Universities’ Leadership Compliance with the National Universities Commission’s Benchmark on Minimum Academic Standard and Its Impact on Quality of Nigerian University Education

This study investigated the level of Nigerian Universities’ leadership compliance with the National Universities Commission’s benchmark on minimum academic standard, and its impact on the quality of Nigerian university education. This is consequent upon the observations of some stakeholders in university education, that the failure of universities’ leadership to comply with the National Universities Commission (NUC) benchmark on minimum academic standard, has been the major problem of quality decline in Nigerian university education. Descriptive research of survey design was employed in the study. The population consisted of the staff members from public universities in south-west Nigeria, while the sample consisted of 50 members of staff each from 3 federal and 3 state universities. The finding revealed a moderate level of universities’ leadership compliance with the NUC benchmark on minimum academic standard. The finding was compared with the table on quality of Nigerian university education. A significant relationship was established between universities’ leadership compliance with NUC benchmark and quality of Nigerian university education, and no significant difference was established between the federal and state universities’ staff assessment of leadership compliance with the NUC benchmark. Based on these findings, conclusions were drawn and recommendations made. Quality can only be acquired when set standard are achieved, but may be difficult where funding is inadequate. The moderate level of universities’ leadership compliance established by the study was an indication of leadership failure to comply fully with NUC benchmark on minimum academic standard. This confirmed the stakeholders’ observation that the failure of leadership to comply fully with NUC benchmark on minimum academic standard has been a major problem of quality decline in Nigerian university education. However, this finding may not have been unconnected with the poor funding pattern of government. The non-significant difference established between the assessment of the federal and state university staff, on Nigerian university leadership compliance with NUC benchmark on minimum academic standard is an indication that ownership status has no impact on universities’ leadership level of compliance. Conclusively, Nigerian universities’ leadership should not only give a total compliance to NUC benchmark on minimum academic standard, but improve upon it, by attaining a level higher than the set standard in order to improve on the quality of its education. The government should increase on its budgetary provision for university education as “without good budgets, there are no school.”

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