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Sunday, 28 August 2016

EFIWE INTERVIEW: If UI Admits More Than 3,000 Students This Year, Quality Will Suffer - UIVC, Prof. Idowu Olayinka

The Professor of Geology and the Vice Chancellor of the First and Premier University of Ibadan, Prof. Idowu Olayinka during a telephone conversation with Pigeonpost News Agency yesterday afternoon made it clear to the agency that the university would not be able to admit beyond 3,000 carrying capacity due to overstretched facility, inadequate suitable staff, competitiveness of the university and an ongoing plight in expanding the university postgraduates education.
Enjoy the articulate report of the interview session.
PIGEONPOST: There is a statement credited to you on the fact that only 3,000 candidates out of the 29,000 who scored 200 and above in the UTME and chose the premier university would be offered admission?
VC UI: Yes. That is correct.
PIGEONPOST: What actually brought about the statement?
VC UI: There is a strategic planning for us to be a predominantly postgraduate university. So, to that extent we are expanding our postgraduate programmes.
 The university is also highly competitive and we always try as much as possible to accommodate all our first year and final year students. As we speak, we have only about 8,300 bed spaces in the university for a total student population of 30,000.

That is a drop of water in the ocean.
We also want our students to have a very good university experience, we cannot be expanding our postgraduate programmes and at the same time expand the undergraduates programme so that quality will not suffer and we think to give best to our students.

PIGEONPOST: What is your assessment of the states of higher education in Nigeria?
VC UI: There is a lot of room for improvement. Every year we have so many candidates struggling for admission. There should be more investment in higher education by individuals, the private sectors as well as the government. So, it is a collective responsibility we cannot leave for the government alone.
PIGEONPOST: And what is your assessment of how the university education in the country has been funded by the Nigerian government?
VC UI: I think the government has been trying his best but we should also know that there is a political decision that we should not charge Nigerian undergraduates tuition fee.

So, because of that and government not in the position to provide all we need and also does not want to transfer the cost to parents, we have to reach a compromise.
PIGEONPOST: What was your reaction and stance on the directives from JAMB on scrapping off the popular tertiary institutions Post-UTME?
VC UI: For us over the last 12 years or so when we introduced Post-UTME screening, it has improved the quality of students that are admitted into Ibadan. 
The records are there.
We just hope someday the government will have a rethink.
PIGEONPOST: Don't you think the present mode of admission will give enough room for partiality and long legs?
VC UI: Not necessarily. It is just that we may not be able to attract the best and for us in Ibadan, our primary motivation has always been that we should attract the best students coming out of the secondary schools system in Nigeria.

And, we have our fears — whether this universal policy will enable us to do that.
PIGEONPOST: What are actually the basic problems university and higher education in general is facing in Nigeria of today?
VC UI: Most of the universities do not have enough academic staffs.
Every year, you have like 1.5 million candidates seeking for admission into the university.
 The Federal government universities are oversubscribed like I gave the example of Ibadan— 29000 candidates chasing 3000. And most of the other private universities are undersubscribed. I think the private university with the highest candidate is Covenant with 3,500 candidates; and that is because of the cost.

People think federal universities are cheap or relatively free, even freer than primary school while the private universities are expensive.

So, you have the issue of access, the issue of cost and the issue of quality.


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