The Executive Secretary of National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof Abubakar Rasheed, has disclosed that the commission is currently processing 303 applications for the establishment of more private universities in the country.
Prof Rasheed disclosed this at a two-day National Summit on Private Universities with the theme “Private University Education Delivery in Nigeria: Challenges and Opportunities.”
He said the applications were received from group of individuals, corporate and faith-based organizations across the country.
He said the summit was aimed at supporting Nigerian government’s effort at developing academic, institutional and executive capacities within the higher education sub-sector, to enable it compete effectively and be relevant in an increasingly knowledge-driven economy.
According to him the commission is working with the National Assembly to review the guidelines for the establishment of private varsities, saying, it is no longer realistic to say a university must be built in a 100 hectares of land.
He however expressed dissatisfaction on inflation of unhealthy parallel grades by private universities.
He noted that in spite of the challenges they have done well in assisting government in providing university education.
Also speaking, the Registrar, Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, (JAMB), Prof. Ishaq Oloyede said some private universities have fallen short of expectation.
The minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Arc Sonny Echono, stated that the private universities are faced with numerous challenges of inadequate funding, proprietor influence, staffing and students’ admission quota among others.
He said there is need to do more to attract best brains in the world to come and teach in Nigerian varsities as well as foreign students as well.