The Federal Government has rolled-out Benchmarks Minimum Academic Standard (BMAS) for Post-graduate programmes in Nigerian Universities to give the needed guide on the framework and content of academic programmes in the Universities.
The National Universities Commission (NUC) has submitted the document covering 13 disciplines with a directive that the documents should be immediately distributed to all Universities for implementation.
While receiving the documents, the Minister of education, Professor Rukkayar Rufai stressed that apart from giving direction for postgraduate education in Nigeria, the post graduate BMAS would be useful as reference document for the accreditation of postgraduate programmes even as it would ensure that Universities follow due process in the establishment of their post graduate programmes through the appropriate NUC Resource Verification Exercise and subsequent approval.
She expressed optimism that the development of postgraduate BMAS will accelerate research and also lead to production of more graduate students who will in turn increase the quantity and quality of research in the Universities.
The Minister reiterated her appeal to first generation universities to concentrate more on postgraduate education to ameliorate the academic staff situation in the Nigerian University system which has the doctorate degree as the minimum qualification for teaching.
Earlier, the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission, Prof. Julius Okojie lamented the dearth of Lecturers saying that a survey conducted in 2006/2007 revealed that about 25,000 lecturers representing 61% driving the system were Lecturer 1 and below with little capacity for research hence, the need to accelerate development of postgraduate programmes.