Academic journal article Journal of Emerging Trends in Educational Research and Policy Studies

Proliferation of Illegal Tertiary Institutions of Learning in Nigeria: Implications for Quality Education, Self-Reliance, Economic Growth and Development

Academic journal article Journal of Emerging Trends in Educational Research and Policy Studies

Proliferation of Illegal Tertiary Institutions of Learning in Nigeria: Implications for Quality Education, Self-Reliance, Economic Growth and Development

Article excerpt

Abstract

This paper examined the proliferation of illegal tertiary institutions of learning in Nigeria. These institutions are termed illegal because their establishment and operation are without legal authorization. They exist without permission from the higher education regulatory bodies such as National Universities Commission (NUC), the National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE) and the National Board of Technical Education (NBTE). The characteristics of some of these illegal institutions identified in this paper included among others poor, obsolete and inadequate infrastructure, inadequate and inexperienced academic staff, high tuition fees and other forms of exploitation of students as well as lack of control, monitoring and discipline. The implication of these factors on quality education, self-reliance and national growth and development was examined in this write up. Recommendations such as closing down of such illegal institutions, blacklisting the institutions if they operate in defiance, greater awareness campaign against patronage and expansion of accredited federal, states and privately owned tertiary institutions of learning among others were put forward.

Keywords: proliferation, illegal institutions, quality, self-reliance, development

INTRODUCTION

In Nigeria, it is no longer news that the existing higher institutions of learning- Universities, Polytechnics Colleges of Education as well as Colleges of Agriculture and the Monotechnics that are licensed to operate are inadequate to accommodate on a yearly basis, the teeming graduates, who by their "O level" results or certificates are very qualified for admissions to higher institutions of learning. From five (5) universities and a total enrolment of 3,646 students in 1962, the Nigerian university system according to Moti (2010) has grown to 104 institutions made up of 27 federal universities, 35 state universities and 42 private universities with a total enrolment of about 726, 760 students. Between 2010 and 2012, the number had increased to 124 outside Polytechnics, Monotechnics and Colleges of Education and yet the problem of access seemed not reduced. This according to Moti (2010) is because of the social benefits of education in a society that social mobility depends largely on the level of education acquired.

In fact, each year, thousands of applicants sit for the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) examination and less than twenty percent (20%) on the average as Moti (2010) noted gained admission into the universities. Apart from this gross inadequacy, the carrying capacities of these existing higher institutions are low. These make competitions to be so keen, stressful and frustrating to many youths of this country that show high zeal for progress in their studies.

This protracted difficulty in admission has provided opportunities to some Nigerians to establish some private institutions of higher learning especially when the policy of private participation in higher education became pronounced. In 1999, the first Private University Education first kicked offin Nigeria under the President Olusegun Obasanjo's administration (Jiduwa, 2010). And since then, many private universities, polytechnics and colleges of education had been established. Today, in Nigeria, there is more private ownership of tertiary institutions than there are those belonging to governments at the federal as well as the states levels.

Many of these private tertiary institutions however, are established without due process. They exist and operate without legal authorization. These institutions are made to spring up in different locations in Nigeria. In Kogi State for instance, the Central Polytechnic, Moon Light Polytechnic, Alhikma University, and the School of Health Technology among others exist and operate illegally. Similarly, in Benue State that is a neighboring state to Kogi, several of such unauthorized institutions as the Immaculate Heart College of Education, Bethel Polytechnic, Aliede College of Education, Lobi Polytechnic and North-Central University are seen to liter everywhere. …

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