NUC seeks uniform grading system for varsities

University-KK-CopyWorried by irregularities in the grading system of most Nigerian Universities, the National Universities Commission (NUC) has called for the adoption of a common grading system that would be generally acceptable among all tertiary institutions in the country.

The NUC stressed need to harmonise the Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) grading system, including a uniformed Benchmark Minimum Academic Standards (BMAS), for all certified Nigerian universities, rather than using discretional method to grade students in each discipline.

Speaking at the workshop, which was held at commission’s headquarters, NUC Executive Secretary, Prof. Julius Okojie, described as worrisome, a situation where most universities were derailing from the original academic traditions that guaranteed high quality education in the country, especially the post-independence era.

At the meeting which had vice chancellors of all public and private universities in attendance, Okojie who attributed these developments to poor governance structures in most of the institutions, said individual grading systems pose technical challenges for proper grading of students, particularly inter-university credit transfer and student mobility both within and outside the country.

He said that some institutions, while awarding grades in some disciplines use the six grade points of 5,4,3,2,1,0 for letter grades of A, B, C, D, E and F respectively. While in some cases, other disciplines remove the E grade altogether thereby having a grading system with grade points of 5,4,3,2,0 for letter grades of A, B, C, D and F respectively.

According to the NUC scribe, these systems have incontrovertibly introduced two systems of grading within the Nigerian university system.

Okojie, who said some of the older universities were losing track of the tradition that hitherto held sway in the country’s university system, urging them to retrace their steps and go back to their Senate.

He added, “Why we are having this discussion is that we also have private universities coming on board, and we had assumed that because vice chancellors who service these private universities are from older institutions, and they know some of these traditions. This is not the case, so we are going to go through the process.

“For CGPA the maximum is five, University of Ibadan has been using seven. So we have asked them, ‘when you are using a scale and the maximum is five, how do you compare with others in a situation where first class honours on the five scale maximum is 4.5 and above?

These are some of the issues we are concerned about. Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife, at some point was using 4.3 and thereafter went back to 4.5. We need a common platform and it’s very important.

“A review would not only facilitate curriculum design within the university that would foster inter-departmental and inter-disciplinary collaboration, but would also minimise duplication thereby enhancing understanding by most foreign universities too.”

NUC’s Director, Academic Standards, Gidado Kumo explained that the Vice Chancellors and Directors of Academic Planning were invited to Abuja in order for their views and observations to be sought on how to arrive at a generally satisfactory university education policy.

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  • amador kester

    They have to be pragmatic and proactive in this issue of evaluation of learning.What percentage goes to objective items,what for essay? Does it ever occur to them that a pass mark in a critical course like surgery where the practitioners competence portends safety or danger to the patient should be ninety nine percent and not forty? Or that that course on engineering bridge design should have a passmark of 80 ? They have to do a thorough work as the ramifications of consequences are tremendous.Finally these academics and their unions should fight vigorously against the ills of grade selling by their lecturers that makes a mincemeat of every budget or effort expended on academic planning and physical infrastructure.The anticorruption wind can also blow there for good, if and whenever it starts

  • malachy sumaila, PhD

    The issue here is not the scale in my opinion but the assessement itself! why should final exam be 60-70% of the whole grade for example? whorld best practices have moved away from this and we don’t seem to understand our psoition. you can make the grding system unifrom or on a 4 or 5 point scale, but as long as the assessement itslef is not done properly then you will soon understand that it was an exercise in futility. back to square one. Nigeria have to move very FAST in its University education.

  • Agbaakin Majeobaje

    Fellow Nigerians……..How about our Polytechnics? Should these tertiary institutions not be harmonized with our so called Universities? Something is very wrong and something must be done to harmonize the Polytechnics with our Universities. They’re all higher institutions both locally and globally!!!