NUC seeks uniform grading system for varsities
Worried 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.