The Vice-Chancellor of Wellspring University, Prof. Isaac Rotimi Ajayi, has described as unacceptable a situation where only a few Nigerian universities are ranked in the world’s top 400 universities, saying such was not where the country should be.
According to him, the quality of education in the country’s universities certainly needed to become much better and globally competitive in teaching, cutting-edge research, innovation and international outlook.
Delivering the Eighth Convocation Lecture of Glorious Vision University (GVU), formerly Samuel Adegboyega University, Ogwa, in Edo State, yesterday, Ajayi, who spoke on the topic, ‘The 21st Century Emerging Jobs: Imperatives for a New Paradigm in University Education”, tasked universities in the country to adjust curriculums to keep pace and be ready for the future.
He urged universities to strive for more collaboration among themselves and with the private sector, not just in endowments and grants, but also in the real-time intersection between research and application to enable innovations in new frontiers.
While advocating for quality education for all, Ajayi said the value of education would not be the certificate or courses that students graduate in, but in their ability to think critically, select the right data, interrogate and extract new insight, make choices and take action to solve problems.
The former Vice-Chancellor of Crawford University, Igbesa, Ogun State, said: “Given the evolving and disruptive trend on digitalisation, it is imperative for all Nigerian universities to adjust curriculums to keep pace and be ready for the future.
“I am pleased that NUC is cognizant of this fact and it is currently reviewing the BMAS for all programmes and leaving room for each university to include some innovative courses peculiar to their environment and culture.
It will however be necessary for implementing the new BMAS to address the changing pattern of how capacity is built and knowledge.
He argued that the traditional approach of memorisation and regurgitation, which was the basis of acquiring knowledge, was becoming less valuable, noting that knowledge could now easily be recalled by the push of a button on digital devices like phones.
“Knowledge acquisition has been digitalised and people can now easily ‘Ask Anything’ of Google and get the answer.
And also as the future will see fewer traditional jobs, the current education system that is geared toward producing job seekers will need to change so that children can graduate as creative entrepreneurs, with a business plan at hand.
Universities have to evolve from ‘teaching knowledge to ‘teaching how to learn and apply knowledge.
“The value of education will not be the certificate or courses that students graduate in, but in their ability to think critically, select the right data, interrogate and extract new insight, make choices and take action to solve problems.
If the capacities of our youths are built this way, Nigeria has the best opportunities ahead to navigate the impact of the global trend.
“He added that the present reality was that many Nigerians with Masters degree were abandoning their degree certificates and getting certifications in Project Management, Agile, and Business Analysis and getting into tech jobs that pay well, adding: “Nobody cares about what they studied at the university.
What employers are looking and asking for is your certification in a technology-related field and your experience in that field to get employment.
In his speech, Vice Chancellor, of Glorious Vision University (GVU), Prof. Babatunde Idowu, disclosed that the institution was graduating 101 students at its 8th convocation ceremony with seven graduating with First Class honours, 33 with Second Class (Upper Division), 46 with Second Class (Lower Division), seven with Third Class and four Postgraduate.