Access and Quality in Nigeria’s Higher Education: Need for a Pragmatic Approach for Sustainable Transformation

Joy N. Njoku


Access and quality of higher education are among the major criteria for assessing the product of any institution of higher learning. This paper discusses access and quality in Nigeria’s higher education; need for a pragmatic approach for sustainable transformation’. It discusses problems of access in the areas of carrying capacity of universities, process of admission, poverty, location and corruption. The problems of quality were traced to poor recruitment procedure, inadequate infrastructure, poor funding, corruption and lack of adequate practical experience. The problems of quality also extended to poor research development and underutilization of research findings. Pragmatic approach to solving each of these problems was discussed which include abolishing policies that have not benefited the education system like quota system. The paper advocates for merit at this crucial stage of national development, at least seventy percent of admissions into tertiary institutions should be based on pure merit. Recruitment of academic and non-academic staff should be purely on merit. Funds should be made available for the provision of adequate infrastructure. Research findings and recommendations should be urgently appraised and utilized.

Keywords: Higher Education, Access, Quality, Pragmatic, Transformation

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