The Federal Government of Nigeria and stakeholders in the tertiary education and industry sectors have come together and agreed to upgrade Nigeria’s universities.
They sought a consensus for the academia and industry blueprint towards the revitalization of the country’s university system.
The blueprint, which would be the outcome of a synergy between the government, academia and industry, was described as critical to reforming tertiary education in the country.
The stakeholders said the blueprint would focus on the need to reposition the education sector to deliver “national outcomes and impact”
They disclosed this at the Nigerian Economic Summit Group and the National Universities Commission’s academia-industry retreat tagged, “Making Higher Education Work for Nigeria” in Victoria Island, Lagos.
Sunday Echono, Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Education, said the government wanted to enhance human capital, produce problem solvers, wealth creators and graduates who could fit into the industry.
“There is a universally accepted view that human capital is important. We believe that the university has a critical role to play in national development. The enrolment into universities should be 3.7 to 7 per cent of the national population; right now we are barely at one per cent.
“However, there are those who believe that we should not bother about access because of the high number of unemployed persons, but that is a fallacy.
“The synergy between the government, industry and academia is, therefore, important because we want to produce problem solvers, wealth creators and graduates who can fit into the industry.
“The barriers that the private sector has are lower than the public sector. Therefore, the public sector needs to find a way to bring down the barriers for development sake,” he stated.
The Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Abubakar Raheed, urged universities to justify their existence by carrying out researches that would meet the needs of the society to enable the nation to catch up with the developed countries.