hefma logo

Technology Varsities Require Good Funding to Impact Society

There are many challenges of running a new and growing university of science and technology in a developing nation. The task of starting off and running a new university, especially in a developing nation has been quite challenging and enormous and the challenges are quite surmountable.

A typical example occurred in Nigeria at the inauguration of the governing council of the university by the Ondo State Governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko. The first major task before the council was how to retrieve the operating licence of the university, which was withdrawn by the National Universities Commission (NUC), apparently due to the failure of the university to commence academic activities three years after its initial establishment and also for lack of infrastructural facilities to support the effective take-off of the new university.

At inception there were no students, no academic, technical and administrative staff. OSUSTECH then had only existed in name without any concrete and meaningful facilities on ground. Given this background, there was no way the NUC could have restored the operating licence it had earlier withdrawn. The vice chancellor decided to pursue with vigour, the retrieval of the licence from NUC. After interactions with them, they agreed to dispatch a four-man resource verification team to the university to assess the quantity and quality of available facilities on ground.

The attention of the governor was drawn to this request and he immediately set in motion the process of identifying and acquiring a take-off site for the university. The new site upon identification at Idepe, Okitipupa, was renovated and the governor approved a take-off grant to the new council for the procurement of vital equipment for a science and technology institution and for the erection of new and additional buildings at the take-off site.

Following the successful visit and the positive recommendation of the team, the NUC formally restored the operating licence and approved that the university could commence academic activities with 10 approved programmes in the Faculty of Science. Despite a seemingly large amount of varsities, Nigeria's technological growth is still stunted. One of the major challenges of universities and research institutions in Nigeria has been poor or lack of funding from governments at all levels. Most universities especially universities of technology require good funding to be able to make meaningful impact towards the technological advancement of the country.

Another one is the issue of unsteady electricity. A situation where universities and research institutes rely on generators to provide electricity and power vital research equipment does not augur well for industrial growth. Therefore, for any meaningful development to take place, especially, technological breakthrough in the area of motorcar production, there must be effort in the direction of steady electricity, coupled with the improvement and funding of the steel sector of the economy.

For developing countries to develop its science and technology base, there must be proper funding of universities and research institutes to enable them focus on their primary assignments. Secondly, government should provide conducive environment for sustainable growth and development.

If technology universities could receive proper funding, they could be able to effectively manage their facilities and even grow and improve the existing facilities. Facility managers in technological institute in developing countries seemed to be faced with more management challenges that any other institutes because technology is a sophisticated sector and without sufficient funds to sustain it, facilities might fall apart and even prove to be dangerous and unsafe.

Powered by GO Better Publishing