The Association of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities (AVCNU) on Thursday advocated that Nigerian universities should be re-positioned to effectively respond to the needs of the nation.
They said this could be achieved through strategic collaborations with industries to carry out research and develop prototypes that serve the needs of society.
They made these known in a communique issued by its Secretary-General, Prof. Michael Faborode, at the end of the association’s 32nd annual conference.
The five-day conference held at the Kwara State University, Malete, had as theme : “21st Century University Education in Nigeria: Prospects and Challenges.’’
According to the communique, government at all levels in Nigeria must radically increase their investments in the country’s education sector to enhance access to quality education.
It added that bursaries, students’ loans and scholarships for indigent students should be institutionalised to increase access to quality education.
”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 toward development,” the communique read.
It added that 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.
”Also, 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 toward 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 communique stated.