The Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), Professor Abubakar Adamu Rasheed, mni, MFR, met with a delegation from the Ghanaian Ministry of Education, led by Professor J. S. Djongmah, which is in charge of the country’s National Accreditation Board and National Tertiary Education Agency, on an understudy of the workings of the NUC.
The visit to the Commission was to glean from NUC, as the Nigerian quality assurance regulatory agency of the Nigerian University System (NUS), which is similar to the National Accreditation Board and the Tertiary Education Trust Fund TETFund also akin to the National Council for Tertiary Education of Ghana.
In his remarks, Chairman of the delegation, Professor Djongmah thanked the Executive Secretary for the warm reception accorded his team, saying that it was a great opportunity for his team to be visiting Nigeria, especially the NUC. He expressed his delight that the Executive Secretary could grant the delegation audience even at a short notice, describing him as a man of wisdom and great courage, who had done well to reposition the NUS in the last one year.
Professor Djongmah reiterated to the Executive Secretary that the essence of the visit was to learn from the NUC on how well it had ran the nation’s system as the regulator of university education in the country. He disclosed that Ghana has a new Minister for Tertiary Education, who became interested in creating a stronger synergy between its tertiary education agencies – the National Council for Tertiary Education and the National Accreditation Board –and the National Universities Commission in Nigeria with a view to foster more understanding, share experiences and perhaps learn from each other.
The Head of the delegation told the Executive Secretary that the Minister was also genuinely interested in the workings of its Nigerian counterparts- the NUC and the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB). He further said that it was for this reason that the Minister constituted a Committee with himself as the Chairman.
The Chairman added that the Committee had reasoned that to move forward, the members should visit the NUC, which was regarded in Ghana, as its ‘elder brother’ in university regulation. The essence, he said, was to gain from its wealth of experience, and subsequently, emulate and apply a similar model in Ghana. He further acknowledged that there was lot to learn from the university education regulatory agency in Nigeria and prayed that both countries would continue to thrive on the already established relationships to move tertiary education forward.
Responding to the Ghanaian delegation, the Executive Secretary informed the team that Professor Michael Faborode, who led them to Commission was one of the most experienced educationist in Nigeria, recalling that wherever and whenever you see him, it must has something to do with tertiary education. He expressed his delight to receive them and assured of his commitment to ensure that the partnership and closer cooperation received the desired attention, sustained and achieved.
Professor Rasheed said that on his part, one of his greatest desires had been to have opportunity of the two countries quality assurance agency and the Nigeria’s National Universities Commission could nurture a viable cooperation in the area of quality assurance mechanism to be entrenched for the region. He recalled his meeting with Mr. Kwame of the Ghana accreditation board where discussions was held and consequently the need for a visit to Accra, particularly to the Commission in charge of tertiary education became sacrosanct. According to Professor Rasheed, both countries have more to benefit when they work together to bring their universities closer, especially in the areas of training of academics in African universities.
The NUC Scribe said that it was becoming almost difficult for many countries to continue to provide funds for the training of academics outside the country. He canvassed that for Nigeria and Ghana, the two giants in West Africa, to work together first, as well as with other English speaking West African countries (five English speaking West African countries) to open up this channel for closer ties. The Gambia, he said, can be invited as well as Senegal, Sierra Leone and other francophone countries to join in building a solid education alliance in the region. In his words “We don’t believe so much in the artificial division and have to find a way to breach these gaps.”
In the Ghanaian delegation were Professor Jonathan N. Ayertey and Mr. Kwesi N. Eshun.