- December 1, 2022
- Posted by: ccmas.admin
- Category: Disciplines
Two Acts provide the legal framework for the quality assurance and regulatory mandates of the National Universities Commission. The first is the National Universities Commission Act No. N81 Laws of Federation Nigeria (L.F.N.) 2004.
This Act sets up the National Universities Commission as a body corporate charged with the responsibility of advising the Federal and State Governments of all aspects of university education and the general development of universities in Nigeria. The second, Education (National Minimum Standard and Establishment of Institutions) Act No. E3 L.F.N. 2004, empowers the National Universities Commission to lay down minimum standards for all universities and other institutions of higher learning in the Federation and the accreditation of their degrees and other academic awards in formal consultation with the universities for that purpose, after obtaining prior approval therefor through the Minister, from the President.
Following the enactment of NUC Act No. E3 L.F.N. 2004, the National Universities Commission developed the first set of Minimum Academic Standards (MAS) in 1989 for all the academic programmes existing in the Nigerian University System (NUS) at that time under the 13 major disciplines of Administration, Agriculture, Arts, Education, Engineering and Technology, Environmental Sciences, Law, Medicine and Dentistry, Management Sciences, Pharmaceutical Science , Science, Social Sciences and Veterinary Medicine. The Minimum Academic Standard served as the reference documents for the first accreditation of programmes conducted in NUS in 1990.
In its bid to review the Minimum Academic Standard documents, which was predicated on the fact that they were prescriptive, the Commission decided to develop the outcome-based Benchmark Statements for all programmes in the Nigerian University System in line with contemporary global practice in 1999. In the first comprehensive review of the Minimum Academic Standards by NUC, which was in 2004, the Commission decided to merge the Benchmark Statements and the revised Minimum Academic Standards into a new document called Benchmark Minimum Academic Standards (BMAS). These documents were approved for use in Nigerian universities in 2007. A second attempt at reviewing the BMAS was in 2011. It must however be noted that stand alone BMAS for new programmes were at different times developed by the Commission on request from some Nigerian universities.
The Current Review of the BMAS
The journey of the current curriculum review efforts commenced in 2018, when the National Universities Commission circulated the 2018 draft BMAS to all Nigerian universities and other stakeholders for their comments. In addition to the harvested comments, the curriculum of different programmes of some world-class universities were downloaded. The draft 2018 BMAS, compiled comments of Nigerian universities and other stakeholders and the downloaded curriculum of some foreign universities served as the working documents for the curriculum review panels. A multi-stakeholder approach was deployed in constituting the panels for the curriculum review exercise. The constituted panels included:
- Academic staff of Nigerian universities;
- Representatives of the Academies;
- Representatives of Professional bodies/associations
- Representatives of the private sector
In addition to the reviewers working individually and in consultation with their subject area peers, over 512 cumulative online meetings of the general assembly (Vice-Chancellors, Discipline Chairmen/Chairpersons, programme-specific reviewers and Heads/representatives of international quality assurance agencies and institutions); Discipline groups; and programme groups were held between March and November, 2021. Physical meetings were also held to finalize the curriculum review exercise.
The reviewers carried out their assignments with a view to producing a curriculum for their respective programmes that will reflect both national and international expectations. Specifically, the reviewers focused on ensuring that the emerging curriculum will be adequate to train Nigerian university students in the 21st Century. By implication and in addition to current trends in the various programmatic areas, the curriculum will be ICT oriented, promote Artificial Intelligence, enhance skills acquisition (including soft skills), inculcate and sharpen entrepreneurship mindset of students and capable of steering the deployment of evolving technologies to deliver its content.