Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu has urged Vice Chancellors of various Universities in Nigeria to leverage the contributions of the alumni association and other endowment funds to finance education.
Hon. Kalu gave the charge while delivering his goodwill message at the opening ceremony of the 61st anniversary and 36th Conference of the Committee of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities (CVCNU) themed: ’60 years of Leadership in Nigerian Universities’, held at Baze University, Abuja.
He said one of the key areas where Nigerian universities can chart a new course for sustainable development is in innovative funding models.
He said he was particularly encouraged by the efforts to leverage the vast network of alumni and the Triple-Helix model, involving collaboration with industries and the government.
He said this approach aligns with global best practices seen in countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia, where endowment funds managed by capital market fund managers and venture capitalists have played a pivotal role in financing higher education.
He said he hopes that these innovative funding models will provide the financial stability needed to propel our universities to even greater heights.
While applauding the Committee of Vice Chancellors for its higher education leadership programme on strategic thinking for managing challenging times and creative financing of the universities and other tertiary institutions, he observed that: Such initiatives are essential in equipping the academic leaders with the skills and strategies needed to navigate the complex landscape of higher education in the 21st century.
He said government is not left out in this regard especially the respective state governments in the country. It is imperative for them to play a contributory role and follow it up with the creation of an enabling environment for the higher education institutions in their states to be able to attract alternative sources of funding to continue to run and thrive.
Pledging the partnership of the Parliament with the universities and other stakeholders in the education sector, Hon. Kalu urged the Committee to also address the issues of gender equity, equality, diversity and inclusion while also considering the role of technology and the impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on the future of Nigerian education.