Fred Ezeh, Abuja
The National Universities Commission (NUC) has unbundled some academic programmes being offered at Nigerian universities to purportedly allow for the production of more professionals.
The Commission said that it had concluded unbundling work on Architecture, Mass Communication, Agriculture, Creative Arts and several other programmes, the changes said to take effect from next year.
NUC Executive Secretary Prof Abubakar Rasheed, who made the in Abuja on Monday, added that some of the courses were split into seven new programmes.
He disclosed that, besides ongoing moves to unbundle the programmes, the Commission in the last three years has carried out other massive reforms such as curriculum re-engineering and introduction of new programmes.
In his words: “We have almost concluded the unbundling of Mass Communication. At the end of first quarter next year, Mass Communication will not be existing as a stand-alone degree programme because it is too wide.
“We are unbundling the programme into seven different programmes: Bachelors Degrees in Public Relations, Marketing Communications, Media studies, Film studies, Cinematography or photography, Strategic Communication, and so many others.
“This is in line with trends all over the world. We will retain the Mass Communication for those universities that have not yet developed the full competencies in the areas.”
He added: “We have also unbundled Agriculture. Instead of just one degree in Agriculture, we now want Bachelor’s degree in Forestry, Soil science, Plant science, Agronomy, Animal Science, so also for Creative Arts. We want to see two streams of agriculture in the country.”
Rasheed, who raised concerns over the irrelevance of Nigerian research into issues bedevilling the country, revealed that the Commission was partnering with the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) and the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) to produce the Nigeria National Research Agenda in order to ensure all areas of research solve an existing problem.
While noting that the Commission has developed a research policy, he requested that every university operating in the country develop its own research policy and research direction.