Research targeted at academic promotion unproductive for African development, says AAU

Michael Egbejule, Benin City and Ibe Wada/Guardian newspaper 

The Association of African Universities (AAU) has called on researchers in African universities to embark on researches that are targeted at problem solving and not to gain promotion. The secretary general of AAU, Prof. Etienne Ehile`, said although African institutions are doing great in terms of research, there is need for improvement to enhance development in the region.

Prof.Etienne Ehouan EHILE

Secretary General of AAU, Prof. Etienne Ehile

Ehile who was represented by Dr. Violet Makuku, the project officer, harmonization of African higher education quality assurance and accreditation, spoke at the all African workshop on quality assurance and innovative research hosted by Igbinedion University Okada, Edo State.He disclosed that the association is working with Igbinedion University to enhance the quality and relevance of higher education in the region and strengthen its contribution to Africa’s development.

Ehile, who noted that the challenges faced by researchers and lecturers in most African universities are largely due to the fact that their research works are sometimes done to get academic promotion, harped on the need to domesticate African researches, make them productive and contribute to societal development.

The vice Chancellor, Prof Lawrence Ezemonye described the workshop as apt, pointing out that research is a fundamental requirement for knowledge exchange.Ezemonye added that the workshop, which is targeted at the training of the institution’s staff in the area of academic research, is to seek new knowledge for social development.

Meanwhile, PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has challenged Nigerian universities to prioritise qualitative research to facilitate faster positive transformation of the country.Buhari who stated this at the 35th convocation ceremony of the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN) said it was high time that Nigerian universities demonstrated “greater relevance through the impact of their research activities on the socio-economic development of the nation.”

President Buhari, who was represented at the ceremony by Dr. Suleiman Yusuf of the National Universities Commission (NUC) stressed the need for the universities to give research and innovation their priority attention, saying these constitute an important component of their mandates.The president noted that no nation could attain remarkable progress without a concomitant research and development culture, most especially from its institutions of higher learning.

He pointed out that for the potential greatness of the country to be realised, every effort should be made to ensure that relevant research attracts more attention of our universities and the academics.Of the 12,009 that graduated, 10,299 were first degree/diplomas graduates while the remaining 1,710 graduated with higher degrees and postgraduate diplomas.A breakdown of the first degree graduates showed that 130 graduated with first class, 2,902 with second class upper division, 5,661 second class lower division, 1,392 third class and 31 with pass degrees.



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