POLICY FRAMEWORK FOR PRIVATE SECTOR COLLABORATION IN THE DEVELOPMENT AND MANAGEMENT OF NIGERIAN FEDERAL UNIVERSITIES

POLICY FRAMEWORK FOR PRIVATE SECTOR COLLABORATION IN THE DEVELOPMENT AND MANAGEMENT OF NIGERIAN FEDERAL UNIVERSITIES

ABSTRACT

This study aimed at providing policy framework for private sector collaboration in the development and management of Nigerian federal universities.  Seven research questions and seven null hypotheses guided the study. The design employed for the study was descriptive survey. The population consisted of 26 federal universities and 241 companies quoted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. The respondents consisted of all the principal Officers, Deans and targeted Directors of Academic Planning & Development, Physical Planning & Development and Information and Communication Technology in the 26 federal universities within the six zones of the Country and managers of the 241 companies on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. This yielded a total population of 1,741 respondents. The sample for the study was 46 consisting of 12 federal universities and 34 private companies. A sample of 412 respondents made up of 242 management staff from the universities and 170 managers from the private sector was used.   Questionnaire which was structured on a four point rating scale and oral interview were the main instruments for data collection. The questionnaire was validated by experts and the reliability, established by way of trial test, using CronbachApha Formula.  Direct Delivery Technique (DDT) was adopted in administering the questionnaire and in conducting the oral interview. Real limits of numbers and criterion mean were used to answer the research questions while t-test was used to test the hypotheses. The principles for collaboration between universities and the private sector hinge on the fact that collaboration should be geared towards generating innovations for accelerating the Nigerian economic development and the fact that the symbiotic relationship which naturally exists between the two needs to be fostered by way of establishing virile link between them. Nigerian universities over-dependence on the federal government for funds with all the attendant infrastructural inadequacies for university development and management is one of the major rationale for the collaborative effort. Benefits that will accrue as a result of collaboration include the improvement in educational service delivery, infrastructural and physical development in universities and patent-ship of the private sector in research. Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) and Build Transfer (BT) are the highly preferred modes of collaboration for physical facilities. Constraints to collaboration include emphasis on profit making by the private sector, the long period required for recouping funds invested by the private sector and absence of enabling policies. Facilitating factors for effective collaboration include properly articulated memorandum of understanding between the collaborators .It was recommended amongst others, that the Federal Government should enforce collaborative activities between universities and the private sector so that the symbiotic relationship which naturally exist between the two will be enhanced. This could be achieved through the regulatory and supervisory activities of ministries and agencies such as the National Universities Commission [NUC].