NIGERIA: More must access higher education

N igeria should aspire to give 20% of eligible candidates access to higher education by 2020, according to former executive secretary of the National Universities Commission, Professor Peter Okebukola, reports This Day. Currently the country's higher education participation rate is only 8% of the eligible population.

"Since the results of the 2008-09 Universities Matriculation Examination were released a few weeks ago, I have been pained by the realisation that about 800,000 of the over one million candidates who sat for the examination will have the doors of universities shut against them on account of limitation of admission spaces," said Okebukola in a keynote address at the third graduation ceremony of Covenant University, Ota, in Ogun State last weekend.

Quoting UNESCO institute of statistics sources, he said 8% is the proportion of the eligible population in Nigeria who have access to higher education, known technically as the nation's higher education participation rate. He said working on a premise that about 60% of these candidates would be suitably qualified, about 500,000 would roam the streets after the 2008-09 admission season.
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