The Vice-Chancellor, Crawford University, Prof Olurotimi Ajayi, says that most of the private universities in the country are not profit driven, hence they are established to complement the existing ones.
Ajayi stated this after a news conference, heralding the activities to mark the 9th convocation of the university that private universities only charged maintenance fees not commercial fees.
The faith-based Crawford University, Igbesa, Ogun was established in 2015 by the Apostolic Faith Church Mission.
“There has been the debate over the establishment of private universities as regards the profiteering motive which has been on the contrary.
“Universities are very expensive, anybody can ask even the Federal Government how much it spends on maintenance of the existing public institutions.
“Even some states cannot afford more than one because it is capital intensive and even ask them how much they are generating from those universities.
“Private universities are not established to look after profit, that is not the vision of those who started them, they are established as an intervention to the declining standard of tertiary education,’’ he said.
Ajayi said that the cost of maintaining universities were enormous hence, the missionary schools saw them more of a social provision toward the development of education.
“If we can go back to the history of setting up of universities, they started as faith-based, we will see clearly that the vision is to provide an intervention which can stimulate academic excellence.
“The cost of running universities is very enormous, considering the wages of the academic and non-academic staff. We also have other running costs which are also back-breaking.
“It is a disservice to say that we are making profits; where is that coming from? We are just managing to put our heads up for survival.
“The students fees cannot even pay for some of the expenses that is the reason the owners of the universities do supply intervention funds almost every time,’’ he said.
Ajayi said that government could help to ameliorate the high expenses from these private universities through intervention funds from its agencies such as TETFund.
“We can say that we need the government’s help because provision of education is within the list of government function. They can support through TETFund.
“We are complementing government’s efforts in a great way through our contributions to manpower development in terms of personnel, so, I see no reason why it cannot help.
“Government can come in through its own way to appreciate the wonderful things we have brought to the education system in Nigeria and that is the way to go.
“Private universities have produced students of higher ranks more than the public universities and we have also broke into the Webometrics ranking, which is commendable,’’ he said.
The 9th convocation Crawford University, a total of 230 graduands will be awarded First Degrees, while 40 are to be awarded Postgraduate Diplomas.
A further breakdown of the graduates, shows that 78 are from the College of Natural and Applied Science, while 152 will be from the College of Business and Social Sciences.
Twenty-two students got First Class, while 88 graduates passed out with Second Class Upper Division, 83 had Second Class Lower Division, while 37 had Third Class.
The convocation ceremony comes up on Dec. 13, at the University’s Hall, Igbesa, Ogun.