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UK agency hails NUC boss, Maiyaki, appoints him as committee member



Chris Maiyaki
  • As FG approves two new universities

In recognition of an outstanding contribution to the tertiary education sector at home and abroad, the acting Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Mr Chris Maiyaki, has been appointed by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) of the United Kingdom, to its International Advisory Committee (IAC), Empowered Newswire reports.

Lauding him for his professional excellence, the QAA in a statement by its Director of International and Professional Services for Higher Education in the UK, Eduardo Ramos, stated that the appointment was based on Maiyaki’s wealth of experience at the NUC as well as achievements recorded since his assumption of office as Acting Executive Secretary, including the approval of guidelines on Transnational Education (TNE) in Nigeria and Quality Assurance, in line with the Core Curriculum and Minimum Academic Standard (CCMAS).

The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) is an “independent charity working to benefit students and higher education, and one of the world’s experts in quality assurance.”

The UK-based international agency is ” trusted by higher education providers and regulatory bodies to maintain and enhance quality and standards.

The agency works to “ensure that students are involved in all aspects of our work. It also works “with governments, agencies and institutions globally.”

The global agency has an International Advisory Committee (IAC), which is
an Eminent Persons Group of experts constituted to guide its international activities and provide strategic advice on partnership, membership, TNE, accreditation, consultancy activity, and so on.

According to Ramos, the formation of the Committee followed QAA’s launch of a new Strategy, covering 2023-2027, that emphasises “international” focus as one of the four areas of its functions.

He said that “international activities” are crucial to the agency’s efforts. And, it was to provide implementation guidance that the IAC was formed, and it would meet twice a year. Members of the Committee are expected to work together to provide strategic advice and direction, leveraging their collective backgrounds and expertise in administration, policy development, knowledge of accreditation in higher education and diplomacy.

Maiyaki, whose new appointment comes after the recent licensing of two new private universities by NUC and facilitation of the establishment of the first four Private Open and Distance Learning (ODL) Universities in Nigeria, aimed at resolving the challenges of equity and access to university education in the country, acknowledging the appointment, expressed gratitude to the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) of the UK.

The NUC boss said that he was excited by the opportunity to contribute to the promotion of partnerships and collaborations that would certainly enhance the higher education landscape of the United Kingdom, Africa and, indeed, the world at large. According to him, the NUC, which is “the flagship that regulates university education in Nigeria”, recognises the critical role that quality assurance plays in ensuring excellence and continuous improvement within the higher education ecosystem.

“The commitment of the QAA in safeguarding standards and improving the quality of higher education in the United Kingdom is not only legendary, but it also resonates with the mandate of the NUC,” Maiyaki said while expressing confidence that the combined wealth of experience, and expertise and insights of the Committee members would contribute to the fulfilment of the international agenda of the QAA on higher education.

As the acting Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Maiyaki is noted for spearheading efforts to improve the quality of higher education in Nigeria.

As the NUC helmsman, Maiyaki has been actively involved in developing and implementing policies and guidelines to ensure that universities in the country meet international standards of academic excellence.

Under Maiyaki’s leadership, the NUC has taken steps to enhance the accreditation process for universities, promote research and innovation, and foster collaborations with foreign institutions.

His dedication to advancing the education sector in Nigeria has been instrumental in driving the commission’s mission to elevate the quality of higher education and enhance the overall academic standards in the country.

Recall that the NUC on Thursday, 22nd February 2024, presented provisional licenses to two new private universities, Lighthouse University, Evbuobanosa, Edo State and the African School of Economics, Abuja, FCT, at the Idris Abdulkadir Auditorium, in Abuja, where Maiyaki highlighted the importance of quality education in the development of any nation.

While commending the promoters of the two new universities for their dedication and commitment to establishing institutions of higher learning, despite the challenges and resource implications involved, Maiyaki emphasized the role of private universities in bridging the gap in access to university education in Nigeria, as demand continues to outstrip available placements.

With the addition of these two new universities, the total number of private universities in Nigeria has now reached One Hundred and Forty-Nine (149) and the total number of universities to Two Hundred and Sixty-Five (265).

“NUC’s stringent 14-step selection process is a well-articulated set of criteria and procedures developed by the Commission over the years, to meet its commitment to continually deepen quality and widen access to university education.

“This process is guided by our firm belief in the pivotal role of quality education in the overall development of any nation and the need for more placements for the teeming youth who are desirous of that university education which is anchored on genuine partnership and cooperation with the private sector. It is generally believed that deliberate and result-oriented investment in quality education is a prerequisite for the production of the human capital required to drive sustainable socio-economic and cultural development,” Maiyaki said.