Why The Government Is Right In Licensing New Private Universities

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1) Nigeria’s Birth Rate Is Too High:

Every year, Nigeria adds about 200,000 more candidates to UTME. The UTME candidacy of 2021 is largely predicated on the birth rate of 1998 – 2004 which hovered around 6.16 births per woman.
In 2021, Nigeria still has one of the largest birth rate in the world with 5.4 children per woman. However, unlike 1998 – 2004 there’s even far greater appetite for education and a dwindle in child mortality. What this means is Nigeria is set for serious admission crisis in the near future.

Any nation which wants a purely public funded education must keep her annual birth growth to less than 3.0 per woman. E.g Finland has 1.3 birth per woman, Sweden has 1.6 birth per woman, China has 1.7 birth per woman.

2) The Public Universities Are Simply Not Enough:

For public universities to solely handle admission would require admitting 21, 000 students per annum currently. Where is the infrastructure and finance for this? Note that even the mighty Harvard University admits less than 2000 students per annum even when it has 45000 applicants. Caltech admits only 300 students per annum.

It is popular knowledge that the smaller a university the better the experience.

3) Ministry Of Education Has Little Business With Industrialization:

I have heard many say “build factories”. This is not the business of the ministry of education. The ministry of education is to provide well trained graduates, ensure quality curriculum and access to esucation. It is the business of the Ministry of Finance and Economy to create policies that fosters industrialization and uptakes graduates.

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As long as people give birth with no discretion, there would be need to create more universities or regulate the number of children.

4) Your Education Budget Would Not Increase Anytime Soon:

In case you don’t know, Nigeria has multiple challenges in varying sectors. No one is going to lower appropriation to health sector, security etc to increase allocation to education. So the attending inflation combined with population surge would only create worse classrooms, hostels etc. And there’s nothing anyone can do about it.

This is because students in public varsities aren’t paying the full cost of education. So as the purchasing power of the naira dwindles, the quality of education dwindles.

5) Every Private Varsity Starts Really Small:

Quite a number of folks easily scream substandard when they see a private university with five buildings. Having five buildings on startup doesn’t necessarily equate substandard education.
As a matter of fact, most great universities actually start that small and grow rapidly over the decades.
A good example, Covenant University started with less than 5 buildings in 2002. But in 2021 it has over 200 buildings. Unlike the public sector, the private universities can grow because their business model is in tune with the realities of the economy.

6) Your PhD Graduates Need Places To Work

Academia is a service industry on its own. Most PhDs need to be absorbed by research centers, universities etc. The industry can only be robust when you have sufficient diverse institutions that can absorb the number of academics being churned out annually.

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