Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Prison inmate to enroll for PH.D in open varsity say NOUN VC


A prison inmate will soon enroll for a doctorate programme in the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), the institution’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Abdalla Adamu, has said.

Adamu disclosed this on Monday in Abuja at the opening of the 53rd Meeting and 30th Anniversary of the Committee of Deans of Post-Graduate Schools (CDPGS) in Nigerian Universities.

According to Adamu, prison inmates and juvenile who are willing and qualified are given free education as part of NOUN’s corporate social responsibility.

“We have 84 study centres including the prisons; NOUN is the only university that allows prison inmates totally free education because that is the opportunity they have to learn.

“Right now, we have somebody who has finished his master’s degree and he is about to embark on PhD and he is still behind bars.

“We have juveniles who, for one reason or the other, are caught up and locked up.

“NOUN is the largest university in the West African sub-region and one of the biggest in the world with over 200, 000 students,’’ said the NOUN vice chancellor.

He urged the committee to fashion out a mechanism for improving the global ranking of Nigerian universities.

The vice-chancellor expressed regret that Nigerian academics hardly uploaded their research content on the Internet, hence the poor online visibility of Nigerian universities.

Adamu said that unless a university established a strong online presence, it would not be ranked.

He said that NOUN complied with the National Universities Commission (NUC)’s guidelines and had all its programmes duly accredited and wondered why the institution’s products were denied postgraduate admission.


“Part of the major steps taken by the university management when I assumed office as vice-chancellor was to bring all our programmes in tandem with the regulatory ambiance of NUC.

“With that, therefore, it would be unfair for any institution under the supervision of the same commission to deny recognition of NOUN certificates and deny our products opportunities for postgraduate studies.

“I therefore urge you to draw attention to all the deans in your respective faculties to this challenge faced by our products in their pursuit of postgraduate studies,’’ he said.


In his address, Dr Samiala Mande, Dean, School of Postgraduate Studies, NOUN, said there was need for Nigerian universities to catch up with modern methods of teaching and research.

He listed some of the challenges confronting postgraduate studies as dearth of research grants, quality of graduates, quality of instructional content, limited availability of PhD holders to recruit, among others.

Mande said that NOUN encountered difficulties in sending transcripts of postgraduate applicants to other universities.

“Even when the transcripts are sent, some postgraduate schools are said not to have a proper documentation process to account for transcripts received.

“The implication of this is that NOUN incurs more cost in the process of having to resend such transcripts.

“Furthermore, there are times when as a result of a deadline, there is the urgent need to send a transcript by email.

“Unfortunately, many schools of postgraduate studies do not have functional, institutional email addresses,’’ he said.

NAN reports that no fewer than 28 deans of schools of postgraduate studies in Nigerian universities attended the meeting.

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