The National Universities Commission was established in 1962 as an advisory agency in the Cabinet Office. However in 1974, it became a statutory body and the first Executive Secretary, in the person of Prof. Jibril Aminu was then appointed.
The National Universities Commission (NUC) is a parastatal under the Federal Ministry of Education (FME). The Commission has a Governing Council, its Executive Secretary is Prof. Abubakar Adamu Rasheed mni, MFR, who assumed office on August 3, 2016.
Over the years, the Commission has transformed from a small office in the cabinet office to an important arm of government in the area of development and management of university education in Nigeria.
The main functions of the Commission are outlined as follows:
i. Granting approval for all academic programmes run in Nigerian universities;
ii. Granting approval for the establishment of all higher educational institutions offering degree programmes in Nigerian universities;
iii. Ensure quality assurance of all academic programmes offered in Nigerian universities; and
iv. Channel for all external support to the Nigerian universities.
The Commission has twelve Directorates; Directorate of Academic Planning, Directorate of Inspection and Monitoring, Directorate of Management Support Services, Directorate of the Establishment of Private Universities, Directorate of Students Support Services, Directorate of Research, Innovations & Information Technology, Directorate of Finance and Accounts, Directorate of Accreditation, Directorate of Open and Distance Education, Directorate of Liaison Services and International Cooperation, Directorate of Corporate Communications, and the Directorate of the Executive Secretary’s Office. Each of the Directorates is headed by a Director.
The Commission has recorded a number of successes since its inception. These successes can be attributed to quality of leadership, dedication and commitment of the staff, the quality of its Board members, cooperation received from Universities and support from the Federal Government.
As a coordinating body, the Commission ensures it discharges its responsibilities by recruiting adequate and relevant man power and appeals to the Universities for their sustained support and understanding. The Commission also relies on support from the Federal Government, State Governments and other stakeholders in its bid to improve on the quality of tertiary education and graduates of the nation’s university system.
To be a dynamic regulatory agency acting as a catalyst for positive change and innovation for the delivery of quality university education in Nigeria.
To ensure the orderly development of a well coordinated and productive university system that will guarantee quality and relevant education for national development and global competitiveness.
The Goals of the National Universities Commission are:
- Attainment of stable and crisis-free University System.
- To work with Nigerian Universities to achieve full accreditation status for at least 80% of the academic programmes.
- To initiate and promote proficiency in the use of ICT for service delivery within the Commission and the Nigerian University System.
- Upgrade and maintain physical facilities in the Nigerian University System for delivery of quality university education.
- To match university graduate output with national manpower needs.
- To foster partnership between the Nigerian University System and the private sector
The Functions of the Commission are:
- To advise the President and State Governors, through the Minister, on the creation of new universities and other degree-awarding institutions in Nigeria;
- To prepare, after consultation with the State Governments, the universities, the national manpower Board and such other bodies as it considers appropriate, periodic master plans for the balanced and co-coordinated development of all universities in Nigeria;
To lay down Minimum Academic Standards in the Federal Republic of Nigeria and to accredit their degrees and other academic awards;
- To ensure that quality is maintained within the academic programmes of the Nigerian University System;
- To make such other investigations relating to higher education as the Commission may consider necessary in the national interest;
- To inquire into and advise the Federal Government on the financial needs, both recurrent and capital, of university education in Nigeria and, in particular, to investigate and study the financial needs of university research and to ensure that adequate provision is made for this in the universities;
- To take into account, in advising the Federal and State Governments on university finances, such grants as may be made to the Universities by the Federal and State Governments, private proprietors and by persons and institutions in and outside Nigeria;
- To undertake periodic reviews of the terms and conditions of service of personnel engaged in the universities and to make recommendations thereon to the Federal Government where appropriate;
- To recommend to the Visitor of a university that a visitation be made to such university as and when it considers it necessary;
- To act as the agency for channeling all external aid to the universities in Nigeria;
- To receive block grants from the Federal Government and allocate them to Federal Universities in accordance with such formula as may be laid down by the National Council of Ministers.