Hammed Shitu in Ilorin

The Association of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities (AVCNU) has urged the federal government to radically increase their investments in the country’s education in order to enhance access to quality education.

The association also advocated that the nation’s universities should be repositioned to enable them effectively respond to the needs of the nation through strategic collaborations with industries to carry out research and develop prototypes that serve the needs of society.

This was contained in a communique issued at the end of its four- day conference held at the Kwara State University, Malete, a copy of which was made available to journalists in Ilorin yesterday and signed by AVCNU’ s Secretary- General, Prof M. O Faborode.

It said bursaries, students’ loans, and scholarships for indigent students should be institutionalised to increase access to quality education.

It added that: “Accountability, transparency, and internal quality assurance measures should be institutionalised to strongly confront corrupt tendencies in the Nigerian university system.

“As access to quality education is crucial to attaining sustainable development, universities should mainstream the SDGs, offer insightful analyses and proffer solutions to challenges of climate change. Data acquired in the course of research should be shared to improve research geared towards development.

.”Nigerian universities should key into the internationalisation agenda by leveraging on existing networks and also improving visibility to boost their profiles.

“The enabling environment for students of Nigerian universities to acquire the right entrepreneurial skills should be provided. Student Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES) should be leveraged to improve hands-on experience in industrial and entrepreneurial training.

“Research and students’ projects should be innovative, purpose driven and tailored towards improving graduate employability, job creation as well as solving societal problems.

“Nigerian universities should encourage research findings to be in the public domain through budgeting for, and promoting open access publishing.Universities in Nigeria should continue to strive to improve on their global recognition”.

The AVCNU thanked the host university, the government and the people of Kwara State for the excellent hosting.