NUC APPROVES “UNIVERSITY OF AFRICA”
The National University Commission (NUC) has approved the University of Africa, Toru-Orua, as the 43rd state university in the country. Its approval followed the formal presentation of the relevant gazette law, academic brief and physical masterplan as well as the satisfactory report of the advisory resource assessment visit by the commission. The University of Africa, Toru-Orua, is an initiative of the Bayelsa State Government, which will, however, run as a Public Private Partnership (PPP), since the state government will only provide the enabling environment, while the financing would come from the private sector. Giving the nod, through a letter dated 28 of July 2016, the Executive Secretary of the commission, Professor Julius Okojie, while congratulating the state government, noted that, the establishment of the university took effect from the 28th of July, having complied with the basic requirements. According to Okojie, the University of Africa is also the 143rd in the Nigerian university system. In a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Bayelsa State Governor, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, yesterday and made available to the press, Governor Seriake Dickson had led a delegation of top government officials to the office of the commission in Abuja and were received by executive secretary, who briefed the governor on the latest development and the approval of the university. The statement disclosed that, Okojie handed over the letter of approval to Dickson during the visit, as he also commended him for the initiative. In his remarks, Dickson, while thanking the NUC Executive Secretary for the warm reception accorded him and his team, explained that, the University of Africa, Toru-Orua was conceived as a public private partnership and it is designed as a first rate institution of learning that will also attract some of the best teachers from Africa and the world. He said the university will be funded by its partners and the government would only provide the enabling environment for its establishment. The Bayelsa State Chief Executive said, there is need for more private universities to be established and they must be fee paying, pointing out that, it is the only way to make funding of tertiary institutions viable and sustainable. His words "I am here leading this small delegation to present to you these laws passed by the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, establishing a new university that we want to bring about working with the private sector. It will be run on a PPP basis. It is a University unlike the existing one, it will not be directly funded by the state. Our belief is that moving forward for a university to be sustainable, we must create room for private sector participation and involvement. The University of Africa, Toru-Orua, is the first of its kind in this country, that is established by government with private sector involvement and it will be strictly a fee paying tertiary institution that will attract students from across the continent and the globe. It will be the model as we encourage more private universities in this country"
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