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Aspects of instrumentalization of the University in Nigeria: students' experience and the current significance of the certificate

Lebeau, Yann

Abstract:
In the period between the two world wars, the acquisition of academic qualifications quickly became institutionalized within the Nigerian society as a favoured means of climbing the social ladder.  From independence in 1960, up until the beginning of the eighties, the university system experienced an extraordinary expansion.  Universities were privileged instruments for economic development as well as for accessing the nation's resources. They were therefore accorded special treatment, but at the same time, they were progressively brought under the control of the federal government.  The 1980s and 1990s (structural adjustment years), were marked by recruitment cut-backs within the civil service, aborted transitions to civil rule, and the exacerbation of state authoritarianism. These in turn have led to a recombining of the Nigerian higher education field. The state of higher education in Nigeria is two-sided: that of a glorious past, and of a crisis-ridden present.  Researchers themselves, be they national or international, have tended to adopt this mystification of the past, portraying the actors in the system as 'classical figures of the African martyrdom', but now have to deal with the problematics of the crisis which has lead to a methodological and theoretical dead-end.  This study will focus on new social reasoning influencing the choice of course and institution.  The study will place emphasis on the role of the principal actors by situating them within a constantly changing context of competitiveness, which the world of higher education in Nigeria represents.  Interviews held with 50 students from six Nigerian universities will serve as the source of data for this study.

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Title of Paper: Aspects of instrumentalization of the University in Nigeria: students' experience and the current significance of the certificate
Publisher: IFRA/ABB
City: Ibadan
Contributor: Yann Lebeau and M. Ogunsanya


Date:2000
Document Type:Chapter in Book
Subject Area:Students
Country:Nigeria
Keywords:Nigeria, Higher Education Institutions HEI s, Student Experience, Student Choice, Federal Structures, State and Higher Education, Student behaviour, Student Aspirations


File Size:201 KB
Rights:Permission for the use of this chapter was granted by the author.
Date Added:18 September 2007


Lebeau, Yann (2000). Aspects of instrumentalization of the University in Nigeria: students experience and the current significance of the certificate, In Yann Lebeau and M. Ogunsanya (eds) The dilemma of post-colonial universities , Ibadan:IFRA/ABB, 147-168