James Sowole in Akure
The Vice-Chancellor of Elizade University, Ilara Mokin, Ondo State, Prof. Kunle Oloyede, has called on the federal government to assist private universities in the country, saying that the institutions cannot be funded by their proprietors alone.
He made the call during the second foundation day lecture of the institution titled ‘Future: Here Earlier than We Thought’, delivered by the Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, which attracted guests from all walks of life.
Oloyede said the university, which was established to produce 21st century generic and professional skills for national and global competitiveness needs alternative funding apart from what the proprietor alone can provide.
“This idea of producing quality and employable graduates cannot be realised by a single funding source such as that provided by our founder alone as world-class universities are an expensive undertaking, even for government in more advanced and wealthier countries.
“Private universities need a helping hand; these institutions are busy educating the future of Nigeria in the same manner as their public counterparts. They are not money-making enterprises, but a significant drain on the net worth of their proprietors.”
He said there are more than 60 private universities in the country, which constitute a significant sector in educating the future of Nigeria and appealed to the government to look into how to support these citadels of learning and teaching, research and knowledge production and dissemination, community service.
The VC said the government can assist through the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) Act or by other means possible, adding that the change agenda of the current government would not be complete without adequate facilities and enough institutions to educate all the students that are qualified for university and who would play key roles in the future of the nation.
Oloyede announced that the management would soon launch an endowment fund to raise fund for the university founded by Chief Michael Ade Ojo.