THE National Universities Commission (NUC) and National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) have graduated the fifth set of participants from the series of capacity building activities to strengthen the implementation of the 2019-2023 blueprint on the rapid revitalization of university education in Nigeria.

Executive Secretary, NUC, Professor Abubakar Rasheed, who was represented by Dr. Biodun Saliu, in his comment underlined the importance of strategic planning for a revived Nigerian university system and urged all university managers to take steps to reformulate their strategic plans to respond to contemporary developments in higher education.

The training program is one of the pillars of the Rasheed revolution in the Nigerian university system. Module 5 of the training delivered between July 18 and August 29, 2022 dealt with Theory and Practice of Strategic Planning and was designed to reposition Nigerian Universities to deliver quality education through the implementation of well-designed strategic plans.

A total of 271 vice chancellors, deputy vice chancellors, directors of academic planning, senior academics and staff of NUC and NOUN graduated from the eight-week course on Tuesday, August 30, 2022.

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In a previous speech, NOUN Vice-Chancellor Professor Olufemi Peters expressed his joy that the NOUN platform is being used to deliver the training through the Virtual Institute for Capacity Building in Higher Education (VICBHE).

Peters noted that “this increasingly confirms the high quality of NOUN’s delivery system”. Of the 271 participants who graduated, 195 earned an award. Professor Ibiyinka Fuwape from Michael and Cecilia Ibru University won the Nimi Briggs Prize for Best Vice-Chancellor in the course, while Professor Bolanle Akinwande from Ladoke Akintola University won the Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufa’i Prize for Best Female Entrant and four other awards .

The Olufemi Peters Prize for the best former Vice-Chancellor in the course was won by Professor Ezzeldin Mukhtar Abdurahman, former Vice-Chancellor of Bauchi State University. The Abubakar Adamu Rasheed Prize for the best course participant was won by Professor Abdulrasheed Adeoye, former Dean of the Arts at the University of Ilorin.

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The Olusola Oyewole Prize for the best entrant from other African countries was awarded to Dr. Ndayishimiye Richard from Burundi. Professor Juma Shabani, President of Burundi’s National Council for Higher Education, underlined the importance of strategic planning for African universities in meeting national and regional ambitions in his keynote address at the event.

He gave the example of the doctoral school of the University of Burundi as a case study of how to derive benefits from well-developed strategic plans.

The director/facilitator of VICBHE, professor emeritus Peter Okebukola gave an overview of the training. According to Okebukola, “during the course, participants learned the conceptual and theoretical framework of strategic planning; key elements and stages of strategic planning; setting up a website for the gradual development of a strategic plan; comparative analysis of university strategic plans; implementing steps 1 to 6 in the VICBHE Strategic Plan Model and uploading to the website and practical steps in interim and final assessment of a strategic plan.

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It consisted of eight weeks of lectures, weekly discussion forums, weekly tests, weekly practical exercises, module final exam and a project.

Okebukola further noted that “one of the products of the practical training is the development by each participant of a strategic plan.

“These plans have been contributed as case studies to a book by award-winning participants in the project.

“The quality of the case studies is an indication of the involvement of the participants in the training. Each case study reports extensively on the process that led to the development of the plan. Highly detailed and well-priced plans have emerged from this process. More importantly, each document has a monitoring and evaluation component that will form the basis for a periodic review.”

The book was presented publicly at the graduation ceremony by the Secretary General of the Association of African Universities, Professor Olusola Oyewole.

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