The dimension of higher education system in Nigeria…….Nigeria has the largest university system in Sub-Saharan Africa. Although South Africa’s tertiary enrolments are a bit higher, Nigeria has a number of institutions. With about 48 state and federal universities enrolling over 400,000 students, the university system in Nigeria supports a large number of graduate programs and serves as an attraction for students from neighboring countries especially African nations.
The system utilizes most of the nation’s research capacity and churns out more of its skilled and talented professional. The responsibility for quality and effective education and all its related matters falls on the shoulders of the Federal Ministry of Education.
However, the administration and supervision of the activities of the higher institutions in Nigeria is the responsibility of the National Universities Commission (NUC), a parastatal buffer body.
The general national entrance examination into the institution is prepared, coordinated and conducted by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board and they inform universities of applicant scores before the specific university entrance examination called Post Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (P-UTME) or popularly known as an Aptitude test.
This screening test plays a big role in determining whether the candidate is qualified for admission into a particular course or not. In most cases, the applicant may be offered admission into a course other than his choice if he doesn’t meet the required scores in P-UTME. This is strictly based on the prerogative of the institution.
A financial institution known as the National Education Bank (formerly the Nigerian Student Loan Board) is charged with providing merit scholarships and student loans.
In practice, however, the university system developed less rationally than anticipated. According to NUC survey, Enrolments in the federal universities (34% female, 59% in sciences) grew at the rapid rate of 12% annually during the 1990s and totaled 325,299 students by 2000. Enrolment growth rates were the highest in the South-South Region, followed by the North-East Region.