Relevant stakeholders, including Vice-Chancellors, Deputy Vice-Chancellors, Academics as well as Directors of Academic Planning (DAPs), on Monday 21 September, 2015, converged at the National Universities Commission (NUC) for a one-day workshop on the review of grading system in the Nigerian University System (NUS).

In his keynote address, the Executive Secretary, NUC, Professor Julius A. Okojie, OON, recalled that the Commission had abolished the Pass Degree from the grading and classification of degrees in the NUS in 2006, stressing that, under the policy, the minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) required by a student for graduation was 1.5. He, however, expressed regret that when the Benchmark Minimum Academic Standard (BMAS) documents were reviewed in 2007, the technical implications of the policy was not considered, thereby allowing individual instructions and disciplines to implement the directive discretionally.

The Executive Secretary noted that, while some disciplines used the 6 grade points of 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 0 for letter grades of A, B, C, D, E, and F respectively, other disciplines, he said, removed the E grade altogether thereby having a grading system with grade points of 5, 4, 3, 2, 0 for letter grades of A, B, C, D, and F respectively. He added that these methods had incontrovertibly introduced two systems of grading within the NUS that had some technical implications on the grading of students.

Professor Okojie said that the workshop provided an avenue for the Commission and the Universities to review the existing grading system with a view to arriving at a generally acceptable and uniform method of computing the CGPA in the NUS.He expressed hope that at the end of the workshop, participants would find a common grading system that would facilitate inter-university credit transfer and student mobility both, within and outside the country.

The review, according to him, would not only facilitate curriculum design within the university that would foster inter-departmental and inter-disciplinary collaboration, but also minimise duplication thereby enhancing understanding, by the outside world, of the grading system in Nigerian Universities for the purpose of engaging of Nigerian University graduates. He told the gathering that at the end of the interactive session, the NUC would incorporate the agreed method of CGPA computation and grading in both the BMAS for the different disciplines offered in the NUS and the Compendium of NUC’s Guidelines.

In his welcome address, the Director, Academic Standards, Dr. Gidado Bello Kumo, stated that the grading system had not only been an academic standards parameter in the academic programmes offering in Nigerian Universities, but also a significant component of a university Academic Brief which was part of the statutory requirements for the approval of a university that predetermined the academic growth pattern of the University. He observed that the workshop would serve as a springboard for the NUC’s role as a catalyst for the production of globally competitive and nationally relevant graduates and in its resolve at improving the BMAS.

Dr. Kumo noted that, to make the BMAS all encompassing, the Commission would use the opportunity provided by the workshop to engage senior university officials in dialogue to, not only improve such vital aspects of the BMAS, among any other relevant academic standards instruments, but also arrive at a generally satisfactory university education policy. In the spirit of university autonomy, he said, the Commission would solicit universities’ inputs and comments through their participation in the policy review exercise.

The Director added that the Commission invited the Deputy Vice-Chancellors and Directors of Academic Planning of Nigerian universities considering their critical roles in all matters relating to academic standards and quality assurance in the universities. He expressed hope that the invited officials would participate actively in order to derive the maximum benefit from the workshop, adding that the outcome would be disseminated to the entire university communities in order to meet the desired high level impact.

In his vote of thanks, the Director, Quality Assurance, Dr. Noel Biodun Saliu, thanked the Executive Secretary for his unrelenting efforts aimed at improving the standards of all academic instruments and mechanisms in the NUS, commending the Academic Standards Department for hosting the workshop, which he described as all important and a technique that would further enhance both the standard and quality assurance of the Nigerian Universities.

After the opening ceremony, the participants went into a technical session.

NUC Management in attendance included the Deputy Executive Secretary 1, Professor Chiedu Felix Mafiana; Directors of the Executive Secretary’s Office, Mrs. Constance Goddy-Nnady; Protocol and Special Duties, Mr. Chris Maiyaki; Finance and Account, Mr. Sam Onazi; Open and Distance Education, Dr. Olamide Adesina; Students Support Services, Dr. Rukayyat Gurin; Inspection and Monitoring, Mr. Felix Olaniyan as well as Physical Planning and Development, Mr. Ayo Bankole, among others.