Starting a university is a capital intensive venture which requires adequate financial preparation and planning. Starting a university entails a lot of things. These range from structural requirements that consist of a combination of equipment and infrastructure, as well as a regulatory framework. To successfully start a university, both categories are necessary as one cannot do without the other. The bane of university education is under funding.
Inadequate funding has led to countless strike actions but university staff. The worst hit are public universities which consist of both federal and state. Private universities in Nigeria also experience the same problems of under funding. Let us get back to the topic of our discussion, which is things necessary for starting a university.
Universities in Nigeria
During the colonial era, Nigeria had only one university. This was the university of Ibadan. There has been a great improvement in the number of universities. Today the the story has changed as Nigeria has 40 federal universities, 44 state universities, and 68 private universities currently approved by the National Universities Commission NUC.
Summing the numbers up will give us 152 universities and counting. There are more applications for university licensing. There is a constant stream of new applications.
The Quest for University Education
There is a growing demand among Nigerians for university education. This has resulted in an increasing number of applications to existing universities resulting in overstretched facilities. This calls for the establishment of more universities to cater for the growing need for tertiary education among Nigeria’s younger generation.
Requirements for Establishing a University
The National Universities Commission oversees all university related duties. According to the NUC, the university academic structure should have a disciplinary spread to meet all areas of need. You must present proof of funds. This should be in the form of capital as well as recurrent. Other requirements include an adequate staff composition. There should be a balance between academic and support staff. The NUC issues staffing guidelines.
The federal government through the NUC ascertains your source of funding. This is necessary for smooth takeoff
Application for licensing is next as it requires fixed and movable assets declaration. This must meet minimum set standards. In addition, these must also align with the university’s philosophy and objectives. It is important to note that evidence of a guaranteed and verifiable sum of 200 million must be provided. In addition to the above, you must include an already drafted master plan for the university campus.
The NUC gives the minimum land requirement for a university campus to be 100 hectares. Other additional requirements are the proximity of the university campus to water supply, private accommodation to complement available hostels and easy access to transport services.
Being affiliated with existing universities is necessary. Therefore continuous interactions are expected between the two or more institutions. Although all the above requirements apply for National Open Universities, the land expanse or measurements of the sites are not included or do not apply.
Detailed application procedures will be revealed during registration. However with all the above explanation, adequate preparation is necessary for successful implementation or establishment of the university.
Are There Separate Requirements for Private Universities?
Federal and state universities go hand in hand on the requirements for establishment. In view of the above you are tempted to ask if the same applies to private universities. Due to the nature of their makeup, private universities require a more detailed application process. However, funding requirements to the tune of 200 million naira also applies to private universities. A detailed proof of this amount must disclose to buy the individual or group of individuals interested in starting a private university. For details on this, please refer to an earlier post on the subject matter titled How to Setup a Private University in Nigeria.