The accreditation of no fewer than 159 undergraduate courses in nine federal universities across the country is set to expire in 2022 amidst the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, investigation by The PUNCH has revealed.
The nine universities include the University of Ilorin; University of Jos, Plateau; University of Calabar; Bayero University Kano; University of Benin, Edo; University of Lagos; Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria; Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife; and University of Ibadan.
The PUNCH reports that the National Universities Commission is the agency of the Federal Government in charge of accreditation of courses in Nigerian universities, and the commission is empowered by law to set minimum academic standards for universities and accredit their degree programmes.
This led to the preparation, with the use of experts, of the minimum academic standards for the 13 disciplines taught in Nigerian universities in 1989.
The disciplines are: Administration, Agriculture, Arts, Basic Medical Sciences, Education, Engineering and Technology, Environmental Sciences, Law, Medicine and Dentistry, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Sciences, Social Sciences and Veterinary Medicine.
The 159 courses were all granted full accreditation by the NUC in 2017; a document of the accreditation result of the schools from 1990-2021, which was obtained from the NUC, has revealed.
For instance, at the University of Ilorin, the Department of Information and Communication Sciences was accredited in 2017, with the accreditation set to expire in 2022, making it the only course whose accreditation is set to expire.
For the University of Ibadan, the NUC data revealed that only the accreditation for Pharmacy expires in 2022.
The accreditation of 20 courses at the University of Jos is set to expire; while 31 courses including Public Administration, French, German, History, Linguistics, Yoruba and Medical Rehabilitation will be affected at the Obafemi Awolowo University.
Others are University of Calabar (15); Bayero University Kano (14); University of Benin (27); University of Lagos (27); Ahmadu Bello University (23).
Efforts to get the Executive Secretary, NUC, Prof Abubakar Rasheed, on Monday proved abortive as calls and messages sent to him remained unanswered as of the time of filing this report.
When asked if pre-accreditation and accreditation processes can commence despite the ongoing strike, the ASUU chairman of the Federal University of Technology, Minna, Dr Gbolahan Bolarin, said, “Accreditation of courses cannot be done during strike. All activities are suspended.”
The PUNCH reports that pre-accreditation activities such as drawing up a list of academic programmes to be accredited; compilation of list of panel chairmen/members, time-tabling and budgeting and organising the accreditation coordination meeting for panel chairmen and members in a simulation workshop can occur.