Every year, hundreds of Nigerian students leave the shores of the country to further their education in other more advanced countries, spending millions of dollars in the process. At the top of the list of favoured institutions are those in European and American countries.
The Committee of Vice-Chancellors (CVC) of Nigeria reiterated this at the weekend saying that Nigerians spend an average of $500 million annually on European and American universities.
This was contained in a communiqué issued at the end of a two-day Consultative Policy Dialogue on the Future and Relevance of the Nigerian Universities and other Tertiary Institutions, organised by CVC and Trust Africa, Dakar.
What is also interesting about this figure is that the amount is about 70 per cent of the total allocation in 2008 to all Federal Universities in Nigeria. According to the News Agency of Nigeria, the communiqué which was signed by Prof. Michael Faborode is an indication of the loss of faith in Nigerian universities as shown by the rush for foreign institutions, even to other African countries. The committee noted that constant restiveness of students between host communities, school administration, weak governance structures and processes were some of the challenges facing the Nigerian Higher Education sector.
If Nigerians are spending up to 70 per cent of the total allocation in 2008 to all Federal Universities in Nigeria studying abroad, that is indeed a huge amount. It presents a bleak future for Nigerian Universities. The Vice Chancellors have done well in revealing the statistics, however, it is not enough to know the amount being spent by Nigerians studying abroad but to find ways to tackle the inherent problem of underdevelopment of Nigerian Universities. If our own Universities were better developed with world standard facilities, there would be no need to spend such large sums of money studying abroad.