9 February 2013

Nigeria: Uni-Abuja Management, Students Deadlock Over Accreditation

After three hours of back and forth dialogue between students and management of the University of Abuja on Friday at the permanent campus over non-accreditation of some programmes, the meeting ended in deadlock without any resolutions.

The university's senate set up a committee on Wednesday to engage the students in dialogue especially as examinations which were suspended by the November protests had been rescheduled for February 11.

But the students of two of the troubled programmes- Engineering and Medicine refused to mend fences with management insisting that no examinations would take place until their programmes were accredited and a Students Union Government (SUG) instituted.

On the status of accreditation of programmes, Vice-chancellor of the university Professor James Adelabu said for the College of Health Sciences, the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria had paid an accreditation visit to inspect facilities and were scheduled to revisit the university soon while the Veterinary Council of Nigeria (VCN) had also paid a similar visit to inspect facilities for the teaching of Veterinary Medicine.

Adelabu however said Engineering which has not made as much progress as the two other programmes had finally received approval from National Universities Commission (NUC) after a verification exercise on November 26th.

He said management had since lifted the ban on Students Union Government (SUG) but had advised that the constitution be amended to include the main campus, an electoral committee set up and elections take place by second semester.

He also said the N2bn grant allocated to the school was yet to be spent as management was still working on areas the money should be expended.

"Management had proposed that the money be spent on completion of Central library, College of Health Science complex, faculty of management, construction of faculty based theatres, purchase of equipment and purchase of equipment for the troubled programmes," he said.

He then promised that accreditation of all three programmes would be completed before April.

But all appeals from members of the senate and management to students for "patience", fell on deaf ears.

Their representatives at the end of the meeting said all programmes must be accredited before examinations can begin.

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