How un­ac­cred­ited univer­sity awards 5,000 de­gree cer­tifi­cates

Daily Trust - - EDUCATION - From

Vic­tor Sorokwu, As­aba

The Na­tional Uni­ver­si­ties Com­mis­sion (NUC) may have shut down the World Mis­sion­ary Univer­sity Nige­ria, which op­er­ated for long with­out ed­u­ca­tional ac­cred­i­ta­tion but the lin­ger­ing ef­fects of its ne­far­i­ous ac­tiv­i­ties still per­me­ate the fab­rics of the un­sus­pect­ing so­ci­ety after is­su­ing de­gree cer­tifi­cates to over 5,000 grad­u­ates in six years.

The univer­sity op­er­ated with­out the knowl­edge of au­thor­i­ties in Delta State and the NUC claimed that one of its stu­dents ac­tu­ally leaked in­for­ma­tion to them about its il­le­gal ac­tiv­i­ties after he re­quested to know the sta­tus of the in­sti­tu­tion, hav­ing ob­tained ad­mis­sion in the last aca­demic ses­sion.

“You know that these things de­pend on in­for­ma­tion. That was how we got to know. Some­times the se­cu­rity agen­cies give us in­for­ma­tion. As you are aware, this is col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween NUC and the In­de­pen­dent Cor­rupt Prac­tices and other re­lated of­fences Com­mis­sion (ICPC). This il­le­gal univer­sity has mul­ti­ple cam­puses,” leader of the NUC Clo­sure Team, Bar­ris­ter Moses Awe said.

Bar­ris­ter Awe, who was also the NUC’s Head of Le­gal De­part­ment, said in 2014 the com­mis­sion closed over 25 il­le­gal uni­ver­si­ties but some of them resur­faced and are hav­ing a run­ning bat­tle with the au­thor­i­ties while some of them have com­plied with the or­der.

The NUC/ICPC team which stormed the school un­cer­e­mo­ni­ously met one Pas­tor Han­nah Lucky, who said she was the co­or­di­na­tor of the univer­sity’s schol­ar­ship and em­pow­er­ment cen­ter.

Dur­ing in­ter­ro­ga­tion, she ex­plained that her set was le­git­i­mate and she has con­ducted her ac­tiv­i­ties in line with the pro­vi­sions of the ar­ti­cle of the Cor­po­rate Af­fairs Com­mis­sion (CAC) that reg­is­tered her cen­tre for stu­dents’ schol­ar­ship and em­pow­er­ment.

She stood her ground ve­he­mently against the team, in­sist­ing that she has not breached any law and the op­er­a­tions of her in­sti­tu­tion was en­abled by the CAC cer­tifi­cate is­sued to her be­fore com­mence­ment in 2010. She ad­mit­ted that the World Mis­sion Univer­sity has been award­ing de­grees since it com­menced op­er­a­tions in 2010 in Benin City, Edo State and has grad­u­ated over 5,000 stu­dents from di­verse pro­fes­sional dis­ci­plines.

The in­sti­tu­tion had ran cour­ses such as med­i­cal sciences, civil, me­chan­i­cal and elec­tri­cal engi­neer­ing, en­vi­ron­men­tal/health sciences, so­cial sciences, in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy and com­puter sciences, mass com­mu­ni­ca­tion and jour­nal­ism and other hu­man­i­ties.

She also dis­closed to the au­thor­i­ties that another set of 84 grad­u­ates were due for con­vo­ca­tion this Au­gust, but had hoped to for­mally no­tify the NUC of its ac­tiv­i­ties in the course of the grad­u­a­tion cer­e­monies, when its for­eign par­ent body based in the US will be vis­it­ing.

“What we do here is to en­able peo­ple ob­tain in­ter­na­tional schol­ar­ship. I reg­is­tered with CAC, I am not op­er­at­ing a univer­sity, I create train­ing cen­tre. I am not re­cruit­ing stu­dents but un­til we get to a cam­pus level which we are about de­vel­op­ing now, we teach our stu­dents with vol­un­teer lec­tur­ers.

“Cur­rently, we have 84 de­gree stu­dents study­ing health­care cour­ses in­clud­ing 42 in nurs­ing and other med­i­cal health ser­vices cour­ses, 12 in the in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy de­part­ment, six in build­ing and elec­tri­cal and four in mass me­dia de­part­ment.

“We are pre­par­ing for grad­u­a­tion of our 400 Level stu­dents this Au­gust. We also have cer­tifi­cate pro­grammes and diploma cour­ses. In the diploma, we have cour­ses which in­clude com­puter ap­pli­ca­tion, en­tre­pre­neur and vo­ca­tional stud­ies, and mass me­dia. We have 31 stu­dents here.

“We (World Mis­sion­ary Univer­sity Nige­ria) started since 2010 in Benin City, Edo State, after we reg­is­tered with CAC as a re­cruit­ment cen­tre for schol­ar­ship and em­pow­er­ment. Since then, over 5,000 stu­dents have grad­u­ated through the univer­sity. We awarded them for­eign de­gree cer­tifi­cates. Our head­quar­ters is in the US and fully ac­cred­ited there,” she told the team.

But when asked why her school man­age­ment has not ap­proached NUC for ac­cred­i­ta­tion and li­cense to op­er­ate in Nige­ria, she said they were in the process of meet­ing a crit­i­cal pro­vi­sion of cam­pus site, which is a pre­req­ui­site for NUC ap­proval.

How­ever, the team dis­missed her claim, say­ing the com­mis­sion hasn’t had any con­tact with her or any mem­ber of the World Mis­sion­ary Univer­sity, not to men­tion mak­ing any in­quiries or hav­ing talks on ac­cred­i­ta­tion and op­er­a­tional li­cense.

“We ap­plied to the Delta State Hospi­tal Man­age­ment Board, As­aba and they gave us a let­ter of ap­proval for our nurs­ing stu­dents to at­tach with the var­i­ous teach­ing and gen­eral hos­pi­tals across the state. As I speak, we have our stu­dents do­ing prac­ti­cals in some gov­ern­ment hos­pi­tals,” she re­vealed.

She fur­ther dis­closed that her cen­tre con­ducts ad­mis­sion into the univer­sity via on­line reg­is­tra­tion at $400 per course of study, while the ac­cep­tance fees ranges from $400 to $1,500 de­pend­ing on the course.

Bar­ris­ter Awe said the team had been on the trail of the in­sti­tu­tion’s man­age­ment for the past seven months.

The World Mis­sion­ary Univer­sity Africa oc­cu­pied the top floor of a storey build­ing lo­cated along old Sapele Road, Abraka and shares the build­ing with a pro­vi­sions and sundry shops on the ground floor.

“This is a place that is said to be a mis­sion or­ga­ni­za­tion but run­ning de­gree pro­grammes un­der dif­fer­ent cover of schol­ar­ships and em­pow­er­ment and we have been mon­i­tor­ing this out­fit for more than six to seven months and we have con­firmed af­fir­ma­tively that they have been run­ning de­gree pro­grammes even ridicu­lously in the med­i­cal sciences.

“As you can see in this en­vi­ron­ment, where is the med­i­cal hospi­tal? Where is the struc­ture for de­gree pro­gramme?

“The so-called af­fil­i­a­tion to the in­ter­na­tional body is just a cover up. There is no ba­sis for it. We don’t know them at the NUC, so that is why we are here to­day to put a stop to this de­ceit to our young peo­ple in Delta State and in Nige­ria in gen­eral,” leader team said.

He said about six il­le­gal uni­ver­si­ties were closed within Abuja and its neigh­bour­ing states in one year, adding that the stu­dents whose school was closed were ad­vised to seek fresh ad­mis­sions else­where.

The NUC, had li­censed over 60 pri­vate uni­ver­si­ties and last year it re­leased a list of 57 il­le­gal de­gree award­ing in­sti­tu­tions op­er­at­ing in Nige­ria.

World Mis­sion Univer­sity West Africa of­fice, Abraka

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