Managing Higher Education for Sustainable Development in Nigeria: Implications for Policy Challenges


  • Nkasiobi Silas Oguzor Provost, Federal College of Education (Technical), Omoku-Rivers State


During the 20th century, formal higher education has expanded very rapidly all over the world. Investment in human resource development has been considered to be a powerful metaphor for a healthy competition in the new world order for various reasons thus an increasing private demand for higher education. The view that education is a fundamental human right contributed to the rapid expansion. Special economic, social and political power attached to the positions given to graduates of higher education, attracted more and more students. There are economic and political reasons for the expansion of higher education. For all the countries, a university has been a symbol of national or regional prestige and this, too, has been responsible for the increasing number of universities around the world. In Nigeria since independence, various governments have spent substantial portion of their national budgets to develop education. Investments in this magnitude have been justified at all times as a means of producing rapidly the skilled manpower required for national development. This paper is concerned with the quality of universities in Nigeria. The main purpose is to show that the Nigerian university system is at the crossroad.What is happening in Nigeria today is certainly widespread in Africa, but not necessarily universal. Three strong evaluative words: relevance, usefulness and identity from the thesis of the paper. The paper notes that universities in have not been particularly pertinent, serviceable and contemporary on consonance with the challenges of the new world order.


Adeniyi, E. National Development Planning and Plan Administration in Nigeria, Journal of Administration Overseas, Vol. 19, No. 3.

Anya, O. A (1995). Re-inventing Nigeria for the 21st Century, Obafemi Awolowo Memorial Lecture, Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, Lagos, May 16

Blitz, L.E (1965). The Politics and Administration of Nigeria Government, Praeger Press, New York

Coleman, J.S (1971). Nigeria: Background to Nationalism, University of California Press, Berkeley

Diamond, St (1967). Nigeria: Model of a Colonial Failure, Committee on Africa, New York

Fawehinmi, G (1970). People’s Right to Free Education, John West Publications, Lagos

Guobadia, A.I (1983). The Political Environment of Higher Education Coordination in Nigeria, in Segun Adesina, et al (eds) Nigerian Education: Trends and Issues, University of Ife Press, Ile-Ife

Heyneman, S.P., Etienne, B (1988). Higher Education in Developing Countries: What, How, and When? The World Bank, Washington D.C.

Kosemani, J.M (1989). The Proliferation of Higher Educational Institutions in Nigeria: The Political Dimension, Paper Presented at the Third Awka Education Forum, Anambra State College of Education, Awka, Oct. 25-27

Nwuzor, A., Lawrence, O (1982). History of Education, Pacific Publishers, Obosi, p.162.

Okongwu, J.N. Education in Nigeria, 1842-1942. Unpublished Ph.D Dissertation, New York University

Report on the International Conference on African Universities, Berlin, 6-12 December, 1987, p.143.

Sanyal, B.C (1987). Higher Education and Employment: An International Comparative Analysis, Falmer Press, London and UNESCO, Paris

Ukeje, B.O (1989). The Challenges of Education in Nigeria, in V.O. Okeke (ed) Challenges of Education in Nigeria, KaybeeCee Publications Ltd., Owerri, p.13.