2.5m students enroll in tertiary education research platform – TETFUND 

Over 2.5 million students have been enrolled in the Tertiary Education, Research, Applications and Services, (TERAS), platform provided by the Tertiary Education Trust Fund, (TETFund).

Executive Secretary of TETFund, Arc Sonny Echono, disclosed that the platform has excess capacity but public institutions are given the preference of onboarding first before it is extended to private universities.

Echono spoke in Abuja at the 2nd Registrars’ Workshop and 75th Business Meeting of the Association of Registrars of Nigerian Universities (ARNU), with the theme: “Sustainable Legal Framework as Panacea for Industrial Harmony in the Nigerian University System: Challenges and Remedies.”

The TETFund boss said the fund has enlisted the support of Registrars of tertiary institutions and other stakeholders to ensure maximum utilisation of the ICT infrastructure for administrative, research and other purposes by students and staff of their institutions.

“And in fact I have been threatening our public institutions that because we have excess capacity, if they don’t finish taking them up, we will extend it to private universities, because they are Nigerian students, but we want to give them the opportunity first to finish onboarding their students.

“Currently we have about 2.4 or 2.5 million students enrolled. But my biggest concern, which is also another advantage of MoUs, is not so much availability, that people are enrolled, we are interested in the usage, how many students are using all these facilities?

TERAS was launched by TETFund in 2023 to provide a “centralised hub for tertiary education services, fostering collaboration, efficiency, and innovation by providing a wide range of capabilities and functionalities for tertiary education institutions, students, researchers, and the entire education ecosystem.”

“We put resources on the platform so at the moment it has an overlay of an identity management system, we call it beneficiary identity management, BIMS, and once you are registered on BIMS it gives you access at no cost to all these learning resources, whether it is all the 4,000 libraries that are available.

“The open learning resources, whether it’s the anti plagiarism checker that will enable you check your assignments and your thesis and all that. But they are all on this board and the Blackboard learning platform very useful for our registrars too in terms of administration and the governance of the institutions,” he said.

Echono further disclosed that TETFund is to connect all National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), study Centres nationwide with ICT fibre infrastructure to improve access to resources by all students.

While stating that the resources were not only for students, he noted that registrars of tertiary institutions play a very key role because they are the custodians of records, adding that the fund has been engaging with them to ensure maximum utilisation of the ICT infrastructure for administrative purpose.

He stressed the importance of data in the school system and said data has however been a big issue in Nigeria’s educational system as even in the tertiary institutions the country has not been able to do a lot about it but that has been prioritised by the present administration.

“That our educational data should be credible, should be up-to-date and it should available in a ubiquitous manner for people to be able to access because you can’t plan effectively if you don’t have credible accurate data.

“And that data is being dumped through ICT; so, we are working with registrars to ensure that.

“So, if you just click by the time you go on to our BIMS for example, you see a student’s record, everything about that student will pop up and you will know when he was enrolled, what course did he doing in school; such records we must have for effective national planning.

“A lot of lectures are actually utilising it already because in realtime from our office, I can see how many students are on it at this particular point in time, how many lecturers are using it for lesson notes and it makes education a lot easier,” he stated.

Earlier, the National Chairman of Association of Registrars of Nigerian Universities, ARNU, Ife Oluwale, the workshop was to help Registrars of Universities hone their skills and be abreast with current trends in University Administration globally.

Oluwale said the Association was committed to the capacity development of its members and believes that a trained staff is an invaluable asset to any organization.

“They bring not only expertise but also efficiency and a higher standard of quality to their work. They can navigate challenges more effectively, adapt to new situations with ease, and in the long run contribute significantly to the overall success of the organization.

The Registrar of Ekiti State University appealed to proprietors of universities and other agencies of government to show better commitment to the training of Registrars and other personnel, while commending the efforts of TETFund in that regard.

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Written by Nike

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