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When it comes to the HND-to-BSc conversion effort, NBTE rips into NUC

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When the National Universities Commission (NUC) mandated that holders of polytechnic’s Higher National Diploma (HND) complete a one-year “top-up” program in order to earn bachelor’s degrees, the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) voiced its displeasure with this decision.

BANKPAWA readers may recall that the NBTE recently announced the launch of a one-year top-up program allowing holders of HNDs from polytechnics to earn bachelor’s degrees.

However, the Nigerian National Universities Commission (NUC) issued a statement over the weekend objecting to NBTE’s plan to create degree conversion programs for HND graduates of Nigerian polytechnics, arguing that this was beyond of NBTE’s purview.

On the other hand, the Executive Secretary of NBTE, Professor Idris Bugaje, sent a letter to the Minister of Education, Prof. Tahir Mamman, on Monday expressing the board’s disagreement with NUC’s attitude on its conversion policy.

Fatima Abubakar, a representative of the NBTE, responded to the NUC’s position on Monday morning by quoting Professor Bugaje, who warned the NUC against biasing itself against HND students.

I write to advise you on the media response last week of the National Universities Commission of Nigeria to an NBTE-initiated advancement for HND holders through the top-up programme in foreign (offshore) approved universities,” says part of the NBTE’s letter to the minister.

After receiving their diplomas, students can only seek evaluation of their foreign degrees from the FME Division of Evaluation and Accreditation.

When it comes to credit mapping and admittances for transferred credits, NBTE exclusively supplies content from HND curricula. Foreign universities are responsible for admissions and degree conferral, not NBTE. The entire procedure was planned with NBTE-free operation in mind.

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Since online course delivery does not benefit NBTE financially, we asked for reduced tuition of no more than 10% of standard rates.

The delivery of education through online programs is now widely recognized as a viable option worldwide. The Nigerian government has recognized this trend and sanctioned an open university, while now 36 polytechnics are operating open distance flexible and e-learning centers.

High-level Nigerian Diplomas Are Highly Regarded Abroad. They can often gain instant entry into Master’s programs in European countries. Miss Islamiyat Ojelade, a recent graduate of the Federal Polytechnic Ilaro with an HND Distinction in Science Lab Technology (Biochemistry), is a shining example. Despite not having a BSc or MSc, she was admitted to and awarded funding for a PhD by seven top US universities.

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