The Committee of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities (CVCNU) met with the British Council in Maitama, Abuja on Monday, 24th July 2023. The Delegation led by the Secretary- General, Prof. Yakubu Ochefu, and his Management staffs. The team was warmly welcomed by the Director of Programmes, British Council, Prof. Chikodi Onyemerela and his team member Prof. Temitayo Shenkoya.
This visit was to discuss issues affecting the Nigerian University System, solicit support for the CVCNU @ 60+1 upcoming Celebration and further strengthen the relationship with potential partners. After a brief introduction by both parties, Prof. Onyemerela stated that the British Council has been in existence for 79 years; and its work in higher education is very significant as they deliver support to the education system both at the tertiary and basic educational level.
Prof. Yakubu Ochefu briefed the meeting on the CVCNU history. He said one of thew Committee’s core value was to form strategic partnership and collaboration, mentioning that the CVCNU has collaborated with with the Nigerian Copy Rights Commission (NCC) on developing a model intellectual property (IP) policy for Nigerian Universities. He also said one of its current significant collaboration is working with TETFund to digitalize thesis and deploy research on a singular platform, so there can be a database of individual/institutions research work, in order to promote originality. the first phase of this project has been captured giving a minimum of 2,000 thesis from all Tertiary public institutions, the second phase of the project is ongoing and the target is to do a proper unveiling by October.
The meeting focused on a number of concerns, Prof. Ochefu highlighted significant projects that has been deployed by the CVCNU, like the Plagiarism detection software called EagleScan, built by the Directors of ICTs in the Nigerian University System, deployed 2 years ago. He said one of the Committee’s current pursuit is working with parliament to promote legislation that supports the University Education System. He also said spoke of ongoing projects in the CVCNU to mention a few are: Working with University of Lincoln and other 13 partner universities to see how to drive research information sharing with the Nigerian Universities. Working with numbers of stakeholders to review funding /governance model for Nigerian Federal Universities, and to agree on framework that is sustainable.
State Universities peer review project, which entails working with the Nigerian Governors Forum to see the context of funding and governance in the Nigerian Universities. Working on organizing a workshop of Capacity building of ICT directors in the Nigerian University System to leverage on emerging technologies and learning analytic. The goal of training is wanting them to see data as a valuable resource that can earn the university system visibility and revenue. This training will be carried out by a UK company called KORTEX.
Prof. Yakubu said the CVCNU will appreciate the British Council’s support and advice on the above stating that the Committee will welcome ideas, global experiences and expertise from the British Council concerning the Review of funding and governance models for the University system; as the model currently used is old British model with some American variables, and the University system will like to upgrade to a current standard model framework accepted globally.
Prof. Chikodi Onyemerela stated that the British Council take a systematic approach every year, and this year’s goal is to bring the Nigerian Universities into the innovation and entrepreneurship Eco-system. The Programme is called the innovation for African Universities” and is intended to strengthen the University system to be a bub of teaching, learning, innovation and support for skills and entrepreneurship. He stated that its is important got the Nigerian Universities to play the role of innovation in creating opportunities for commercializing research and also mentioned that his team had organized a study tour to the UK for this purpose. by November, 6th – 10th his team will bringing in 13 UK Vice-Chancellors to work together with our Nigerian Vice-Chancellors to help tackle some issues that the Nigerian Tertiary Institutions are facing. He extended a formal invite to the CVCNU to attend the British Council Annual Conference holding from 20th – 22nd November, 2023.
The meeting ended with a plaque, that has the map of the Nigerian Universities crested on it and this was presented by the Secretary-General to Mr. Chikodi Onyemerela, followed by a photo session.