Postgraduate Training: Don Advises on Alternative Funding
The Committee of Deans of Postgraduate Schools (CDPGS) in Nigerian Universities have been advised to look out for alternatives to funding postgraduate research and training.
The advice was contained in a Keynote Address delivered by Professor Olubukanla Okusanya, at the 46th Meeting of the Committee in Covenant University, Ota on Thursday, September 26, 2013.
Speaking on “Benchmark Issues in Postgraduate Training in Nigerian Universities”, Professor Okusanya who is one of the founding fathers of the committee, observed that, one of the most important and serious benchmark issues was funding for postgraduate education and called for all hands to be on deck and all innovations to have adequate funds for postgraduate training.
“The Universities and Postgraduate School Board should leave no stone unturned in finding adequate funds to provide resources for increased production of quality Ph.D degree holders to cope with the increasing number of universities in Nigeria.
“In developed countries, there are research grants for which academicians and researchers apply. Research students are then admitted to higher degrees using the grants”, he explained.
The professor of plant ecology in the Department of Biological Sciences, Covenant University noted that the benchmark set by the National Universities Commission (NUC) would lead to harmonization rather than streamlining postgraduate programmes in all universities.
“The Senate of a university should be allowed to regulate its postgraduate academic training to suit the needs of its community. For example, the MBA programme at universities in urban areas may benefit more by industrial attachments rather than by lectures or courses.”
Professor Okusanya took a swipe on the Federal Government’s decision to award scholarship to all First Class graduate from Nigerian Universities to pursue Ph.D degree programmes overseas.
“Does this mean that our Ph.D degrees are inferior to those from overseas? Should the huge amount of foreign currency not be used in developing our postgraduate programmes and research here in Nigeria”, he queried.
He expressed confidence in the postgraduate training and administration in the country’s education system citing example of a university in a West African country soliciting assistance from Nigeria to set up her postgraduate school.
In his opening remark, the Acting Chairman of the Committee, Professor Emmanuel Amadi, boasted that the Deans of Postgraduate Schools are the vanguards of postgraduate education and indeed all university education.
He was particularly happy that the meeting at Covenant University would deliberate on the BMAS for postgraduate schools which are faced with mounting problems that boarder on the quality of degrees and how to administer them.
While welcoming the participants, the Chief Host and Vice-Chancellor, Covenant University, Professor Charles Korede Ayo decried the state of education sector in the country which is faced with unstable academic calendar, inadequate teaching and research equipment, deplorable state of infrastructure, poor funding, unemployable graduates and over dependence on the developed world for solutions to local problems.
He therefore charged them to fashion out resolutions and recommendations that would turn around the history of higher education and in particular postgraduate education in Nigeria.
About 41 Deans of postgraduate Schools representing their various universities attended in the three-day meeting.