NUC Warns NBTE against Implementing ‘Top-up Degree’ Programme for Polytechnic Graduates

NUC Warns NBTE against Implementing ‘Top-up Degree’ Programme for Polytechnic Graduates

Kuni Tyessi in Abuja

The National Universities Commission (NUC) has disowned the one-year ‘top-up degree’ programme for Nigerian polytechnic graduates officially announced by the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE).

Recall that in August, the NBTE unveiled an online programme for Higher National Diploma (HND) holders to acquire Bachelor’s degree certificates within one year.
But NUC, in a statement signed by its Acting Executive Secretary, Chris J. Maiyaki, warned Nigerians and all relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to be wary of such information as the commission is not a party to the top-up scheme introduced by the NBTE.

“The attention of the NUC has been drawn to the news (online) that the NBTE has officially introduced a one-year top-up degree programme in Nigerian Polytechnics to enable holders of HND to convert their certificates to the first degree with foreign accredited universities.

 “The online news, which was credited to the Executive Secretary of the NBTE, Prof Idris Bugaje and the Board’s Head of Media Unit, Mrs. Fatima Abubakar, revealed that the action was in furtherance of the advocacy for the removal of the existing dichotomy between degree holders and HND graduates in their various places of work, and to enhance the beneficiaries’ opportunities for further studies.

“The NUC wishes to inform the management of the NBTE and the general public that the ‘Bill for an Act to Abolish and Prohibit Dichotomy and Discrimination between First Degree and Higher National Diploma in the Same Profession/Field for the Purpose of Employment, and for Related Matters’, which was passed by the 9th National Assembly in 2021, is yet to be assented to by Mr. President and Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“So, even though agitation continues to grow for the abolition of the dichotomy in Nigeria, there is, at the moment, no law that has removed the dichotomy between a university degree and the HND.

“The university degree awarded by the Nigerian university system or any cognate institution is not the same as the HND awarded by Polytechnics in Nigeria.
“In the Nigerian higher education space, the processes, contents and methods required for the acquisition of a university degree are substantially different from those needed for HND programmes.

“At the post-graduate level, the requirements for admission into any master’s degree programme in Nigerian universities for candidates with HND are, among others, the acquisition of a Postgraduate Diploma (PGD) from a recognised university in an area relevant to that for which the master’s admission is being sought.
“To this end, it is implicit that beneficiaries of the NBTE’s Top-Up Programme shall be subjected to extant admission requirements by Nigerian universities, should they desire to further their studies in the NUS,” it said.

The statement advised the NBTE to focus on its core mandate and desist from introducing programmes that are outside its jurisdiction and not supported by any law in Nigeria.

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