ASTRONOMICAL INCREASE IN NUMBER OF NIGERIAN UNIVERSITIES: A CURSE OR A BLESSING?

Vinella OKONTA, Ph.D, Omonefe Jemilatu MOSES-PROMISE, Ph.D, Grace Nwamaka OSAKWE, Ph.D

Abstract


This study was carried out to ascertain if astronomical increase in number of universities is a curse or a blessing to Nigeria. Two research questions and three hypotheses were raised as guide to the study. The study adopted the descriptive survey method of the ex post facto research design. The population comprised all 7 federal and 9 state owned universities and stakeholders in the six states making up the South South geo-political zone of the country. The sample comprised 240 respondents (120 from federal and 120 from state universities) randomly drawn from 6 (3 federal and 3 state) universities out of the total of 16 public universities on ground as at 2019. Data was collected with a self-developed questionnaire titled, “Astronomical Increase in Number of Public Universities Questionnaire (AINPUQ)†which was validated and subjected to reliability test using Pearson Product Moment Correlation statistics that yielded a coefficient of 0.70. Data obtained were analyzed using descriptive statistics (mean ratings and standard deviation) for the research questions and inferential statistics (t-test) was used to test the hypotheses at 0.05 level of significance. Findings established amongst others that there were both positive and negative implications of astronomical increase in number of universities with those who believed that it is a blessing claiming that it opened up access to more admission places for the teaming youths; while those who believed that it is a curse claimed that quality education has been sacrificed on the altar of quantity. The study concluded that astronomical increase in universities in Nigeria has both positive and adverse effects on every stakeholder of the education sector. The study recommended amongst others that increase in universities should attract a corresponding increase in budgetary allocation to education; that government should make adequate provisions for existing universities before embarking on establishment of new ones and that ASUU‟s demand for revitalization of Nigerian universities should be favourably considered.

 

Keywords: Astronomical increase, Universities, Politicization of education, Proliferation, Existing universities, New universities


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