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Varsities Talk: So you want to be a lawyer? Be careful the university you attend (1)

By Dele Sobowale

My Dear Dele,
Please help us find out if Afe Babalola University has accreditation for Law – not provisional accreditation. We have a daughter wanting to read law there. Thanks! From Chief J.O.A Ayomike. Warri.

When about three years ago I started to undertake personally funded research into the situation with universities, one of my objectives was to get parents and prospective students applying to read various courses, at Nigerian universities to be able to make intelligent and informed choices.
The proliferation of public and private universities, without a corresponding increase in the number of teaching and even non-academic staff (not any jackass can be a good Bursar or Registrar for God’s sake) was the first thing to draw my attention; and it pointed to serious problems ahead for university education in Nigeria.

The second thing which was most disturbing for public and private universities springing up nationwide, was the clear possibility that many proprietors of the universities, particularly the private universities, might not fully understand the economics of university management. Too many of the universities were becoming monuments to individual egos rather than institutions that would stand the test of time.

So, for two years, I went about quietly visiting universities, taking notes, and collecting information. It must be admitted that not all the universities have been visited. But, I seldom miss an opportunity to enter a university – once I am close to it. Mostly what I discovered was alarming. To be quite candid, it is a mystery to me why the National Universities Commission, NUC, would even grant provisional accreditation to those units – many of which are glorified Higher School Certificate or GCE Advanced level certificate peddlers.

Faculty of law or what?
Reproduced below is the most up-to-date status of Nigerian universities offering Law as a discipline.
The update speaks volumes. Only one university in Nigeria, University of Lagos, UNILAG, has full accreditation. Even all of our first generation universities are running their courses on perpetual “provisional accreditation” – meaning that there is some deficiency in the service delivery.

Most of our SANs went through schools which are still operating with “provisional accreditation” 20 years after they graduated. That again speaks volumes about the universities and the NUC which grants 20 years “provisional accreditation”.

Some disasters have followed when some universities granted “provisional accreditation” admitted students for several years and later have the accreditation withdrawn or suspended. The students who spent over three or four years, at those universities, face bleak futures.


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