National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) has hit back at the National Universities Commission (NUC) over the Commission’s opposition to recent introduction of the one-year top-up programme for graduates of Polytechnics to convert their Higher National Diploma (HND) to Bachelor’s degree certificates.
Executive Secretary of NBTE, Professor Idris Bugaje, in a strong-worded statement expressed the Board’s dissatisfaction with NUC’s stance on its conversion policy in a letter to the Minister of Education, Prof. Tahir Mamman, in response to questions bordering on the newly initiated HND Top-Up Program using offshore credit transfer admission.
Recall that NUC had in a statement during, objected to the plan by NBTE to introduce degree conversion programmes for HND graduates of Nigerian Polytechnics, as that was not within his purview.
Acting Executive Secretary, Chris Maiyaki, had told NBTE that the Commission is the only constitutionally empowered regulatory agency for university education in Nigeria.
NBTE spokesperson, Fatima Abubakar, in response to NUC’s position, quoted Prof. Bugaje saying that only the Federal Ministry Education (FME) Division of Evaluation and Accreditation has the power to assess the foreign degrees after the students have graduated and may seek the same.
Abubakar commended products of Nigerian Polytechnics and advised NUC against further discrimination against HND graduates.
He said NBTE only provides HND Curricula content for credit mapping and eventual credit transfer admissions. The admissions are made by foreign universities, and their Senates make awards of degrees, not NBTE. In fact, the entire process is designed to operate seamlessly without NBTE.
He said NBTE also has no financial benefit in the whole exercise, though the board had requested low tuition of a maximum of about 10% of regular fees since course delivery is online,
abubakar added that Online programmes are today a globally accepted mode of Education delivery, especially in the 21st Century and Nigerian educational policy has accommodated that with an Open University approved by the Federal Government and NBTE-approved Open Distance Flexible and e-learning Centres being operated by 36 Polytechnics at the moment, and the number is growing.
he further said that Nigerian HNDs are much respected globally with Many European countries giving them direct admissions for Masters programmes.