Education: NUC Give Reasons For Rejecting Move To Upgrade HND To Degree

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The National Universities Commission (NUC) says it does not recognize the one-year Top-Degree programme allegedly introduced by the National Board for Technical Education, NBTE, in Nigerian polytechnics to enable holders of the Higher National Diploma, HND to convert their certificates to first degree with foreign accredited universities.

A statement by Acting Executive Secretary of the NUC, Chris Maiyaki, says the report, which was credited to the Executive Secretary of the NBTE, Professor Idirs Bugaje, revealed that the action was in furtherance of the advocacy for the removal of the existing dichotomy between HND graduates in their various places of work and to enhance the beneficiaries’ opportunities for further studies.

The NUC acting Executive Secretary used the statement to warn the management of the NBTE and to inform the general public that the “Bill for an Act to Abolish and Prohibit Dichotomy and Discrimination between First Degree and HND in the Same Profession and Field for the Purpose of Employment and for Related Matters”, which was passed by the 9th National Assembly in 2021, is yet to be assented to by Mr. President; therefore, at the moment, there is no law that has removed the dichotomy between a university degree and the HND.

Chris Maiyaki says both the NUC Establishment Law, CAP N81, LFN, 2004 and its Operational Law: the Education National Minimum Standards and Establishment of Institutions Act, CAP E3 LFN, 2004, vest in the Commission the powers to superintend and regulate university education in Nigeria, lay down minimum academic standards in the nation’s universities and other degree-awarding institutions, and accredit their programmes.

Maiyaki reiterates that the university degree awarded by the Nigerian University System or any cognate institution is not the same as the HND awarded by Polytechnics in Nigeria and in the Nigerian higher education space, the processes, contents and methods required for the acquisition of a university degree are substantially different from those needed for HND programs.

The NUC says at the post-graduate level, the requirements for admission into any Master’s degree programme in Nigerian Universities for candidates with HND are, among others, the acquisition of a Postgraduate Diploma, PGD from a recognized University in an area relevant to that for which the Master’s admission is being sought.

The statement stresses further that beneficiaries of the alleged NBTE’s one-year Top-Up Programme shall be subjected to extant admission requirements by Nigerian universities should they desire to further their studies in the university, and that unsuspecting general public and all relevant ministries, departments and agencies should note that the NUC is not a party to and, indeed, disavows the so-called Top-up Scheme, being concocted by the NBTE.

NUC advises that the NBTE should focus on its core mandate and desist from introducing programmes that are outside its jurisdiction and not supported by any law in Nigeria.

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