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University autonomy comes with responsibilities – JAMB Registrar

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University autonomy comes with responsibilities – JAMB Registrar

Registrar, Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, on Thursday said granting full autonomy to universities comes with accountability and responsibility for sustainable development.

Professor Oloyede said this in Nsukka on while delivering a lecture titled; “Institutional Autonomy, Accountability and the Quest for Efficient Governance of Nigerian Universities,”.

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The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the lecture was in honour of Prof. Benjamin Chukwuma Ozumba, the 14th and former Vice Chancellor of UNN, to mark his retirement from the university service and his 70th birthday.

He said that discourse on University autonomy and accountability had become complicated in recent years given that diverse opinions of segments of society had developed different notions of what these would be to universities.

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“It is in the interest of every nation to protect both academic freedom and institutional autonomy in the universities for improved productivity in research and innovation.

“Critical questions must be asked on how universities have been able to utilise the money given to them in the interest of the country’s education and economic development.

“Universities must know that they have the responsibility of quality teaching, research and community service as well as proffering solutions to critical national issues and been accountable to government,” he said.

The JAMB boss urged government and the university to enumerate their responsibilities to each other rather than undue emphasis on rights.

“It should also understand that no right is absolute, this will facilitate their genuine understanding and management of expectations.

“Universities should actively engage in peer-review and self-regulatory measures toward quality assurance and accountability,” he said.

According to him some African countries such as Ghana and Kenya, visitation panels are constituted by the universities themselves for review and improvement in service-delivery and accountability.

He explained that if accountability annual report and community service should be efficiently deployed it would further assure the public and government of the commitment of the university to high ethical standards and excellence

Ozumba in his valedictory lecture titled “The Role of Tertiary Institution in Nation Building :My Experience in University of Nigeria.

Ozumba said that all nations that were doing well in the world like US, UK, China among others focused seriously on education by providing their citizens with cheap and accessible education.

“The great asset to nation building is human capital development which can only be achieved through education,” he said.

Ozumba urged government to always be determined to make adequate provision for effective funding of education in all annual budget.

“Government should endeavour to earmark 26 per cent of the total budget for educational development as recommended by the United Nations.

“The government can decide to adopt our innovation templates and leadership style which repositioned UNN as a towering centre of learning and skill development centre”, he said.

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