Leading chief executives of private, public universities, government officials and stakeholders in education sector has identified curriculum change, better funding, quality management assurance, and improvement in ranking to as requirement to boost the university system to fit into 21st century main frame.
They observe that in the developed world, tertiary institutions are identified as centers for societal development. This is because ideally their operation provides avenues for lecturers and students to develop their latent skills so as to measure up to current demands by both the public and private sectors.
Aize Obayan, vice chancellor, Landmark University, Kwara state said there is for greater value on knowledge workers, noting that the boundaries are increasingly irrelevant and it is very vital for administrator of universities to redefine their products and services in term of the graduates they produce and how relevance what they have being impacted with fair in global competitive market.
To her, the online learning community is the vehicle through which knowledge is transmitted in the 21st century, as we are in the information age. She advised that leadership of universities should therefore make every effort to draw up a practicable plan that will help them meet up with the challenge of relevance.
Obayan projected that once the leadership in the various aspect of university administration key into this it will in the long run provide educational, cultural and intellectual enrichment which comes with social benefits, development and progress.
Peter Okebukola, former executive secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC) on his part expressed optimism that within the next ten years, 5 Nigerian universities will rank among the top 100 in the global Webomatric ranking once the political will by government and Nigerian Universities are there to support key area like research and development of their quality in term of knowledge delivery.
Okebukola pointed out that there is the need for universities to have the right political will because according to him, “The resources are there in this country, the potential to deliver is there so all the element to deliver we have it except that political will”.
The Lagos State University Don further revealed that among the measure to ensure that these projections are realised is the need for universities to support research.
To him, “A lot of improvement in research should be the focus by our universities in the next ten years. There should be an improvement in our research infrastructure; there is the need to improve the capacity of our research for people to do quality research that will find their way into globally acceptable publication outlets”.
Okebukola further disclosed that enhancing mix of international staff and students in our universities will go a long way in enhancing the way Nigerian universities are rated which will then improve the general ranking
“Improve the international Staff and students mix; get many more non Nigerian students and staff into the Nigeria universities system. With all of these elements, we can get the Nigerian universities to move very fast to be on the top league of globally ranking tables”. He said.