Former governor of Cross River State and Chairman of the UNICAL Trust and Endowment Fund, Donald Duke, has highlighted the urgent need for Nigeria to revisit its funding strategies for education. He expressed concern over the compromised quality of education in the nation’s quest for equality in access to education.
In an interaction with ARISE NEWS, Duke called attention to the inadequate funding and opportunities from both domestic and foreign donor agencies in the Nigerian educational sector.
Using the cost of studying medicine at the University of Calabar as an example, Duke wondered about the quality of education a student could gain from a program that costs less than 500 dollars in total. He expressed his belief that Nigeria could still pursue equality without sacrificing quality if it explored other avenues and sources of funding.
He emphasized the need for Nigerian universities to become truly international, attracting funds from all over the world, involving alumni, and encouraging research – something he said has become quite foreign to Nigerian universities.
Speaking on the UNICAL Trust and Endowment fund, which he established a few years ago, Duke explained its purpose as a means of generating support for the university in various forms – not just cash. He revealed that the objective was to make the university financially independent of its existing limited sources of revenue, primarily from the federal government and a small portion from student fees.
Duke further elaborated on the workings of the Trust and Endowment fund, intending it to be an ongoing fund. The management would change over time, but the fund would exist in perpetuity. They aim to source funds from both domestic and international donor agencies that align with their goals and are willing to offer support.
His ultimate vision is to ensure that a degree from the University of Calabar has practical value and is not merely theoretical. The focus is not only on securing funds but also on creating opportunities for students even after graduation.
SOURCE: Arise News
IMAGE: Manly NG