That The Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, has reiterated that the development of an Entrepreneurship Education program in the Nigerian University System (NUS) would help prepare students to be fit for the job market.
He explained this when the Commission, in cooperation with the British Council (BC), launched a two-day brainstorming session with directors of Entrepreneurship Centers of Nigerian universities to achieve a more productive university education system. He envisioned entrepreneurship education delivery being able to deliver the dynamism needed.
Prof Rasheed stated that entrepreneurship needs to be embedded in the curriculum of all programs contemplated in Nigerian universities, adding that entrepreneurship has the potential to unlock students’ hidden potential and help them identify skills that could prepare them for the job market.
According to him, the meeting was the result of an earlier meeting with the directors of the center organized by the NUC’s Directorate for Skills Development and Entrepreneurship (DSDE) in November 2021.
He reminded that after consultation of the participants of the event, a communiqué was issued on certain key decisions.
The NUC writer said the communiqué’s decision by stakeholders to establish an operational policy for the effective operation of Entrepreneurship Development Centers (EDCs) at the various universities is novel and essential to the nation’s quest to produce employable graduates.
He stated that the Commission will continue to encourage ideas; Innovations and suggestions that not only make the universities truly entrepreneurial, but also boost the national economy towards global competitiveness.
The Executive Secretary stated that the Commission continued to fulfill its statutory responsibility to oversee the university education system in Nigeria to ensure the orderly development of a well-coordinated and productive university system. The Commission had also launched a series of reforms aimed at revitalizing higher education.
According to him, these included: curriculum reengineering, review of quality assurance tools, strengthening of EDCs, guidelines for Open and Distance Learning (ODL), Transnational Education (TNE) and reinvention of internationalization portfolios in order to realign the NUS with global best practices.
Rasheed also stressed that the commission continued to ensure the embedding of quality teaching and learning in the university system through its developed roadmap for quality assurance activities, which included: reviewing new programs to ensure adequate availability of human and material resources; Program-based accreditation for undergraduate and postgraduate programs to ensure they meet the Benchmark Academic Minimum Standards (BMAS), and inspection and monitoring of university activities for standards sustainability.
Others include evaluating student support facilities and services in Nigerian universities; advocating the establishment of Open and Distance Learning Centers to further expand access to higher education; ensure that the Nigerian university system remains focused on its mandate and the re-establishment of a Degree Committee.
He urged participants to actively engage in robust discussions during the technical sessions of the workshop and to ensure that the knowledge gained is used to the benefit of their respective institutions and the NIS as a whole.
In his presentation, DSDE Acting Director Mallam Ashafa Ladan explained that the meeting would have been held earlier had it not been for the need for duty in connection with the prolonged ASUU strike which has stalled many activities of the Commission and the university system in particular would have brought General.
He pointed out that there has been a growing need for entrepreneurship education in the university system and given the prevailing entrepreneurial challenges facing higher education, NUC believes there is a need to hire experts to fill the skills gap close and ensure links between industries and universities.
The essence, he said, is to address education-related challenges of economic underdevelopment, such as the high rate of unemployed graduates, the low rate of qualified graduates and the wait-for-office-job mentality.
He further informed the participants that there is a need to reorient students, teachers and higher institutions to become innovative, competent and entrepreneurial for self-reliance and sustainability.
He noted that since discovering that poor graduate quality, poor skill development and entrepreneurial challenges were key issues challenging the Nigerian university system; It became imperative for the Commission to set up the Directorate for Skills Development and Entrepreneurship (DSDE).
He also informed the assembly that university administrators and stakeholders who advance entrepreneurship education for national development are often invited by the commission to meet and address issues affecting the framework and operation of Entrepreneurship Centres.