The Committee of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities (CVCNU) says it has been able to overcome challenges confronting the university system in its 60 years of existence through functional policies.
The Secretary-General of the committee, Prof. Yakubu Ochefu disclosed this in Abuja on Friday at a news conference to herald the commemoration of the 60 years anniversary of the committee.
Ochefu said that no fewer than 720 Vice- Chancellors had to go through the hurdles of the challenges, out of which 38 of the Vice-Chancellors were women.
He said the university system went through so many challenges ranging from harmonisation of academic calendar, funding and access but was able to overcome some.
According to him, celebrating 60 years was a milestone achievement as water had passed through the bridges but we are able to overcome.
He said the celebration was meant to hold in 2022 but could not because of strike actions by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
He said that the committee which began since 1962 had struggled to improve staff welfare while noting that the committee had introduced a lot of policies that led to the development of the Nigerian Universities System (NUS).
“University system is 75 years old and many of these universities have gone through challenges.
“Some of the major policy initiatives that we have today all came out of meetings, conversations and policy documents that the committee made over the years.
“First major one was the harmonisation of academic calendar so that when you finish secondary school, you don’t have to wait for long before getting admission into the university .
” Before now, academic calendar in secondary school was from January to December while that of university was from October to June . So if you finish your WAEC by December, you have to stay at home till October of the following year.
“The committee felt that was a lot of waste of time and resources and we put pressure on Federal Government for a very long time before we could get it done in 1973 and the academic calendar was now harmonised.
“There was also a policy advise which came and eventually ended up as the National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) because they believe such a scheme will help in managing some of the civil war engagements.
“JAMB also came into being on ground of the policy from the committee because at that time one student can get admission into four universities, so the committee brought a policy that led to the establishment of JAMB,” he said.
He said that the committee had helped the university system to come up with intellectual property policy that would help researchers as well as adoption of free and open software.
He explained that as part of programmes to also help the university system, the committee would be launching the tertiary institutions research repository scheme by the end of October, for checking what other people have published around the world.
Ochefu also disclosed that the 60th anniversary scheduled to hold on Oct. 9 at Baze University would have President Bola Tinubu and Vice President Kashim Shettima as distinguished guests of honour.
He added that the President of Nigerian Academy of Science, Prof. Ekanem Braide is billed to be the Keynote Speaker.