A former vice chancellor of the Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State, Professor Charles Ayo, has revealed that Nigeria loses a minimum of N1 trillion to education tourism with about 75,000 Nigerians currently studying in Ghana, Benin Republic and Egypt.
In his address recently at the convocation of Crawford University, Igbesa, Professor Ayo appealed to Nigerians to patronise Nigerian universities, especially the private universities, which he said had come to provide moral training and quality education at relatively cheaper rate than most universities outside the country.
According to him, the Christian faith institutions make up 51 per cent of all private universities in the country, and their intervention in the higher education delivery is a call to duty to redress the moral decadence, unstable academic calendar, poor infrastructural development and inadequate qualified faculty prevalent in most public institutions.
He said, “The role of private universities is grossly misunderstood by many Nigerians, particularly our colleagues in the public universities. They go with the wrong impression of a business enterprise rather than being institutions borne out of deliberate and calculated intentions to offer rounded education to address the level of social vices in the country as well as offer quality education that is comparable to the delivery of the first generation universities in the 1960s.”
Ayo said that out of the top 20 universities in the 2011 and 2012 rankings of world class universities by the Times Higher Education ranking parameters, the best five universities in 2011 were private universities, while three in 2012 were also private universities.
According to him, out of the best 20 universities selected for each year, private universities accounted for 60 per cent in 2011 and 55 per cent in 2012. This, he noted, means that private universities are the hope for the future of education development not only in Nigeria, but also in the world at large.
He stressed that, considering the state of Nigerian economy with paucity of funds, dilapidated infrastructure and moral decadence, that there is no better time than now to reappraise the system and birth the expected change in the socio-political, economic and technological landscape of the country.