The National Universities Commission(NUC), has made a call to Nigerian Universities to place emphasis on impactful research as against more theoretical forms of learning.
This was the position of the Executive Secretary, (NUC) Professor Abubakar Adamu Rasheed at the Interactive Session with Directors of Research and Innovation of Nigerian Universities on Wednesday in Abuja.
Prof. Rasheed disclosed that the session was a way to revive the culture of rigorous and relevant research in Nigerian Universities, stating that, “Knowledge has become a currency and is the last frontier for competition but sadly in universities today the culture of research is dead”.
He added that research and learning centres have more access to knowledge and funding because of their dedication to research.
For his part, the Chairman of the NUC Statutory Advisory Committee, Professor Peter Okebukola, urged stakeholders to explore creative ways to address common challenges faced in research like plagiarism, deficit of researchers, weak international collaborations and poor funding.
He emphasized on research not just for research-sake but for the potential impact at the local, national and international levels.
He recommended that the NUC establish a Research Capacity Enhancement Project which will be funded by TETFund to address the challenge relating to impact, relevance and governance of research.
Prof. Okebukola also advised the NUC to organise national workshops on research ethics and replicate such workshops at individual universities.
According to him, “Implementing these recommendations will elevate universities from theoretical places of learning to institutions that provide practical, impactful contributions to national and global development”.
Also, the Executive Secretary of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND),Professor Elias Bogoro who spoke on entrepreneurship and innovation providing a platform for researchers to solve real world problems, noted that there was a need for collaboration with the government in terms of policy to make such efforts yield fruit.
He pointed out that the legislative arm of the government had a key role in the furtherance of research efforts through bills and laws that could be passed to encourage the efforts of the NUC and organizations like TETfund.
He said, “Knowledge is necessary in the advancement of national agenda with universities being at the forefront of research and knowledge mining.
Universities should cease focusing on number of publications they churn out but pay more attention to problem solving research. There needs to be a shift in this phenomenon”
Lamenting the low capacity of researchers with grant writing skills, he also made a proposal for training workshops to be held to teach the skill of writing grant winning research proposals.