UNILAG VC, Ogunsola Seeks Robust Varsity Funding

The vice-chancellor of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Professor Folashade Ogunsola, has advocated for more creative sources of funding for Nigerian universities to overcome the challenges of poor funding.

Ogunsola stated this yesterday while speaking as a guest speaker at the third UNILAG Mass Communication Class of 1988 (Topaz) Lecture with the theme, “Funding Tertiary Education: Challenges and Options.”

The vice-chancellor said universities are supposed to be funded from many sources, including the government, research grants as well as endowments and donations, but that in Nigeria the case is different.

LEADERSHIP Sunday reports that university endowments are comprised of money or other financial assets donated to academic institutions to ease financial administration.

Comparing Nigeria’s system with other foreign universities where there are steady revenue streams, usually from tuition and health care services, Ogunsola said university funds should be excluded from the Treasury Single Account (TSA) policy of the federal government.

Pointing out that government only pays the salaries of university staff and leaves everything else to the universities’ management, she, therefore, suggested that the practice should be reversed and the true cost of education determined

“Government is to provide a grant tied to students (even if they use the figures calculated by the National Universities Commission in 2005), and funds should be released quarterly so that each institution will chart its own course

“Research should be properly funded while members of Governing Councils must be properly selected and should include the private sector,” she suggested.

Speaking further, Ogunsola said there are some policies preventing universities from growing their funds.

She mentioned such policies as the distortion of the universities by civil service policies, the lack of institutional memory in government, and costs of various agencies carrying out oversight being passed on to the universities, amongst others.

She also urged universities to continue to help with scholarships, saying that the University of Lagos is doing well in that aspect.

“Our alumni base has been growing and more supportive,” she said.

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