The National Universities Commission (NUC) has officially disowned a recent program introduced by the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), which aimed to facilitate the conversion of Higher National Diploma (HND) into university degrees in Nigeria. According to the NUC, this initiative does not align with current Nigerian law and the distinctions between HND and university degrees.
ADDRESS OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE NIGERIAN BAR ASSOCIATION, MR YAKUBU CHONOKO MAIKYAU, OON, SAN, DELIVERED AT THE VALEDICTORY COURT SESSION HELD IN HONOUR OF THE LATE HONOURABLE JUSTICE CHIMA CENTUS NWEZE, JSC, ON 10 OCTOBER 2023 AT THE SUPREME COURT COMPLEX, ABUJA
In a statement issued by the Acting Executive Secretary of the NUC, Chris Maiyaki, the NUC clarified that no existing law abolishes the dichotomy between university degrees and HND. While acknowledging the ongoing discussions to eliminate this disparity, such legislation has not yet been enacted.
The statement further emphasized the unique nature of technical education, including Polytechnics and Universities. These institutions have distinct purposes and methods for developing critical human resources per their initial establishment goals.
It was clarified that a university degree awarded by Nigerian universities or similar institutions differs from an HND awarded by Polytechnics in Nigeria. The Nigerian higher education landscape’s processes, content, and methods for acquiring these credentials substantially differ.
Additionally, the statement highlighted that candidates with HND seeking admission to a Master’s degree program at Nigerian universities must have obtained a Postgraduate Diploma (PGD) from a recognized university in a relevant field. This implies that NBTE’s Top-Up Program participants would need to meet these admission requirements to continue their studies at Nigerian universities.
The NUC explicitly stated that it is not involved in or endorsing the so-called Top-Up Scheme introduced by the NBTE. The NUC advises the NBTE to concentrate on its primary mandate and refrain from introducing programs outside its jurisdiction and lacking legal support in Nigeria.
The NUC’s disownment of the HND to university degree conversion program initiated by the NBTE underscores the ongoing challenges of recognising HND as equivalent to university degrees. The statement affirms the need for legislative changes to address this issue and ensure clarity and fairness in Nigeria’s education system.
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