The National Universities Commission (NUC) says it has unbundled Architecture and Agriculture into separate degree programmes to meet present demand.
The Commission also said that degree programmes in Architecture, Agriculture, and Mass Communication have also been split into different ones, with the changes expected to take effect in this year in all universities in the country.
NUC’s Executive Secretary, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, who made this known to newsmen in Abuja, said Mass Communication has been unbundled into Media Studies, Public Relation Studies, Cinematography, among others.
He said the present Agriculture degree programme in the universities is now broken into Forestry, Soil Science, Plant Science and others.
He added: “We have also unbundled Agriculture. Instead of just one degree in Agriculture, we now want Bachelor’s degree in Forestry, Soil science, Plant science, Agronomy, Animal Science, so also for Creative Arts. We want to see two streams of agriculture in the country.”
Rasheed, who raised concerns over the irrelevance of Nigerian research into issues bedevilling the country, revealed that the Commission was partnering with the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) and the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) to produce the Nigeria National Research Agenda in order to ensure all areas of research solve an existing problem.
While noting that the Commission has developed a research policy, he requested that every university operating in the country develop its own research policy and research direction.
Prof. Rasheed, who dismissed news making round in some quarters that the Federal Government has abolished catchment area as part of criteria for admission into Nigerian universities, said peddlers of such information probably misconstrued the government decision to ensure more national spread of students in all federal universities.
The NUC boss lamented the behaviour of some communities who always want to flood institutions located in their area with their kith and kin, “saying our universities are being dangerously localized”.
On the reports of over 100 fake professors in Nigerian universities, the NUC boss confirmed that there were fake professors in the system but said he was yet to get the real figure.
Speaking further, the NUC boss revealed that there are about 61,000 lecturers teaching in Nigerian universities while only about 10,000 of them are professors.
Rasheed said institutions like polytechnics, colleges of education, inter-university centre as well as research institutes cannot produce professors as only the University’s Senate has the power to promote academic staff to the professorial position.
He expressed worry over the upsurge of illegal degree-awarding institutions, saying the Commission is compiling a comprehensive list of such illegal universities and working with the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) to ensure that graduates of such institutions and other fake universities from nearby countries are not mobilised for the one-year mandatory service.