Plans are being finalised to announce the opening of two new universities in the nation, increasing the total number of educational institutions in the nation to 272, according to the National Universities Commission.

In an interview with journalists in Abuja on Thursday, Chris Maiyaki, the commission’s acting executive secretary, stated as much.

According to Maiyaki, the NUC will keep approving new colleges in order to close the nation’s admissions disparity.

Although roughly two million applicants apply to universities each year, there are only between 500,000 and 700,000 spots available for admission, he pointed out.

Maiyaki’s position coincides with the fight being waged by the Academic Staff Union of Universities and other players in the tertiary education subsector against the government’s, both at the federal and state levels, efforts to expand the number of institutions in the nation.

The government and the NUC have been called upon by stakeholders on multiple occasions to stop approving new public universities, arguing that it is not the right course of action to establish new institutions while existing ones are underfunded.

The massification of universities is something we have no choice but to do as a deliberate policy, according to Maiyaki.The degree of investment in education, he claimed, is what sets today’s developed nations apart from others.Just between 500,000 and 700,000 students are admitted to universities out of the nearly two million applicants that apply each year, according to Maiyaki.

“You have to see the pain and the annoyance on the faces of families who are trying so hard to make sure their kids go to college every admissions session,” he stated. We are left with no option except to keep approving the universities because it is extremely difficult and demanding for NUC and university officials.

“We have completed and will announce the approval of two additional universities, bringing the total number of universities in the country to 272.

“In order to meet its demands and supply of high-quality education, he insisted, Nigeria will keep expanding access to universities by authorising more institutions.

He stated that efforts were being made to reposition the university system through transnational education by allowing foreign universities to come in and operate in the nation, even though he pointed out that nations with populations smaller than Nigeria, such as Brazil, Indonesia, and others, have more than 1,000 universities.

According to the Executive Secretary, applications for the creation of distance learning centres that will be overseen to deliver high-quality instruction are currently being processed by the commission.

The NUC chief, however, emphasised that this does not imply that the days of setting up remote learning centres are returning.In response to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s statement encouraging owners of private universities and other higher education establishments in Nigeria to collect tuition in dollars, he declared that no postsecondary institution is permitted to do so.

He said that after looking into the allegation, the commission looked into it and found that the private university in question was not receiving payment in US dollars.

“We looked into the dollarization of tuition fees at the aforementioned university, and they are not being charged in dollars.For overseas students, there are only dollar fees.

Therefore, I want the media to work with us to inform the public that no university in Nigeria is permitted to collect fees in US dollars,” he stated.

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