Academic journal article International Education Studies

Planning and Funding of Higher Education in Nigeria: The Challenges

Academic journal article International Education Studies

Planning and Funding of Higher Education in Nigeria: The Challenges

Article excerpt

Abstract

Higher education remains the pivot of national development in Nigeria. This is because the stock of highly-educated individuals produced by higher education institutions plays an important role in the innovation and the sustainable development of any society. However, over time, these institutions have experienced increase in enrolments and yet the number of candidates seeking admission into these institutions outpaces the available spaces in the institutions. Inadequate fiscal resources have also eroded the desired qualitative higher education and the needed national development. In this paper, challenges facing planning and funding of qualitative higher education in Nigeria are examined. The paper therefore infers the need for proper planning of higher education system to ensure qualitative higher education so as to reduce educational wastages and enhance effective utilization of the available educational scarce resources.

Keywords: planning, funding, higher education, challenges, Nigeria

1. Introduction

The role of higher education as essential to national development cannot be over emphasized. This is due to the contribution of higher education in producing higher-level skills and competencies as essential to national development particularly in the context of globalization and the shifttowards knowledge economies. For these reasons, countries all over the world, Nigeria inclusive are giving higher education the needed policy attention.

Higher education includes all types of study, training or trainings for research at post-secondary level, provided by the universities or other educational establishments that are approved as institutions of higher education by competent state authorities (UNESCO, 2003).

Also Johnstone (2006) opines that higher education as an agent of change, national growth and instrument for the realization of collective aspiration should contribute to the development of the entire education system through teacher education, curriculum development and educational research thereby providing the crucial mass skills and educated populace needed by any country to ensure genuine endogenous sustainable development.

Meanwhile in the Nigerian Education system, Higher education is the education given after secondary education. It constitutes Federal universities, State Universities, University of technology, University of Agriculture, polytechnics and Colleges of education. They are often referred to as either Post Secondary Education, Tertiary Institutions, or Institutions of Higher learning owned either by the Federal Government, State Government or Private Agencies as provided by the National Policy on Education.(NPE,2004)

Globally, UNESCO (2006), on world enrollment of the number of tertiary students per 100,000 inhabitants in the world bank countries confirms that over six fold increase in students' enrollment worldwide rose from 13 million in 1996 to 102 million in 2003. UNESCO (2006) also reports that a widening gap has been observed between industrially developed, developing countries; particularly the least developed countries with regards to access and resources for higher learning and research leading to increase socio-economic stratification and greater difference in education opportunity within countries.

According to the Global Education digest (2009), the number of students pursuing tertiary education has skyrocketed over the past 37 years, growing five-fold from 28.6 million in 1970 to 152.5 million in 2007. This translates into an average annual increase of 4.6. The Sub-Saharan Africa has experienced the highest average regional growth rate with student enrolments that have risen by an average of 8.6 percent each year. Yet, in spite of this achievement, the region still lags behind other regions in terms of total tertiary student enrolments. Today, there are 20 times more students than in 1970, with an additional 3.9 million enrolment (GED, 2009). …

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