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[Abuja]–The committee of vice-chancellors of Nigerian Universities has said it can no longer continue to run tuition free universities.

This is contained in a communiqué issued after its biennial meeting in Abuja and signed by Michael Faborode, a professor and the Committee’s Secretary-General.

According to NAN, the vice chancellors said in the communiqué that a change in policy would enable parents, guardians and government “to equitably share the financial burden of education”.

“The current inclination towards free tuition or free university education is unrealistic to the national vision for practical and qualitative education and not sustainable.

“To account and provide for poor and indigent students, government is encouraged to set up/re-establish an Education Bank to provide loans and access to finance,” the vice chancellors said.

The committee then advised the government to account and provide for poor and indigent students, government by setting up an Education Bank to provide loans and access to finance.

It called on the government to ensure that full university autonomy was attained and sustained in Nigerian universities.

“In this regard, and as captured in the laws of the various universities, Councils should be given unfettered leeway to deal with all matters in their respective universities.

“Such that the task of university governance should be wholesomely formulated by the Governing Council, on paper and in practice, including determining its future direction and fostering an environment in which the institutional mission is achieved.

“As independent arbiters, Councils are central to industrial harmony, peace and stability on campuses and indeed the entire Nigerian university system,” it said.

The communiqué further said that proprietors of private universities should adhere strictly to guidelines and templates for appointing chairmen and members of the councils.

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