A professor of political science and former vice-chancellor of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, Ondo State, Femi Mimiko, has sounded the alarm about the state of the country’s university system, saying that poor governance, the lack of innovation and the convoluted nomination system combined to put him in dire straits.
Mimiko made the observation during the special farewell and 70th birthday lecture of former Federal University of Technology Akure Vice-Chancellor Prof. Adebisi Balogun in Akure.
In his lecture entitled “Rethinking our Challenges and their Contradictions: Reform Imperatives in the Governance Structure of Higher Education Institutions in Nigeria,” Mimiko said, “Lack of funds is a challenge, but it does not tell the whole story. the history of challenges in the university system.
“The convoluted governance structure is also a major problem. The university has made a nonsense of the autonomy it has won to the extent that in choosing the vice-chancellors the trustees are now running to the Minister of Education to rule after making a nonsense of the process.
He said that while Nigeria had nearly 205 universities, 152 polytechnics, 36 monotechnics and over 200 colleges of education, it should provide a solid foundation for development.
“But that is not the case. If universities have taken their rightful place in the scheme of things, half the population will not live in poverty. Nigerian universities are not as efficient as they should be.” ‘be.
“There is a correlation between the state of development of a country and its universities. Universities across the country have not been able to crystallize development,” the guest speaker said.
Mimiko said the lack of synergy between government, industry and academia has further compounded the system’s inability to function optimally.
He disagreed with the general idea that Nigerian graduates were unemployable, expressing the need to focus more on developing life skills and critical thinking in students.
According to him, this will go a long way in enabling students to have a richer learning experience that can enable them to get along anywhere in the world.
He said higher education in Nigeria must not lose sight of knowledge building and value addition, describing it as the most credible platform to catalyze development.
He said the system must become transparent and use its autonomy, self-governance and regulation to its advantage and the development of the country.
The president of the occasion and former pro-chancellor of the Federal University of Lafia, Basorun Seinde Arogbofa, said that Balogun embodied the mantra of Omoluabi.