Academic journal article International Education Studies

Challenges of Globalization and Quality Assurance in Nigerian University Education

Academic journal article International Education Studies

Challenges of Globalization and Quality Assurance in Nigerian University Education

Article excerpt

Abstract

The study was undertaken to examine the state of quality assurance mechanisms in Nigerian universities with a view to proffering measures that would enhance the quality of education obtained in the institutions. The population consisted of professors from federal universities in the south-south region of Nigeria, numbering 624. The stratified sampling technique was used in selecting a sample of 225 professors from the universities for the study. Two null hypotheses were formulated based on the variables of the study. These were tested at 0.05 alpha level, using t-test analysis. Data collection was done with the use of a structured questionnaire tagged "Quality Assurance in Nigerian University Education" (QANUE). The calculated t-values were less than the critical t, leading to the retention of the two null hypotheses. It was therefore concluded that the quality of Nigerian University Education is low and cannot measure up globally due to the poor state of quality assurance mechanisms in the universities. Based on this, measures for improving the quality of Nigerian university education were recommended to include adequate funding, updated libraries, well equipped laboratories and workshops, provision of instructional materials and school infrastructure, lecturer motivation and proper supervision.

Keywords: globalization, quality assurance, funding, labour market, national unversities commission, Bench Mark Academic Standard (BMAS), total quality management

1. Introduction

Concern for quality in Nigeria University Education is most desirable for obvious reasons. University Education is the nation's hope for national development and there is the growing importance of trans-border education provided by globalization and massive education. Globally, quality in education, especially university education has become a topical issue. Globalization has led to a high level of competition for jobs and positions in international labour market. Products of universities in the world compete interestingly for available positions. Studies have indicated that geo-political and national boundaries are no barriers at international labour market. Only the best, the very best, compete for available job vacancies (Dabalen, A., & Oni, B., 2000). This underscores the need for quality assurance at the institutional level. Unfortunately, university education in Nigeria which hitherto enjoyed tremendous global respectability and acceptability is fast loosing its high esteem in the face of labour market and members of both national and international communities because the current certified Nigerian graduates lack acceptable level of competence in their areas of specialization. (Uvah, I. I., 2005) observed that many departments in Nigerian universities are producing not so qualified graduates which have a negative chain effect in the economic, social and political development of the country. (Osagie, R. O., 2005) noted the regret of the Honourable Minister of Education that foreign Universities are reluctant to recognize Nigerian Universities Degrees and many parents are sending their children to foreign universities for quality education. The study investigates the state of quality assurance mechanisms in Nigerian universities with a view to recommending measures that would enhance the quality of university education in the country.

2. Quality Assurance and University Education in Nigeria

Ramen-Yusuf (2005) defines quality simply as "fitness for purpose". Quality refers to the degree of excellence in a product.

It is the combination of all attributes and peculiar features that make a product (good or service) fit for a purpose. Quality assurance is the process of maintaining standards in products or services. Quality in Nigerian University Education is a multidimensional concept which should embrace all its functions and activities: teaching and academic programmes, research and scholarship, staffing, students, buildings, facilities, equipment, services to the community and the academic environment (UNESCO, 2000). …

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