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University Governance Issues At The Centre Stage As Registrars Meet In Abuja

April 30, 2024

In their effort to enhance the administrative functions of the Nigerian universities, registrars across the universities in the country as well as other critical stakeholders have gathered with a shared mission to elevate governance standards within their esteemed institutions.

The registrars met under the umbrella body of the Association of Registrars of the Nigerian Universities (ARNU), which stands as a beacon of collaboration and excellence, bringing together registrars from the federal, states, and private universities across Nigeria.

The annual business meeting serves to foster professional development and address the evolving challenges of university governance in the 21st Century.

The Second Registrar’s Workshop and the 75th Business Meeting jointly organised in collaboration between ARNU and the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), were held at the headquarters of NOUN in Abuja, with the theme: 'Sustainable Legal Framework as Panacea for Industrial Harmony in the Nigerian Universities System: Challenges and Remedies.'

In his address, the Executive Secretary, Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), Arc. Sonny Echono, said the critical role the registrars play in Nigerian institutions cannot be overemphasised.

'Registrars are the first and last contact of students from the admission to graduation, as well as play a supervisory role and monitor how their graduates are fairing,' he said. Echono stated that registrars are the repository records for both the administration and academic progress of the university and reaffirmed that part of the TETFund’s intervention in ICT this year will be connecting all study centres of NOUN to ICT fibre infrastructure.

On his part, Ag. Executive Secretary of National Universities Commission (NUC), Chris J. Maiyaki, commended the Vice-Chancellor of NOUN for accepting to host the laudable event which provided a platform for invaluable discussions and insight.

Maiyaki, represented by the director, executive secretary’s office, John Mairafi Ahmadu, said the theme was very apt as it resonates deeply with the current needs of the academic institutions.

In a rapidly changing landscape, characterised by complex legal issues, the imperative for industrial harmony is key. In this regard, the roles of registrars as gatekeepers in shaping effective and sustainable governance structures cannot be overstated.

By engaging in thoughtful dialogue and sharing best practices, ARNU will continue to play a pivotal role in advancing the professional competencies of registrars as well as enhancing university administrative management practices.

'The National Universities Commission would continue to collaborate with you, as part of the efforts towards repositioning the Nigerian University System, for enhanced global competitiveness, as we navigate the challenges and seize the opportunities that lie ahead,' he said.

Also speaking, NOUN Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Olufemi Peters, who was also the Chief Host, encouraged the participants to make use of the opportunity provided by the university to add knowledge. The Vice-Chancellor, represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration), Prof. Isaac Butswat, said registrars are very important in every institution, in training, recruitment and others.

Mentioning their roles, he said, comes with the issuance of appointment letters, issuance of promotion letters, dismissal letters, admission letters, suspension letters and so on and so forth. 'You should therefore put the fear of God in whatever you do.'

Earlier, the registrar of the university, Mr. Oladipo A. Ajayi, in his welcome address, said the theme 'underscored a fundamental aspect of university administration - the need for a robust legal framework that ensures industrial harmony within our institutions.'

The event is not merely a convergence of minds; it is a celebration of our collective commitment to excellence and innovation in higher education.

'With over One Hundred (100) Registrars from universities across Nigeria gracing this event, it is indeed a testament to the significance and relevance of our association in shaping the academic landscape of our nation.'

According to Ajayi, NOUN, being the first Open and Distance Learning (ODL) single mode institution in Nigeria, stands as a beacon of progress and inclusivity in education.

'We do not simply embrace technology; we harness its transformative power to transcend barriers and create opportunities for all. Our commitment to quality education remains unwavering, as we adhere to the same rigorous standards set forth by regulators for traditional universities,' he said.

Ajayi also appreciated the VC for the unwavering moral and financial support extended to make the event possible.

ARNU chairman, Mr. Ife Oluwole in his welcome address, stated that the workshop would help registrars of universities hone their skills and be abreast with the current trends in university administration globally.

I appeal to proprietors of our universities and other agencies of government to show better commitment to the training of registrars and other personnel. The efforts of TETFund in this regard is highly commendable.

'My gratitude goes to amiable, resilient and visionary VC of NOUN for graciously accepting to host the association’s event,' Oluwole added.

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