Don seeks recognition of higher education as field of study, professional practice

PROF. Muhammad Muftahu of the Kaduna State University (KASU), Department of Educational Foundation, Faculty of Education, has advocated the recognition of higher education as a field of study and professional practice in Nigeria.

Muftahu, a Professor of Higher Education, made the call on Tuesday at KASU’s 12th professorial inaugural lecture, with the tittle ‘Institutionalising higher education as a field of study and professional practice in Nigeria’.

He said that in spite ot being the largest in Africa, with millions of students, the Nigerian higher education system still suffered from acute scarcity or complete lack of ‘HEPROs’.

He explained,” HEPROs are group of highly qualified
personnel in Higher Education Institution who support the academic and
administrative systems and procedures in the

He added that planning, management, budgeting, financial
management, staff development, public relations,
institutional research, report writing, counselling, and
collaborations with individuals and organisations
outside of universities were among the duties of the HEPROs.

Muftahu, therefore, said that HEPROs primary responsibility was to oversee and manage
the university’s organisation and various functions.

According to Muftahu, a country’s overall development is dependent on the
strength of its higher education system, which is heavily reliant on the presence and contributions of the HEPROs.

“The development of HEPROs is important to the management and
quality of higher education.

“In Malaysia, the Ministry of Higher
Education established an academy named Higher Education
Leadership Academy.

“Its aim is to provide leadership
development for the top and mid-level management of Malaysia’s higher education Institutions
and further to develop and strengthen the leadership of Malaysia’s
higher education,” he said.

He, therefore, lamented that there was no such kind of public academy to support HEPROs learning
and training activities in higher education Institutions in Nigeria.

“Also, there is public academy or body providing training to HEPROs in the practical skills of higher education,” the don added.

Muftahu, however, said that the inaugural lecture aimed not to discredit the government’s
efforts in restructuring Nigeria’s higher education system, adding,
“nor does it seek to instantaneously transform its ecosystem.”

He said tha it was intended to  create an
awareness among the stakeholders to understand that
developing a workable higher education system as well as
understanding its problems and challenges required the scholarship and expertise of trained higher education

“One of the mechanisms for building such
experts and professionals for a nation requires the
recognition and institutionalisation of higher education as a
field study and professional practise,”he said.r

Muftahu recommended the institutionalisation of higher education professional practice in Nigeria,

He said, “It is important for the government to initiate a framework or policies to continuously
support higher education development and involving
HEPROs training and development.”

He also urged the Ministries of Education in Nigeria to
consider establishing public academies or
institutions akin to that of Malaysia
with a primary focus on providing specialised
training and development for HEPROs.

“Every higher education Institution in Nigeria must implement a
professional training system and provide
opportunities for HEPROs to receive training,”he said.

Earlier, the Vice-Chancellor of KASU, Prof Abdullahi Musa, described the inaugural lecturer’s recommendations as key to higher institutions growths and productivity.

“Immediately after the inaugural lecture, I will discuss with the  Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academics and Registrar where we will form a committee with the inaugural lecturer as Chairman.

“This is to ensure that KASU is the first university to come up with higher education as a field of study,”he said.

Musa added that they would  also form another committee to be chaired by the inaugural lecturer to ensure KASU was one of the institution in Nigeria to have a cadre for higher education.

“We will do this through partnership with the state’s Head of Service and office of the Secretary to the State Government and Ministry of Education,” Musa said.

Speaking further, the V-C said, “one basic principle in KASU is that we don’t always see problems as challenges.

“We look at problems as an opportunity to do the right things. At least three Professors will be picked to make presentations every quarter in the institution.” (NAN)


November 15, 2023 @ 6:08 GMT|