Vice-Chancellor, Ajayi Crowther University (ACU), Oyo, Prof. Timothy Adebayo, has called for the amendment of the law establishing Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) to accommodate private universities in the country.
He made the appeal at a news conference held on Monday in Oyo, ahead of the convocation ceremony of the institution.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that ACU, a faith-based institution, was established by the Supra Diocesan Board (West) of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion).
NAN also reports that a total of 990 students graduated in 2019/2020, out of whom 51 made first class, while 1,165 graduated in the 2020/2021 session, with 34 making first class.
Adebayo called on the Federal Government and the National Assembly (NASS) to amend the law to allow private universities to benefit from the fund.
While identifying funding as a major challenge facing private universities in Nigeria, he said that the staffers and students of private universities should not be deprived of the right to benefit from public funds.
The vice-chancellor noted that private universities also needed subvention to help them alleviate the pressure on public universities in terms of admission.
Adebayo said that private universities had been helping to mitigate the pressure on public universities but were, however, hampered by funding.
He said that most of them were not receiving subvention from any other source outside the tuition fee being paid by the students and donations from philanthropists.
“As at last count, Nigeria has 99 private universities. Giving them subvention will alleviate the funding problem and mitigate the fee being charged.
“Education is one of the vital tools that cannot be totally privatised,” he explained.
Earlier, the vice-chancellor said that the special and combined convocation ceremony would feature the inauguration of completed projects at the institution.
He said that the 2020 convocation which was stalled by the COVID-19 pandemic would be combined with that of 2021.
Adebayo said that the combined 12th and 13th convocation ceremony, which commenced on Nov. 27, would end on Dec. 4.
According to him, the award of diploma and first degree will hold on Dec. 3, while that of postgraduate and honorary degrees hold on Dec. 4.