Nigeria: Nile University – Setting Higher Standard in Nigeria Ivory Tower

The yearnings and aspirations of parents and students of the Nigerian Tulip International Colleges (NTIC), which led to the establishment of the Nile University of Nigeria (NUN) exactly a decade ago, has been greatly achieved and met the standard actually expected from the management of the university. MAKINDE OLUWAROTIMI writes.

Since its establishment in 2009, the Abuja-based University has become a household name in the annals of education development in Nigeria having distinguished itself among its peers in spite of the young age of establishment as a citadel of learning that has advanced the course of education in the country.

NUN, even within its first decade of coming into the fold of tertiary education, has been able to register its name as a worthy and academic excellence institution that has not failed in its yearnings to carry on the tradition of the NTIC at the tertiary level. With its antecedents coupled with serene and conducive learning environment, the institution has been able to warm itself into the heart of the National University Commission (NUC), as this has led to the accreditation of all its courses, a feat that many old universities hardly achieved in their time. The amazing feat could not be swept under the carpet as the 6th convocation ceremony of the institution witnessed another record in which a total of 365 students graduated at the event, while distinguished Nigerians such as Emir of Kano, His Eminence, Muhammdu Sanusi II, and Alaafin of Oyo, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III, were conferred with the Doctorate Degree of Science (Honoris Causa), award for their excellent performance in enhancing the growth and development of education in Nigeria as a whole. The commendable record of the university at this present dispensation would not be complete without the invaluable contributions of the academic and non-academic staff that cuts across Nigeria and beyond in ensuring that the university attains the set objectives of its establishment in the last 10 years.

Professor Dr Huseyin Sert MD, the vice chancellor, in his address at the ceremony made it known that the university has been able to mould young people who are ready to take the world by storm, expressing confidence in the quality of education they have imbibed in these young ones who came from different homes and backgrounds, with different challenges, peculiarities, and yet adhere to the norms and values of university education, adding that it takes hard work and perseverance and team work to have come this far, while congratulating the students and parents for deeming it fit to send their children to Nile University.

As if that is not enough, the vice chancellor, who also doubles as the pro-chancellor, mentioned in his speech about the landslide of the university having 26 departments, six faculties, one College of Health Science, the School of Post Graduate Studies, a Center for Life-Long Learning, adding that all the programmes are approved by NUC and other regulatory bodies including MDCN, COREN, ICAN, ANAN, and Council of Legal Education. It does not stop there as the School of Post Graduate Studies offers 25 programmes in PGD, Masters of Arts Degree, Masters of Science Degree, Masters of Philosophy (Mphil), and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D).

In attestation to the emerging development and standard being set by NUN, Minister of State for Education, Prof Tony Gozie Anwuka’s speech at the convocation entitled, “Managing Education for Sustainability’ commented on the importance of quality education to socio-economic growth and development of nation that cannot be overemphasised. He noted that in spite of this well known fact, Nigeria has a lopsided and sub-optimal education management from primary to university level. He maintained that the involvement of Federal Government in primary and secondary education is misplacement of priority and subjugation of the duties of states and local governments, and that federal government can support primary and secondary education by providing support funds to sub-national government for these important strata of education.

The minister therefore administered in his speech that university education, having been bastardised over the years, needs to revive itself through sincere and practical management. The idea of undergraduates paying the sum of N25, 000 in some federal universities as tuition fee is unrealistic and will only lead to shoddy academic environment since the federal government cannot fully fund universities to meet international standard. However, he gave suggestion that to sustain education adequately and appropriately in Nigeria, education must be funded properly. Stress must be placed on full implementation of policies and the idea of enforcing/stressing consequences for inaction in educational management must be properly put in place.

“The simple reason is that the fund is not there considering enormous developmental challenges faced by the country in terms of provision of infrastructure for other sectors of the economy.

“For better and more virile university education with appropriate courses to meet the needs and aspirations of the country towards achieving appreciable mark in socio-economic growth and development, students need to pay realistic school fees comparable to students in Ghana and other African countries.

“Nigeria cannot continue to behave like a country that lacks manpower while the country has unimaginable number of university graduates seeking for work everyday.

“Realistic payment of tuition fees by university students will provide the system with fuel to fire on all cylinders in the production of international standard that can be exported to other economies to work and make living.”

In the same vein, Emir of Kano, His Eminence, Muhammadu Sanusi II, in his acceptance speech thanked the university authority on behalf of himself and family, members of the council, the Senate, and congregation for the honour bestowed on him, but he did not leave the podium without delivering a thoughtful speech that rocked the event centre. He disclosed, “It is normal at time like this that we see the opportunity to discuss matters relevant to events such as this which are of national interest. We stand here in the compound of the Nile University of Nigeria founded and funded by Foundation from Turkey, and as a member of D8, Nigerians are aware of the great advances that have been made by Turkey over centuries in the field of education.

Perhaps at this point, it would be relevant to ask ourselves what we can learn from Turkish experience. And to understand Turkey today, especially Turkish education, you have to go back 400 years at least to the days of Ottoman Empire under Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent, whom they referred to as Ganoni Suleyman, who became the Sultan of Ottoman Empire in 1520 at the age of 25. Every time, we read his history, conquest of Europe, Africa and Mediterranean and little emphasis is placed on the significant investment he made in education and administrative reform. He differs from his predecessors; he was not just a man of sword but of pen who had been educated before he became the Sultan. He set up schools funded by Islamic foundation and tied it to mosques that gave the Turks the best education in Europe as at that time. Turkey continues to reap the fruit of that investment.

These schools are Madrasat set up not just for learning Qur’an, but hadiths, astronomy, mathematics, physics, astrology and science. And if I were to summarise, the key factors surrounding Suleyman the Magnificent’s education sector, are things which we are now seeing with the foundation in Turkey to build this fantastic university in Nigeria. I will list a number of items that standout clearly and I do hope that as a country, we will learn from these.”

The Alaafin Oyo, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III, on his part expressed his heartfelt thanks to the authority, the proprietor of the university for deeming it fit to honour him with the Doctorate Degree of Science (Honoris Causa), saying that as a researcher, it would further ginger him in his pursuit of knowledge in all ramifications.


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Publish date : 2018-11-02 14:00:14

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