The Modalities used to fund Tertiary Education in the US and UK

Nigerian lecturer and responsibility his employer claims not to know

The modalities used to fund Tertiary education in the US and the UK for universities to run by themselves are Government subventions, public endowments, alumni endowments and private sector funding and students fees. Let me not bother you with the percentage of funds that come from each modality. Let me analyse each modality and prove to you that Nigerian universities cannot use this model as we don’t have the things the Govts of these nations have.

 

Firstly, the Governments of these two countries follow the UNESCO standard for funding education because they know the importance of it. While some of us are using style to play down tertiary education claiming all of us must not go to university because many of them don’t go to university in these countries, can you please tell us the strength of their Primary and Secondary educational institutions? Can you tell us about how strong the alternatives they have for Tertiary education are? For instance, do we have the kind of Juliard School of the Arts that is in New York with a type of it in many regions of the United States in Nigeria? How are our Technical Colleges fairing? Please, tell me any viable school of Journalism in Nigeria.

 

As much as we want to support the Government for their wickedness, it will be good if we can think deeply about the models we’re using to push these useless narratives before we quote them as examples. Before you say not all should go to university, ask yourself the percentage of people actually attending universities in Nigeria. Do you know we need many more of our children to get university education if we really want to encourage development? That’s why the universities must be funded.

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Government subventions for universities in the US and UK run into billions of pounds and dollars despite the Government not being the sole entity funding Tertiary education. The rest of the funds they give to public universities come in as scholarships and students’ loans. If all these are put together, they run into billions of dollars more than what Nigerian Government is asked to give to fund universities by ASUU. Please, can we still say those Governments don’t fund Tertiary education? If we go the way they have gone, will the Nigerian Government be able to do this? Won’t they still fail and cry there is no money? Why don’t we stick to the simplest form by committing something to Education and be faithful with it? The problem with the universities in Nigeria is the failure of Government to commit something tangible to tertiary education over the years. They keep stealing even the little we are generating from these universities. Nigerian students pay school fees. Where do these fees go? If the Government committed the fees the students pay, no matter how small, to the universities, things will be better than they’re now.

The Modalities used to fund Tertiary Education in the US and UK
The Modalities used to fund Tertiary Education in the US and UK

Secondly, universities in the US and the UK subsist on public endowments, private sector endowments, alumni endowments and students fees. Public endowments come from rich people in the society who want to help others and help the education sector. They provide scholarships and endowment funds for universities for research and many other things. Examples of such are Carnegie Foundations, Humboldt foundation etc. How many Nigerians can do these when a little more than the ten percent of our population is Rich? Another issue is the greed of the rich amongst us. Rather than bequeath their wealth to public universities to help the children of the masses, they will rather build their own private universities, charge exorbitant fees and claim they’re helping the nation’s education sector. At least I heard this from Sir Gabriel Igbinedion on NTA’s Executive Discourse. Rather than say he’s running a business, he claims to be helping the nation’s education sector.

 

Private sector endowments funds come from conglomerates in the nation. In the US, we have such funding from Microsoft, Apple, Facebook and many other big conglomerates in all those countries. How many of such do we have in a nation like Nigeria where electricity and security are scaring investors out of our shores every day? Ask yourself if those companies that have been taxed by the Federal Government to their teeth, with the rising cost of diesel in a nation with epileptic power supply can think of any endowments funds to her universities when they are struggling to stay afloat? Or what alumni funding are we expecting from our graduates when more than 80 % of them struggle to find jobs three four years after graduation? Or what school fees do you expect a parent earning fifty thousand naira a month to pay for a child when he or she hasn’t fed that child? We do not actually know what we ask when we ask for university autonomy. If public universities are privatised, Nigerians keran asameegun!

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