The National Universities Commission (NUC) yesterday said it was processing applications for the establishment of 303 private universities in the country. The proposed universities were drawn from faith-based organisations, groups of individuals, foundations and corporation organisations in the country. NUC Executive Secretary, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, announced this while delivering a paper titled; “Regulating Private University Education Delivery in Nigeria: The Role of The National Universities Commission,” at a two-day national summit on private universities in Abuja.
Rasheed, who said only two out of the 303 applications had attained Step 10 and awaiting licence, explained that 208 were on Step 3, having just collected the forms, 63 applications were on Step 6 as they had only submitted their completed application forms and were awaiting first verification visit, while 30 applications were on Step 8. While revealing that majority of the private universities were still unable to fulfill their admission quotas as they admit barely six per cent of the total university admissions in the country per session, he, however, said the setback was not enough to stop the issuance of licences as Nigeria needed more universities to cope with the high demand for university education in the country.
However, the NUC boss warned Nigerians against obtaining certificates from the 68 illegal private universities currently operating in the country, saying such certificates were not recognised by law.