By Kingsley Adegboye
The study of architecture in Nigerian universities received a boost last week as the National Universities Commission, NUC, approved the request by the Architects Registration Council of Nigeria, ARCON, to upgrade study of architecture from departmental to faculty level.
This upgrade is expected to become operational in a few months, as the commission disclosed that it would soon hold a one-day retreat with all academic and practising architects to kick-start the new development.
Prof. Abdulrasheed Abubakar, NUC’s Executive Secretary made this disclosure in Abuja during the annual colloquium organised by ARCON. Abubakar, who was represented by Dr. (Mrs.) Mariam Salle, Acting Director, Department of Students’ Support Services, NUC, said having been satisfied that ARCON had met all specified conditions, the NUC had approved in principle its request to upgrade architecture study in Nigerian universities from the departmental to faculty level.
Ahead of implementing this development and to ensure seamless execution, NUC boss said very soon, a one-day retreat would be held with the academics and the professionals to finalise the upgrading process.
Abubakar who said a directive would be sent to the universities for immediate implementation after the retreat, informed that ARCON’s request was a good one; hence, NUC gave the approval, pointing out that the approval would no doubt lift the profession of architecture to the next level.
“The graduate of that course will be better off. The studies of architecture will definitely be better off with this. It is a positive development for Nigerian students studying architecture,” the NUC boss noted.
The NUC helmsman therefore urged leaders of the profession to embrace the approval and work towards improving the delivery of the curriculum.
Reacting to the development, Umaru Aliyu, President, Architects Registration Council of Nigeria, said the approval brought a great excitement to them, because ARCON had been on this since 2012, adding it was a dream come true.
Umaru said that by this policy, it means the production of architects in Nigeria will triple. “Now that study of architecture has been upgraded to faculty, it means that more prospective students would be admitted and that will clearly lead to increased number of architects in Nigeria,” Aliyu said.
The Registrar of ARCON, Umar Murnai, who thanked NUC for assenting to their request, said that, now, architecture in Nigeria cannot remain the same. According to him, ARCON has been working assiduously to get to this point, assuring all stakeholders that it would not relent to ensure smooth implementation of the new policy.