The state of Education in Nigerian has been a cause of concern for years, and academics have stopped giving different reasons for the lowly positions Nigerian universities occupy in the global varsity ranking.
In the last few years, the University of Ibadan has been the only tertiary educational institution representing Nigeria in global university ranking.
Sadly, the position UI occupies in the annual university ranking says a lot about the discouraging state of education in Nigeria.
For instance, in the 2018 edition of Webometric university ranking, the University of Ibadan was rated 1099th in the world.
Also in May 2018, the premier university was rated 991 out of 1000 tertiary institutions by the Center for World University Rankings (CWUR).
Each time these ranking come up, the University of Ibadan is simultaneously portrayed as the best university in Nigeria and one of the worst in the world.
This is simply due to the fact that where the institution is occupying lowly positions in world varsity ranking, other Nigerian tertiary institutions are nowhere to be found.
This has caused a genuine concern for academics and various explanations have been offered to explain the poor situation of Nigeria Universities.
Why Nigerian universities underperform
The Vice Chancellor of Lagos State University, Prof Olanrewaju A. Fagbohun, has lent his voice to the ongoing conversations about the state of Nigerian universities.
Fagbohun during the Sixth Prof Adetokunbo Babatunde Sofoluwe Memorial Lecture at the University of Lagos, UNILAG admitted that tertiary educational institutions in Nigeria are underperforming in their contribution to national development.
The VC identifies inadequate funding as the chief reason universities across the country are underperforming.
The VC says; There is a crisis of underfunding that seriously threatens the provision of quality education in Nigeria. This is an issue that affects people’s lives with so much urgency.
The Lagos State University VC also identifies failure to recognise education as a national priority as one of the banes of university education in Nigeria.
''I will argue that the rot in our tertiary education is largely a result of the failure to recognise education as a national priority, as a tool of socio-economic development and as a veritable weapon for social engineering. Education is a mega sector with cross-cutting and trans-sectoral utility'', he said.
Describing tertiary education as a social investment that is measured by timeless, open-ended and incalculable externalities, Fagbohun advised that tertiary institutions should be allowed to flourish unfettered and unhindered.
He further suggested that the institutions be provided with the resources, infrastructure and facilities they urgently require to fulfil their mandate in the 21st century.