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The National Universities Commission (NUC) has disowned a programme being floated by the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) on converting Higher National Diploma (HND) to university’s degree.

Acting Executive Secretary of the NUC, Chris Maiyaki, in a statement issued on Saturday, described the purported one year top-up degree programme in Nigerian Polytechnics as a ruse.


Maiyaki said 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 warned 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 reads: “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, which 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.

“Thus, 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 the goals for which they were established, abinitio;

“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 added.

He maintained 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, 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,” he said.

Maiyaki urged the NBTE to focus on its core mandate and desist from introducing programmes that are outside its jurisdiction, and not supported by any law in Nigeria. The Commission does not entertain any intrusion into its lawfully assigned mandate.”

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