UNIPORT VC wants varsities to be self-financing

AS the country grapples with shrinking revenue, Vice Chancellor of the University of Port Harcourt, Professor Joseph Ajienka has cautioned that unless public universities are allowed to seek ways of sourcing for its own revenue tertiary institutions may soon collapse due to lack of funding.

The Vice Chancellor expressed this view while briefing newsmen during the beginning of activities to mark the University’s 30th convocation ceremony and 40th anniversary of the school at the Governing Council Chambers yesterday.

Ajienka asserted that universities in Nigeria today are bogged down by a combination of factors that place additional operational burden on the administrators, especially Vice Chancellors, who are on the firing line.

The Vice Chancellor said the Senate and council of the university have approved that former President Goodluck Jonathan be honoured as distinguished fellow of the university in recognition of his exemplary leadership of the country and contribution to the development of his alma mater.

According to him, it is now obvious that critically needed funds are dwindling by the day in the face of failing oil prices, while the average cost of running each university is correspondingly escalating by the day.

Ajienka said he envisages a situation in which public universities are likely to collapse on account of inadequate funding, arguing further that while some Nigerians parents are willing to pay outrageous schools fees for their children in universities outside the country, they are the first to kick against the introduction of some form of charges at the tertiary level of education in Nigeria.

According to the UNIPORT chief, it remains inexplicable that some Nigerians are prepared to pay huge sums to sustain quality education in other countries, and yet treat the ones here with utter contempt.

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