How to Start a University in Nigeria
Universities abound in Nigeria. Government owned and private owned. Well the focus in this article is starting a university in Nigeria. Universities could be either government or private owned. There is still need to have more universities that could improve our education and give us recognition on a global scale. To be honest, the business it expensive to setup and the challenges great but once you are able to surmount these, the opportunities to become recognized abound, and you can make some money alongside.
The need for privately owned universities is known to so many people. It is not an issue if you do not know. There was a time when government owned institutions were the only ones available. We were beset with a very erratic academic calendar as strikes caused by both student unrest as well as demands by teaching and non-teaching staff forced almost all the universities in Nigeria to be on strike for very long periods at a time, in some cases. So students could be run programs for over 2 years the normal duration without even having extra years.
This need to have a stable academic calendar, not easily disrupted and that could be easily managed, gave the private universities an upper hand. Today, we have a healthy number of private universities in Nigeria. To set up a university, you need to be guided. This is because a lot of things come to play and even the government has guidelines for establishing a university.
The government takes this seriously. Education is paramount to every government as it plays a big role in employment, productivity, innovation and industrialization among others. For this reason, even after establishment the university will have to continue undergoing accreditation periodically. It is important to note that the standard of the school will be scrutinized at every point in time.
Let me take you through much of what you will need to start and establish a university in Nigeria.
According to the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, a university may be sponsored by the federal government, state government or local government or by a company incorporated in Nigeria or by an individual or group of individuals who are citizens of the said country, and who satisfy the criteria set out in the schedule to the Act for Establishment of Institutions. It will be impossible to start out a university if the criteria set out in this act has been fully met.
It will be important to employ the services of a lawyer or a team of lawyers to handle the back and forth that will assuredly occur during the process of establishment.
The following steps have been outlined by the National Universities Commissions for the establishment of a university.
- You are expected to write an application of intent. This letter of intent should be addressed to the Executive Secretary of the NUC. The letter should include the Name of the proposed university, the location, mission and vision, nature of the proposed university, it proposed area of concentration in the current Nigerian university system, among others.
- The commission will then invite you for an interview. The interview is to establish how serious you are.
- Following a review of the written application and after appropriate deliberation, you will be invited to collect a set of 10 application forms. These forms will be collected in person and a stipulated fee (of N1,000,000 subject to change) will be made to the commission. Copies of guidelines and other requirements will be issued to assist and facilitate guidance.
- The application forms collected are to be submitted. The forms are forwarded with a non-refundable processing fee (of N5,000,000 subject to change) addressed to NUC in Bank Draft. The following documents may be attached if prepared and ready. Upon advisement, the last two documents in the list below should not be procured unless the application has reached an advanced stage. The documents are as follows;
- Draft of Academic Brief
- Draft of University Law
- Draft of Masterplan
- Counterpart Deed of Assignment
- Certificate of Incorporation/Registration of Proprietors (along with Articles and Memorandum of Association)
- Deed of Assignment/Certificate of Occupancy
- Letter of Available Liquid Cash and lastly,
- Bank Guarantee of Funds to the tune of N200 from a bank of repute.
- Interactive meeting with the Standing Committee of Private Universities, SCOPU. The members of the Planning and Implementation Committee of the university you intend to establish are invited for an interactive meeting with the aforementioned committee of the NUC. The meeting is a lead up to the initial visit to the campus site of the proposed university.
- Completion of Submission of Relevant Documents left to be submitted.
- Exhaustive evaluation of documents by experts in relevant NUC departments
- First verification visit
- Revision of documents by proprietors based on report by the standing committee of private universities of the commission
- Final site assessment visit
- Security screening of proprietors and board of trustees of the proposed university
- Approval by the management of National University Commission
- Approval by the of National University Commission board
- Approval by the federal executive council (FEC)
Now that the procedure for you need to be sure your University has been spelt out, it is important to figure out all the important things that need to be carried out such as staffing, equipment purchase, marketing, etc. In all truth, setting up a university is a tedious venture, but the payout is much and the trouble worthwhile.
A university is sort of a very large business with tendrils in many directions, each of which needs to be properly managed to achieve best results. Once you have decided to start out and after the registration and approval by the FEC, you need to begin to follow the plan laid out in letter of intent. The vision and mission of the university must always be considered during decision making.
Let us take a look at other things that need to be done outside the NUC, even though they will culminate in the approval of the Federal Executive Council.
Source for Funds
Funding is a great aspect of running an education enterprise the statue of a university. You need to have an ample supply of funds for registration, infrastructure, equipment and facilities, library, research, employment and administration. You may work well within a budget but you may well exceed that budget if you want to build a university of repute, or if you are not careful enough to follow your plans to the letter. You will always find things that remain unresolved or underachieved at any point in time during the planning and running of your university.
It is important to have a timeline for achieving your goals. For instance, you may not be able to purchase of the equipment at the same time, sometimes, some departments may need to share some equipment sometimes. Funding can be by sole proprietorship or partnership. As stated earlier, at least 200 million naira will be needed for this venture. This is excluding money for land and registration purposes.
The minimum requirement for land for a university campus is 100 hectares. This land will have to be easily accessible. The campus should also have a water source and electricity source. This land is going to carry infrastructure such as hostel accommodation, classroom and lecture halls, hostel, hospital, security and administrative offices among others. The land should be purchased in the state the university is going to operate from.
Branding your University
It is important that you decide the name of your university early enough. By the time you are submitting the letter of intent, the name of the university should have been decided and should reflect. This is what your university will be known by. Also decide on the logo that will be easy to read from afar and people will easily identify with.
You need to build a website. The website should be fully functional and secure as a lot of personal information and sensitive information will be on it. It should be equipped with a portal for students and staff. It should also have feature for an e-commerce site where payment such as fees and dues could be made.
It should also feature an e-library so that students’ and other researchers could correspond with other libraries around the world.
Infrastructure such as classroom, laboratories, roads, bridges where applicable, hostel, staff quarters, security posts and outposts, lecture theatres and classrooms, hospital, car park, administrative building, sport facilities, etc., need to be built according to the plan submitted to the NUC. Follow standard building guidelines for to ensure that quality work is carried out. It is important to build standard infrastructure because this is a long-term investment.
Employment, Academic Planning and Related Activities
Employment is a very critical aspect of the university setup. You need to employ both teaching and non-teaching staff who will carry out the day to day running activities of the university. Before employment is carried out, you need to have determined how many faculties, departments and programs that will be created and offered yearly.
The management staff which include the board of trustees, principal officers including the pro-chancellor, vice-chancellor, deputy vice-chancellors and registrar etc., need to be appointed and their function spelt out in detail in the university constitution. Functions of the bursar, chief librarian, deans of faculties, Heads of Departments, need to also be spelt out. Committees, like the senate, disciplinary, finance and general purpose committee should also have clearly spelt out functions.
Everyone in the university at any point in time, needs to know what duties are assigned to them for smooth running. Much information on the function the university is expected to achieve can be found in the University of Nigeria Act.
You will need to employ such staff like lecturers, support staff, IT personnel, cleaners, security, doctors and nurses, facility managers etc. Employ the best.
Lastly, an academic calendar needs to be drawn up. This calendar will define the schedule as a timeline of activities to be carried out annually. It will must have a beginning and an end of academic session. The academic session should define the time for resumption, matriculation, duration of semester, examination, convocation and times of meeting of the senate of the university among others.
Equipping the University
Employers and infrastructure will be incomplete without equipment and facilities needed to improve productivity and make work easier. You need to purchase laboratory equipment, furniture for office and lecture, some of which may be permanent fitted. Sport facilities, vehicles for conveyance, medical equipment and facilities, fire extinguishers, security gear, classroom boards and such things that are necessary.
Computers, printers, photocopiers, telephone and fax machines and internet facilities need to be installed for ease of work. Air conditioners and fans should be installed for comfort as learn should be carried out in a conducive environment.
A source of power should be decided upon. It is possible to generate power internally or to use the electricity distribution company in your area. If later will be used, owing to the erratic supply or power it is expedient to also acquire a generator capable of powering the school at any point in time.
Office stationery such as files, paper, letterhead, stapler, paper clips, and filing cabinets need to be purchased.
More than one of these items listed above will be acquired so it is advisable to purchase in bulk. There is no harm in contracting someone to handle procurement while you supervise inventory of supplies.
Lastly, a university must have a library. Books and research materials need to be purchased. They will be mounted on shelves previously installed alongside other furniture for the library.
Market Your University
There is no end to this. You need to do rigorous marketing through media and news print. It is important to start early, at least two years before the commencement of academic activities. Indicate the courses available in every advertisement made. Marketing is something that will continue for as long as the university continues to exist. For this reason, the reputation of the school must be kept intact. Students will tell their friends how good the school is. In fact, they are your biggest advertisers. Secondly, once they are done, they will be employed in the marketplace by companies and NGOs etc. They will appraise the quality of every student from your university. In fact the NUC regularly accredits universities and as such you have a duty to maintain your standard and even improve it as the years go by.
Ensure you carry out studies and make relevant deductions from your studies. With this I believe you can start a university of your choice.
We can write your University business plan for you. To take advantage of our service, pay N50,000 to:
BANK NAME: FIRST BANK PLC
ACCOUNT NAME: CHIBUZOR TOCHI ONYEMENAM
ACCOUNT NUMBER: 3066880122
After payment, send your full name, email address and topic (i.e. university business plan in Nigeria pdf) to 07033378184. Your business plan will be sent to your email within 72 hours.
How to Start a University in Nigeria © www.businessplan.com.ng