy the needs and relevance of a university to achieve their predefined objectives. It is the process of evaluating from time to time, the academic standards of various undergraduate programs in various higher institutions of learning. In Nigeria, accreditation function is administered by the National University Commission (NUC) for all universities (including Federal, State and Private Universities), whereas the National Board for Technical Education (NABTE) handles that of Polytechnics and Mono-technics and finally, the National Commission for Colleges of Education who are concerned with the accreditation of other higher educational institutions like colleges of education and other institute that are responsible for training teachers It is also important to know that some professional or specialized courses are assessed by separate body or agencies. Some of these professional/specialized courses include: law, medicine, engineering and accounting.

The role of the National University Commission is to ensure that accreditation of academic programs, is made evident with continuous monitoring of these programs and subsequently, the accreditation of universities all through Nigeria. It is in this regard that Akomolafe (2009) pointed out the various benchmarks for accreditation of academic programs such as; to examine adequacy of admission requirements; resource assessment at the inception; scrutinize the fitness of philosophy of the programs and academic status of academic personnel. She further identified adequacy of office accommodation and curriculum in line with National University Commission Bench mark; budget allocation to departments; examine external moderation of scripts; results; scores; reports of student's work capability and library facilities. Some of these facilities include: number of library staff members, number of collection, currency, physical structure of the library, budget allocation and etcetera. Librarians are actively involved in the accreditation for the reason that the provision and use of library resources and services contribute to the quality of the student's educational experience. The way academic library support and manages its library collections reveals the priorities of the institution, the educational goals and methods of faculty and the performance of students and graduates. This view was further shared by Adegbesan (2011), who opined that the future of accreditation exercise is also of great attention, since the criteria that are formulated and applied may affect the proportion of the institutional resources that are available to libraries and the prospects for their performance.

The academic library is an integral part of a university, which exists to meet the information needs of students, staff, researchers and other users in the community. Onwudinjo (2015) posited that the main function of academic library is to serve as an auxiliary to its parent institution in carrying out its objectives. He also noted that the library is an important intellectual resource of an academic community, as it helps the university to fulfill the curriculum requirements and promote studies and research. …

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