The National Universities Commission (NUC) has rejected a programme being organised by the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) on converting Higher National Diploma (HND) to university’s degree.
A statement issued by the Acting Executive Secretary of the NUC, Chris Maiyaki, on Saturday, described the purported one-year top-up degree programme in Nigerian polytechnics as a ruse.
According to Maiyaki, “The existing dichotomy between first degree and HND had not been abolished even as universities and polytechnics had their individual unique programmes, which would pose a challenge to such conversion scheme.”
He advised the public and all relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to note that the NUC is not a party to and, indeed, disavows the so-called Top-up Scheme, being concocted by the NBTE.
The statement said that the attention of the National Universities Commission (NUC) has been drawn to the news (online) that the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) has officially introduced a one-year top-up degree programme in Nigerian polytechnics to enable holders of the Higher National Diploma (HND) to convert their certificates to the first degree with foreign accredited universities.
The online news, according to the statement, was credited to the Executive Secretary of the NBTE, Prof Idris Bugaje and the Board’s Head of Media Unit, Mrs. Fatima Abubakar, revealed that the action was in furtherance of the advocacy for the removal of the existing dichotomy between degree holders and HND graduates in their various places of work, and to enhance the beneficiaries’ opportunities for further studies.
Maiyaki said the place of technical education, the world over was unique, saying that in most higher education systems, polytechnics co-exist side by side with universities for the purposes of producing critical human resources, based on their peculiarities and in tandem with the goals for which they were established.
It stated that the university degree awarded by the Nigerian University System or any cognate institution is not the same as the HND awarded by Polytechnics in Nigeria.
He said that at the post-graduate level, the requirements for admission into any master’s degree programme in Nigerian universities for candidates with HND are, among others, the acquisition of a postgraduate diploma (PGD) from a recognised university in an area relevant to that for which the master’s admission is being sought.
To this end, the statement said that it is implicit that beneficiaries of the NBTE’s Top-Up Programme shall be subjected to extant admission requirements by Nigerian universities should they desire to further their studies in the NUS.