E-learning Will Expand Access To Varsity Education – NUC

Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, has said the Commission is reviewing its guidelines released in 2022 to further aid in expanding access to university education in Nigeria through the instrumentality of Open Distance and e-Learning.

Rasheed disclosed this at the inaugural conference of Open, Distance and e-Learning Association of Nigeria (ODeLAN) which took place at Babcock University. 

The NUC executive secretary was a distinguished guest of honour at the inaugural conference of the ODeLAN with the theme, “Global Spaces, Local Context: Digital Transformations and Innovations in Open, Distance and E-Learning”.

He said once the guidelines for the establishment of Private open universities in Nigeria were ready for use, NUC would begin to grant approval to interested promoters to start floating open universities in the country.

“With the guidelines for the provision of Transnational Education (TNE), NUC is working with a 6-model guideline Model 1: Twinning/Articulation; Model 2: Branch Campus; Model 3: The Open & Distance Learning (ODL); Model 4: Franchise/Independent Institution; Model 5: Acquisition; and Model 6: Teaching Institutions”, he said. 

Rasheed, represented by the Director ODeL, Engineer (Dr.) Odedina, said as part of efforts to mainstream the integration of ICT tools into the activities of Nigerian universities, NUC conducted the first phase of e-learning readiness assessment visits to 30 universities in October 2021 and that the 2022 e-Learning Readiness Survey has just been concluded and its data analytics is currently ongoing.

In addition to the release of guidelines for e-Learning, Nigeria has been revered as one of the nations of the world that has its policy for Open Educational Resources (OER). Guidelines for the implementation of OER policy have also been developed”, he added.

He stated that capacity building remained one of its critical interventions  in promoting ODeL in the Nigerian University system and as a result, is working closely with institutions and organsiations to build human capital through training and retraining, workshops, conferences, symposium and so on.

“Such institutions and organisations include University of London (UoL), Commonwealth of Learning (CoL)/Regional Training and Research Institute for Distance and Open Learning (RETRIDOL), among others,” he said.

He was of the view that ODeLAN would continue to demonstrate its commitment to advancing the course of distance learning, particularly in the areas of ensuring parity of esteem and quality.

On its part, he said the commission would continue to work with the Open Distance and E-Learning Association (ODeLAN) in widening access to university education in Nigeria without compromising quality.

He said the commission would also continue to be firm in its position that quality must be maintained in all modes of delivery of university education in the Nigerian University system.

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