Privatization Of University Education And Quality Service Delivery In Southwest Nigeria
This study was undertaken to investigate privatization of university education and quality service deli very in South-West Nigeria. It was meant to assess the essence of privatization of university education and to ascertain the impact of adequate and modern facilities, coupled with quality teaching personnel on the quality of education and the mode of their service delivery in south-west Nigeria. Six research questions were formulated to guide the study. A descriptive survey design was adopted for the study and the data collection was validated questionnaire.
The study population sample was drawn from two private universities in Lagos and Ogun state. This study was made up of 100 students. The research questions that guided this study also formed the basis for the 4-item close-ended questionnaire that was administered. Section A contains personal data that differs among categories of respondents, while section B contains similar question items with little difference. The data gathered were analyzed qualitatively using statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) version 17.0 The findings from the analysis therefore shows that quality of teaching personnel has great influence on the quality of education ,coupled with adequate and modern facilities which has positive influence on education.
1.1 Background to the study
Universities all over the world are accepted as the citadel of learning and development of human resources. According to Subair (2008), the entire intellectual and professional life of a country depends on sound higher education, especially university education that provides quality products (graduates) of international standard. The Nigerian university system sprang out of the need for the development of a high level workforce to take the challenge of nation building after independent (Fadipe, 2000).
Higher education in general, which could be professional or technical education, in particular; plays vital roles in the economic and social development of a country. It provides a wide range of increasingly sophisticated and ever -changing variety of trained manpower needed in education, engineering, medicine, agriculture, management, communication, etc. It produces researchers, who, through their activities, deepen and extend frontiers of scientific and technical knowledge leading to innovations which energize engines of economic growth and development. Apart from developing human resources, higher education turns out thinkers who reflect on critical problem that affect humanity and thereby ensure its survival and development and growth.
Thus, the single most important indicator of the nation’s future can be said to be the state of its higher education. Universities are therefore identified as critical engines for socio-economic and political development. Universities have become a primary locus for innovation, expanding the pool of high calibre manpower to address the challenges of under-development. In Nigeria, education is however seen as an instrument for development and national integration. According to the National Policy on Education (FGN 2004), the teaching and research functions of higher educational institutions have an important role to play in national development particularly in development of high level manpower.
Specifically, the aims of higher education in Nigeria as articulated in the NPE include:
- The acquisition, development and inculcation of the proper value-orientation for the survival of individual and society.
- The development of intellectual capacities of individuals to understand and appreciate their environment.
- The acquisition of both physical and intellectual skills which enable individuals to develop into useful members of the community.
- The acquisition of an objective view of the local and external environments.
The policy further states that higher educational institutions should pursue their goals, through, teaching, research, the disseminating of existing and new information.
The exponential expansion of the university system since the 1980’s amidst complaints of dwindling standards led the federal government to adopt measures designed to control the quality of education. Some of these measures include: the closure to outreach centers or satellite campuses, introduction of rigid entry requirements such as the post JAMB aptitude test, unduly long duration of programmes and the transfer of regulations of regular programmes to distance learning Programme.
The Federal Government has embarked on some forward-looking policies to reform the University System. In March 2002, a National Summit on Higher Education was held to examine the management, funding curriculum relevance and access into universities. There is a mass evidence to show that the existing curriculum is not only defective, but also lacks quality. The NUC accreditation exercise in 2000 showed that, out of 1,185 academic programmes, only 11% were given full accreditation (NUC, 2001).
Besides, the requirements to run universities according to private sector principles and the dominance of managerial and entrepreneurial approaches to higher education have occupied the centre stage in educational management. What has become fashionable in Universities around the world is a shift from basic to applied research, with emphasis on the nexus between education and the economy, and greater concern with issues of intellectual property rights and the prioritization of research for product development and commercialization. (Mala Singh, 2001). These trends are bringing Universities in line with influential global paradigms and best practices.
More so, the demand for university education in the last 20 years is far greater than the supply. This is in spite of the phenomenal expansion in the publicly owned universities in Nigeria from 1 in 1948 to 56 in 2007.However, government had problems providing space for the large number of applicants ready to be admitted into the university, due to the explosive population rate of Nigerians,especially the young ones. According to the population Reference Bureau (PRB) 2003, Nigeria had a projected population of 133.9 million and 45 percent of these figures are people of school going age. Consequently, the government alone seems not to be able to provide the required educational facilities for the teeming population of the school age.Almost 30 million people in the world are fully qualified to enter a university; but no available place for them (Duderstadt 2002).
Bearing in mind that no less than half of the world populations are youth under age twenty, most of whom live in Africa, Asia and Latin America , it implication on staggering demand for university education is enormous for government alone to shoulder. In Nigeria for instance, the series of committees set up by the Federal Governments over the years (Long commission of 1990; EstuNupe committee on the future of Higher Education in Nigeria, 1996; and the Education , Science and Technology Committee of vision 2010 , 1997) consistently reported of the gross inadequate provision of the university education in Nigeria ( Olaniyan 2001).
In the absence of improved facilities to cope with, there is increase in demand in university education which makes most institution to exceed their carrying capacities, which is defined as the maximum number of students that the institution can sustain for qualitative education based on available human and material resources (NUC2005).
Although public universities have dominated the higher education landscape in Nigeria for several decades, their failure to cope with admission pressures became more critical with the introduction of the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) in the later part of the 1980s (Obasi,2007) .Hence, the public supply of higher education falls far short of the new demand. Incessant industrial unrest is another major issue that necessitates the emergence of private education. Strikes brings about destabilization of the learning process and lead to low quality service from lecturers because of their desire to cover lost ground. More so, there are serious allegations that the public university system in Nigeria is characterized by poor funding, high students’ wastage, huge unsatisfied demand-supply gap and lack of critical educational inputs. The tables below, shows the trend in university admission for the past few years.
Privatization Of University Education And Quality Service Delivery In Southwest Nigeria
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