Despite the exorbitant fees received in tuition from students most Nigerian private universities do not produce high quality graduates, the Chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) in Plateau State, Dr. Lazarus Maigoro, said on Thursday in Jos.
Mr. Maigoro, speaking to NAN on the newly approved private universities decried low academic standards in most of the existing private universities in the country and charged the new ones to live up to expectations. He said they must ensure quality and good academic standards in their operations.
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday granted approval to 20 new private universities in the country.
The chairman also bemoaned the alarming rate of poor quality graduates he alleged the private universities are churning out annually.
“It is actually good to have private universities that have standard and quality, unfortunately, most of the existing ones are nothing to write home about,” he said scathingly. “Most at times, they push out people with empty brains as graduates; these graduates hardly contribute meaningfully to the growth and development of the society.
Mr. Maigoro called on the federal government and relevant agencies to intensify monitoring mechanisms to set high standards.
He further advised the new institutions to charge moderate school fees in order to accommodate children of both the rich and the poor in the society.
“In any case, the essence of having private universities is to reduce pressure on public universities.
“But you discover that the exorbitant fees they charge still don’t address the problem. Many people can’t cope with the high charges.
“So, even with the large number of privately owned universities in the country, their enrollment rate is just ten percent. Public universities still have pressure,” he said.
The ASUU chairman also called on the government at all levels to ensure proper funding of public universities to improve standards.
NAN reports that the newly approved private universities include; Topfaith University, Mkpatak, Thomas Adewumi University, Oko-Irese, Maranathan University, Mgbidi, Ave Maria University, Piyanko, Al-Istiqama University, Sumaila, and Mudiame University, Irrua.
Also approved are; Havilla University, Nde-Ikom, Claretian University of Nigeria, Nekede, NOK University, Kachia, Karl-Kumm University, Vom, James Hope University, Lagos, Maryam Abacha American University of Nigeria,Kano, Capital City University, Kano, and Ahman Pategi University, Pategi,
Others include; University of Offa, Offa, Mewar University, Masaka, Edusoko University, Bida, Philomath University, Kuje, Khadija University, Majia, and Anan University, Kwall,