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Okorocha makes case for classification of Nigerian varsities

Imo State Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, has called for the classification of Nigerian Universities as practiced in other nations.
Okorocha, who made the appeal during a visit to National Universities Commission (NUC) in Abuja, to submit the law and order planning document for Eastern Palm University, Ogboko, Imo State, said that the pursuit started 12 years ago as Rochas Foundation University, adding that the same site was now being converted into the Eastern Palm University.
He regretted that till today, the nation does not have classification of universities.
“If you go abroad, you have Ivy League Universities but here you cannot say which university is Ivy League and which one is not.
“Every university is the same as for Nigerian universities are concerned.
“I assure you that Eastern Palm will be the first Ivy League university in Nigeria; the structure we have on ground far exceeds that of any other university at the point of takeoff.
“I want to see an Oxford University in Nigeria; I want to see a Cambridge University in Nigeria,’’
The Daily Times recalls that Ivy League universities have some of the largest university financial endowments in the world which allows the universities to provide many resources for their academic programmes and research endeavors.
Okorocha said he wanted to move the Imo State University to that site but that could not materialise due to political reasons.
According to him, in 2016, Imo State has the highest registration of students in Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination; hence, there is need for more universities in the state.
The governor said education was the number one industry in the state.
He said that the State House of Assembly had accented to the establishment of the Eastern Palm University to bring human capital development closer to the people.
Okorocha said that there was need for private and public sector collaboration in funding education, adding that the NUC Executive Secretary would be invited to address the Nigerian Governors Forum.
Responding, the NUC Executive Secretary, Prof. Julius Okojie, said that there was need for more universities in Nigeria in order to expand access.
He said that NUC took accreditation of courses seriously as it did not hesitate in withdrawing such if any school was found wanting.
According to him, quality education does not come cheap as people pay to acquire it.
“If you want good education, you pay for it; if the government says it is providing free education, it must make money available to universities.
“Start small and make sure that your principal officers are men of integrity.
“On behalf of NUC, I wish to inform you that effective today, Eastern Palm University is formally recognised as the 42nd state university and the 143rd university in Nigeria,’’ he said.

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