NUC Rejects NBTE’s HND Conversion Programme: What does this mean for HND holders? The National Universities Commission (NUC) has rejected a programme being organized by the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) on converting Higher National Diploma (HND) to university degree. The NUC described the purported one-year top-up degree programme in Nigerian polytechnics as illegal and usurpation of authority.
The NUC is the only agency empowered by law to regulate awards of degrees by institutions in Nigeria. The NBTE is responsible for the regulation of technical education in Nigeria, including polytechnics.
In a statement on October 14, 2023, the Acting Executive Secretary of the NUC, Chris Maiyaki, said that the NUC was not a party to and disavowed the so-called Top-up Scheme, being concocted by the NBTE. He also said that the NUC does not entertain any intrusion into its lawfully assigned mandate.
He further stated that the NUC has not been consulted by the NBTE on the development of the scheme and that the NUC does not recognize the scheme. He advised the public to be wary of the scheme and to avoid patronizing it.
Maiyaki also said that the NUC is committed to working with the NBTE to ensure that the quality of technical education in Nigeria is maintained and enhanced. He called on the NBTE to focus on its core mandate of regulating technical education in Nigeria and desist from introducing programmes outside its jurisdiction.
The NUC’s statement is a clear rejection of the NBTE’s top-up degree programme. The NUC is the only agency empowered by law to regulate the awards of degrees by institutions in Nigeria, and the NBTE does not have the authority to introduce a programme that awards university degrees.
The NBTE’s top-up degree programme was reportedly designed to enable holders of HND to convert their certificates to the first degrees with foreign accredited universities. The programme was criticized by some stakeholders, who argued that it was unnecessary and could devalue the quality of Nigerian university degrees.
The NUC’s rejection of the programme means that it will not be recognized in Nigeria. Holders of the HND qualification who wish to obtain a university degree will still need to enroll in a full-time degree programme at a recognized university.
NUC Rejects NBTE’s HND Conversion Programme: What does this mean for HND holders?
The NUC’s rejection of the NBTE’s top-up degree programme is a setback for HND holders who are hoping to bridge the gap between HND and university degrees. HND holders have long complained of discrimination in the job market, where they are often paid less than university graduates even when they have the same qualifications and experience.
In 2021, the National Assembly passed a bill to abolish the dichotomy between HND and university degrees. However, the bill has not yet been assented to by the president.
Until the bill is signed into law, HND holders will continue to face challenges in the job market. However, there are a few things that HND holders can do to improve their chances of success:
- Enroll in a full-time degree programme at a recognized university. This is the most direct way to obtain a university degree and improve your job prospects.
- Seek out employers who value HND qualifications. There are a number of employers in Nigeria who recognize the value of HND qualifications and offer equal pay and opportunities to HND and university graduates.
The NUC’s rejection of the NBTE’s top-up degree programme is disappointing for HND holders. However, it is important to remember that there are still ways to achieve your career goals and succeed in the job market.