By Joseph Erunke, ABUJA
THE Higher Education Observatory for Africa, HEOFA, has applauded the efforts of the National Universities Commission, NUC, in the ongoing reforms in the Nigeria university system, aimed at producing quality graduates that will be globally competitive.
The organisation,in a statement, Tuesday,by its Ghanaian board member, Dr. Fred Awaah, said the NUC Executive Secretary, Prof. Abubakar Adamu Rasheed,has led a process that has produced a new curriculum for the Nigerian university system that will be a model for other African countries.
He said: “Nigeria’s efforts at developing a new core curriculum minimum academic standards (CCMAS), is a giant step in the march to producing 21st-century graduates who will respond effectively to the developmental needs of Nigeria and be agents for achieving Africa’s Agenda 2063 and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
“The unique features of the 17 disciplines of the CCMAS are indicative that graduates of Nigerian universities who will benefit from the new curriculum will be impressively entrepreneurial, steep in knowledge and skills to make them labour-market ready and imbued with character for exemplary leadership in the public and private sectors of the economy.
“NUC is proving itself to be a leader in Africa in blazing the reform trail and setting in motion several mechanisms for improving good governance, quality and relevance,” Awaah said.
He noted that the mission of HOEFA is to objectively showcase activities in higher education in the African continent, saying its objectives include to undertake situation analyses of developments in higher education in Africa with particular reference to access, quality, relevance, equity, effectiveness and funding; to report on performance of African countries on the attainment of regional and global development agenda; to publish reports of situation analysis at national and regional levels; to publish case studies of exemplary practices in higher education in Africa; and to undertake regional comparisons of the delivery of higher education across the world.
Speaking further on this development in Abuja the chairman of the governing board of HEOFA, Professor Emeritus Peter Okebukola, noted that “the curriculum review exercise is one of over 70 legacy projects of Professor Abubakar Adamu Rasheed, all radiating like spokes in a wheel, from the Blueprint for the Rapid Revitalisation of University Education in Nigeria (2019-2023) which is the trigger for the ongoing Rasheed Revolution in the Nigerian university system.”
According to Okebukola , “the Rasheed Revolution has been receiving global endorsement and support. For instance, the French Development Agency (AFD) and the World Bank are offering miscellaneous support for the implementation of the ten strategic goals of the blueprint.
“The American Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and the CHEA International Quality Group are impressed about the reports of progress being made in implementing the blueprint”.
“We have started seeing evidence that the reforms are working.” Okebukola noted.
“Last week, Tristan Horlick, the Regional Manager – Africa for THE (Times Higher Education) wrote to me saying “Firstly, I would like to extend my congratulations to yourself and the Nigerian universities who have participated in the Impact Rankings this year! We have had some really impressive results from these universities with Covenant University and Afe Babalola University placing within the top 400 universities worldwide.
“The competition was fierce this year with almost 300 new institutions ranked, so this is a huge achievement for Nigeria.”
Okebukola further noted “I am delighted about the commitment of Malam Adamu Adamu, the Honourable Minister of Education to having a more stable academic calendar, better resourcing of the system and better motivation for staff. Clearly, all the forces are getting aligned to assure a glorious future for the Nigerian university system.